Europe

Large rally in Hungary for imperiled Soros-founded school

  • Participants walk  during the rally, organized by the Freedom for Education movement, called CEU Now, Who's Next – Protest For The Free Education , in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, April 2, 2017.  (Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP)

    Participants walk during the rally, organized by the Freedom for Education movement, called CEU Now, Who's Next – Protest For The Free Education , in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, April 2, 2017. (Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Participants walk  during the rally, organized by the Freedom for Education movement, called CEU Now, Who's Next – Protest For The Free Education , in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, April 2, 2017.  (Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP)

    Participants walk during the rally, organized by the Freedom for Education movement, called CEU Now, Who's Next – Protest For The Free Education , in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, April 2, 2017. (Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Thousands of people marched in Hungary's capital on Sunday to protest planned legal changes that are seen as targeting a Budapest university founded by billionaire Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros.

Many Hungarian and international scholars and institutions have expressed support for Central European University. The school, founded by Soros in 1991, enrolls over 1,400 students from 108 countries.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban considers Soros an ideological foe whose "open society" ideal contrasts with his own efforts to turn Hungary into an "illiberal state."

Sunday's march started at Budapest's Corvinus University.

Corvinus professor Daniel Deak says the proposed changes to Hungary's higher education law could force CEU to close and was "a shot coming from the Hungarian government against all Hungarian universities."