The Hungarian government has removed the direction of gender studies at the universities. The study course was removed from the list of approved master’s courses by a government decree signed by Prime Minister Viktor Orban. That reported the news portal ‘444.hu’. The decree itself dates from last Friday.
The government had already announced in August that it would no longer allow gender studies because there was reportedly too little demand for this study program. In the academic world this was labelled as a serious attack on the freedom of education and research.
Gender studies would undermine the “principles of the Christian family”, it sounds. The studies address, among other things, the social norms of what is seen as male and female. According to the governmental decree, courses already started in gender studies can still be completed. However, from today on, universities cannot start new courses in that field of study.
Currently in Hungary only two universities offer masters in gender research: the Lorand Eötvös University (ELTE) and the Central European University (CEU), each with around twenty students. Both universities are located in Budapest. The Flemish rectors have already condemned the decision of the Hungarian government. The Flemish Interuniversity Council announced this in September. The Flemish rectors have officially expressed their great concern in a letter to the Hungarian Chargé d’Affaires in Brussels.