ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, is alarmed by the Hungarian government’s recent, recurring and unfounded intervention in the curricula of private and public universities, severely compromising academic freedom and autonomy that are key features of modern science and higher education, and regrettably following a pattern witnessed before.
As on previous occasions, through the ban of certain research subjects from academic curricula, the Hungarian government once again infringes on internationally applied and accepted principles of academic freedom, scientific excellence and the self-governance of scientific institutions. Disregarding such fundamental principles undermines the traditionally excellent and internationally renowned Hungarian science base, and threatens its leading and pioneering role in the region. By its very actions, the Hungarian government politicises scientific research and jeopardises Hungary’s strong European and international partnerships in science.
As ALLEA itself, scientific institutions must remain independent from undue political, religious, ideological, commercial or other interests; this concerns particularly their ability to decide which research and teaching they consider essential to conduct at their respective institutions.
ALLEA re-iterates its previous pleas to uphold and guarantee the autonomy of academic organisations and institutions in order for the scientific community of Hungary to fulfil its tasks and mandates, and to contribute to the country’s social and economic well–being, and development.
ALLEA especially stresses the need for thorough and timely consultation of relevant stakeholders. Legislation in the field of research and education policy requires a close dialogue between political authorities and representatives of the scientific community. We regret the fact that seemingly this consultation is not considered valuable by the Hungarian authorities as far as its research policies are concerned.
The Council of Finnish Academies is the Finnish national member of ALLEA.