George Soros’ Open Society Foundation will increase its funding for the Central European University (CEU), the Hungarian-American philanthropist said in a letter.
The investor, a supporter of liberal democracy, has long been a political target of Hungary’s far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party.
Open Society Foundation made the decision to close its office in Budapest in 2018 after repeated attacks from Orban, including claims that the charity had encouraged migration to Europe.
“Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán has forced Central European University (CEU) to move its U.S. degree courses to Vienna by making it impossible for CEU to issue American degrees in Budapest,” Soros said at the start of his letter.
“CEU is nevertheless determined to maintain both academic and public activities on its campus in Budapest and it has the full support of the Open Society Foundations and me personally in this endeavour.” he continued.
“I, therefore, reiterate the commitment—made in June—that CEU has an assured future: the Open Society Foundations intend to increase CEU’s endowments.”
The businessman thanked the persistence and loyalty of the CEU community under the leadership of president and rector Michael Ignatieff.
He also thanked the Hungarian public and the international academic world for supporting the university. According to Soros, this support made the CEU a world-renowned symbol of academic freedom.