London Expansion: Viktor Orbán-Influenced University Announces New Outpost
London Expansion: Viktor Orb...
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London Expansion: Viktor Orbán-Influenced University Announces New Outpost

28 August 2023
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2 min.
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London Expansion: Viktor Orbán-Influenced University Announces New Outpost

Orbán's Global Power Play

Viktor Orbán's populist ideology is gaining ground in the UK, evident through key developments impacting education and politics. A London institute influenced by Orbán is set to launch near Trafalgar Square. This branch of the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC), a private university known as a hub for Orbán-aligned young scholars and aspiring leaders, plays a central role.

The MCC receives significant funding from Orbán's government. In 2020, it got £1.3 billion in state funding, highlighting Orbán's commitment to spreading his influence. The MCC's impact goes beyond Hungary through a partnership with the Roger Scruton Legacy Foundation, promoting ideas of the British conservative philosopher.

This alignment between Orbán and institutions like the MCC serves a more comprehensive strategy, as one of Orbán's supporters has described it — an endeavor to construct a global "deep state" aimed at securing Orbán's legacy and perpetuating his ideals far into the future. This ambition, which extends well beyond traditional political boundaries, underscores the depth of Orbán's commitment to his ideology.

Orbán's philosophy spreads in the UK through key individuals like James Orr, a Cambridge divinity expert. Orr's ties to right-wing Conservative MPs and roles in the Roger Scruton Legacy Foundation and MCC enhance Orbán's influence on UK politics.

Orr's role gained prominence during the National Conservatism conference held in May, which drew the participation of several Conservative ministers and MPs. This event showcased the resonance of Orbán-like ideas within UK politics, encompassing topics such as concerns over declining birth rates, a sentiment that aligns with Orbán's own rhetoric.

As the MCC expands, questions arise about its influence. Supporters claim it offers a safe space for conservative students to debate freely. Yet, ex-students are worried. They suggest the college might lean towards promoting Orbán-friendly perspectives, blurring education with ideology.

Given these events, it's clear Orbán's populist ambitions go beyond words. With the upcoming MCC branch in London and support for right-wing Conservative groups, his influence gains depth. As this takes hold in the UK, its impact on education, politics, and culture is closely debated.

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