The letter of intent for the project, sometimes mistakenly referred to as China’s first overseas university campus (Xiamen University has a campus in Malaysia), was first signed in December 2019 by Hungary’s Minister of Innovation and Technology, László Palkovics, and Xu Ningsheng, President of the Fudan University, signed.
The university in the capital Budapest will host up to 6,000 students and offer courses in economics, medicine, engineering and international relations.
“It may seem surprising at first, but when we look at the progress that top Chinese universities have made, we see that this is remarkable. It therefore seems natural that efforts will be made to make full use of the sector’s financial resources. Higher education is a huge and lucrative business, ”said Paweł Paszak from the Polish think tank Warsaw Institute.
“The decision to build a campus in Hungary is surprising in many ways, as the plans include a target for the education of up to 5,000 to 6,000 students. If this plan is successful, Fudan University will become one of the most important universities in Hungary. “
“If this plan is successful, Fudan University will become one of the most important universities in Hungary.”
According to Paszak, Hungary has “very good political relations with China that go against the current”.
Hungary is not only home to several Confucius Institutes, but is also home to Huawei’s European supply center, is the largest recipient of Chinese foreign direct investment in the Visegrad group and is involved in several Belt and Road projects, including a planned railway line from Budapest to Belgrade, whose contract details were classified by the government last year.
“The Hungarian side hopes that the creation of new contacts will bring know-how to higher education and improve the quality and internationalization of the educational process,” continued Paszak.
“[But] All types of cooperation, including education, come with some conditions.
“Undoubtedly, the establishment of overseas sites by Chinese universities is a way of building Chinese soft power overseas,” he added, pointing out the risks involved in attempting to influence the representation of China and the CCP.
According to local media, the Hungarian government will raise up to 2.3 million Provide EUR for the purchase of land and land for the university.
However, Hungary was not so open to other foreign educational institutions. After attempts were made to prevent the Central European University, backed by George Soros, from operating in the country, the European Court of Justice ruled against it last year, although the CEU now operates mainly from Austria.