(REUTERS) — BUDAPEST – The Central European University, founded by billionaire George Soros, said on Monday it had been forced out of Hungary in “an arbitrary eviction” that violated academic freedom, and it confirmed plans to open a new campus in Austria.

CEU’s statement is the culmination of a years-long struggle between Hungarian-born but U.S.-based Soros, who promotes liberal causes through his charities, and the nationalist, anti-immigrant government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

For nearly three decades CEU has been a gateway to the West for thousands of students from ex-communist eastern Europe, offering U.S.-accredited degree programs in an academic climate that celebrates free thought.

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