“There is no economic rationale for studies such as these.” Hungary will ban gender studies programs in state-run universities, the Hungarian government announced this week.
The government's stance is that the programs have no tangible use and are based on "ideology rather than science," according to a report in Hungarian political magazine Heti Világgazdaság published Thursday.
Bence Rétvári, Secretary of State of Hungary's Ministry of Human Resources, explained the decision by arguing that, while university degrees must have a scientific groundwork to justify them, gender studies are more rooted in ideology than in science, likening the field of study to Marxist-Leninism in that, in his view, it should not be taught at a university-level.
A Hungarian government spokesman expanded on this thinking when he told Breitbart News that degrees in gender studies are simply not useful to Hungarian employers.
“There is no economic rationale for studies such as these,” he said. A degree in the field does not “furnish students with skills that can be readily and directly converted on the labour market," he added.
The spokesman said that gender studies programs are not sustainable for state-run universities, arguing that they "take away
“State universities operated from public funds must take these factors into consideration since the purpose of these institutions of higher education is to meet genuine social and labour market needs," he said.
Marta Pardavi, -- co-chair at the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a human rights watchdog organization -- criticized the Hungarian government with an "#academicfreedom" hashtag.
Gender studies are “an ideology, not science”, so the Hungarian government is about to abolish and ban such M.A. courses at universities. Unis #ELTE and @ceuhungary were given 48 hours to comment on the proposal. #academicfreedom https://t.co/Zl3ZVI7bhY— Márta Pardavi (@martapardavi) August 10, 2018
Friday's news signals only the latest rejection of modern liberalism by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's authoritarian government.
Ever since first taking office as PM in 1998, Orban has driven a populist agenda that has pushed for a rejection of globalism and multiculturalism and has seen a repression of press freedom.
With his dismissal of European liberalism and federalism, Orban has often been compared to President Donald Trump, even earning the nickname "The Donald Trump of Europe" for himself.
Given Orban's apparent similarity to President Trump, the Hungarian populist leader's illiberal policy decisions have been embraced by figures on the American right, and Friday's decision will likely prove no different.