China's Fudan University to launch overseas campus in Hungary
Fudan University has announced plans to open its first overseas campus after an agreement was signed between Hungary’s innovation and technology minister László Palkovics and Xu Ningsheng, the president of the university, in Shanghai on December 16.
The campus will be located in Budapest and the Hungarian government hopes that its presence will help transform the country into a “regional knowledge hub”. More than 2,300 Chinese citizens currently study in Hungary, which the government said was “a good basis for the intensification of relations between universities”.
“The presence in Hungary of Fudan and of reputable foreign professors will accelerate the process of globalisation which has already started in Hungarian higher education,” said Palkovics.
“[The campus] will accelerate the process of globalisation which has already started in Hungarian higher education”
“The planned campus opening could promote further Chinese investments, and in particular, the settlement of the research and development centres of Chinese companies in Hungary.”
Fudan University is one of China’s top higher education institutions, with over 30,000 students across its four campuses in Shanghai. It has previously partnered with the Corvinus University of Budapest in offering a double MBA program.
Although the announcement was reported by several outlets as signalling the launch of China’s “first overseas campus”, that accolade actually goes to Xiamen University on the Fujian coast, which opened a branch in Selangor in Malaysia and welcomed its first students in 2016.
Peking University in Beijing also runs a business school in Oxfordshire in the UK.
The Hungarian government’s push for internationalising the country’s higher education system may come as a surprise to some due to concerns about academic freedom in the Central European nation. New laws introduced over the last few years have also sought to restrict foreign activity in higher education.
In 2017, the government enacted legislation that required foreign universities to maintain campuses in their country of origin, forcing the Central European University, founded by financier George Soros, to relocate to the Austrian capital of Vienna.
Further details about the campus, its opening date and what courses it will offer have yet to be released.