A proposal by the Hungarian government to ban gender studies at universities in the country has been criticised as a “dangerous precedent” for state interference.
Hungary’s ministry for human capacities said the proposed ban, which would come into effect at the start of the 2019 academic year, had been introduced because employers showed no interest in graduates from the subject.
But critics say the ban is part of a campaign by Prime Minister Viktor Orban to attack NGOs or institutions that oppose his Fidesz party’s socially conservative narrative.
Andrea Peto, a gender studies professor at the Central European University, one of the two universities that could be affected, said the proposed ban violated the Hungarian constitution, which protects the freedom of scientific research and learning.
“Never before has the government sought to legislate the curriculum of universities without consultation with the appropriate university institutions, Hungarian Accreditation Committee and the Higher Educational Planning Council,” Professor Peto told The Telegraph. “It also sets a dangerous precedent for state intervention in all other university courses.”
The Central European University, and Budapest’s Eotvos Lorand University, the other institution teaching gender studies, were given just 24 hours to respond to the proposal.