Universities with public interest foundations are no longer eligible for grants from Erasmus+. The European Union’s marquee education and exchange program, Hungary’s exclusion from its beneficence is the political equivalent of a Brussels calling a red card on the pitch. Since the ascension of new Member States formerly under the Moscow’s yoke, this flagship initiative has connected millions of Europeans in over 5,000 schools in 38 countries.
As about 80 per cent of universities in Hungary are now connected to a public trust fund, a total of 21 institutes of higher learning, as well as Corvine University and the Hungarian Dance Academy, will bear the brunt. More a spanking than a wrist slap.
How did Hungary work itself out of one the EUs arguably most successful programs? Look to Fidesz’s tawdry standards in public procurement, which can be summed up as suspiciously opaque, dismissive of COIs, and with ”a high rate of single bidding procedures.” Hardly suprising that the EU doesn’t like politicians turning EU public funds into ill-gotten gains for their substandard cronies.
The measure will negatively affect the quality of education and undoubtedly limit students' opportunities at home and the rest of Europe. Orbán is considering a lawsuit and wants to fund the exchanges from the Hungarian budget.
Unsure who would win, it’s abundantly clear who loses – Hungary’s bright young minds. Way to go, Viktor.