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Let's have political debates at university!

opinion 2017-06-19 | Fb Sharing

Junior researcher Domokos Lázár’s reaction to the standpoint of Fidelitas on entering universities

In an interview made by HVG, László Böröcz, chair of Fidelitas (the youth organisation of Fidesz) claimed that it would be very important for political parties to be able to enter universities. He pointed out that Fidelitas had made recommendations to this end but these were not supported by university managements, although this is standard practice in Western Europe and there is no statutory obstacle to it. It is not entirely clear what Böröcz means by “entering universities”. 

If “entering universities” means the regular operation of political parties at universities, the obstacle is the Law on National Higher Education itself, which clearly prohibits the functioning of political parties at universities: no higher education institution can offer its premises for political parties. 

There is no obstacle, however, to holding public political events on university premises. One can reasonably argue to widen space for political debates at university, after all higher education should have an important role in the democratic socialization of students. The requirement of neutrality can be met by ensuring the same amount of space and time for the various political parties but denying students the possibility of taking part in debates on public and political affairs is surely not the right way of educating conscious and thinking citizens.

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