Monday, January 16, 2012

And well they should (UPDATED AT BOTTOM)

Okay, I admit it -- I'm biased when it comes to this story.

I have visited three of the four countries and I have friends who are in higher education in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. So, yes, I want to see those nations plus Hungary and Poland (the one I've not been to) increase their academic profile, establish partnerships with U.S. and Western nations and make up as much lost ground as possible because of the dreadful decades of Communism.

I hope you share that enthusiasm.

1st UPDATE: 7:54 p.m. EST: The New York Times notes that Hungary faces an important challenge as it attempts to upgrade its educational system: The country is suffering from significant political and economic problems.
Viktor Orban, the embattled Hungarian prime minister, did not create the problem with foreign currency loans, which is also an issue in other East European countries like Poland.
But many critics regard Mr. Orban as a would-be strongman whose erratic, heavy-handed policies have made Hungary’s economic problems far worse by scaring off foreign investors, prompting credit rating agencies to downgrade government bonds to junk and leading to an even further drop in the forint.

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