BUDAPEST, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Tens of thousands people, close to 70,000 according to the organizers, took part in demonstrations Sunday here to show support for the Central European University (CEU).
Many of the protesters were dressed in blue -- the color of the CEU -- and held flags of the European Union and Hungary. They urged Hungarian President Janos Ader not to sign an amendment of the Act on higher education that was adopted on Tuesday.
Hungarian Parliament adopted the amendment of the Act on higher education on Tuesday. The new law, if signed by Hungarian President Janos Ader, will require an international treaty with the government of the home country of a foreign university that operates in Hungary.
Tha law could end in the closing of the respected Budapest-based CEU, founded by Hungarian-born American billionaire George Soros.
CEU was founded in 1991 and based first in Prague and later in Budapest. It delivers both American and Hungarian diplomas. It currently has approximately 1,400 students and 370 faculty members from more than 130 countries and regions.
The law does not affect students who have already started their studies, meaning that if CEU can't comply with the new legal conditions, it could not accept new students from 2018.
The CEU said Tuesday it would contest the constitutionality of the bill. Last Sunday, close to 10,000 people held demonstrations to show support and solidarity with the CEU, followed by Tuesday's pro-CEU demonstrations that involved some 5,000 people.
The Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources, responsible for education here, said that the CEU was "misleading the public opinion." The ministry said the amendment of the Act on Hungarian education did not affect the work of the Hungarian part of the CEU, which could continue to work as a Hungarian institution, as soon as the leadership of the two countries -- the United States and Hungary -- sign an agreement of mutual support.