The Central European University (CEU) founded by Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros has left its campus in Budapest and opened one in Vienna.
CEU moved the bulk of its U.S.-accredited courses out of Hungary after the country passed a law in 2017 that banned foreign-registered universities that do not also offer the courses in the home country.
The legislation was perceived by some “as something that would finally put a stop to fake foreign universities awarding fake degrees,” according to Hungary Today
, while others believed the legislation targeted “CEU’s ‘special’ status within the Hungarian educational system.”
The university has also long offered U.S.-accredited graduate degree programs and was the “highest ranked university based in Hungary,” according to Hungary Today. CEU also offered “free or cheap English-language graduate education in Budapest to thousands of students from eastern Europe and beyond,” according to EurActiv
The CEU officially opened
a new campus in Vienna on Nov. 15, where it will continue to offer U.S.-accredited graduate degree programs, though the university still maintains a presence in Budapest.
During a speech in Vienna, Soros said the university was “morally obligated” to keep a presence in Hungary and said his charitable foundation would commit approximately $830 million to the CEU.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.