Okategoriserade Baltic Worlds supports CEU

Baltic Worlds invites you to support CEU with its long-held reputation as a center of innovation, academic excellence and scientific inquiry.

Published on balticworlds.com on April 3, 2017

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Building of CEU, entrance.

Baltic Worlds invites you to support CEU with its long-held reputation as a center of innovation, academic excellence and scientific inquiry.

Zoltán Balog, Minister of Human Resources, submitted a bill March 28, 2017 to the Hungarian Parliament based on claims of “irregularities” found in the operation of foreign-based universities. It has been widely noted that the legislation seems to target one institution in particular: The Central European University (CEU).

The proposed amendment will force universities outside of the European Union to operate in Hungary only on the basis of an international agreement. The proposed legislation would also force CEU to change its name, and would eliminate a waiver that allows academic staff from non-EU nations to work at the university without a work permit.

The university CEU gives an official statement; that

CEU celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2016. It has no other desire than to remain in Budapest. It is deeply embedded in Hungarian academic life, collaborating with other institutions of academic excellence in Hungary from ELTE to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, sharing research projects, teaching, knowledge, and enabling student exchanges. Of the nearly 1,800 students CEU educates each year, Hungarians make up the largest group. The majority of CEU staff and nearly half the faculty are Hungarian.

CEU Rector Ignatieff further elaborated the university’s position at a press conference March 29 (https://videosquare.ceu.edu/en/live/details/101,Press_Conference). He described the government’s attack on the “academic freedom of CEU” as “not just a national or Hungarian issue” but also “a matter of international concern.”

The scholarly journal Baltic Worlds, as well as the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies at Södertörn University share the concern on the development in Hungary and wish to support CEU. We have been collaborating since our start with CEU and its academics. CEU is a highly valued member of the Hungarian and international academic community and one of few institutions in the region with great record in gender and feminist studies. Baltic Worlds is this year cooperating with professor Andrea Petö, CEU, on a theme section “Herstory. Women’s participation in the political upheavals in 20th century”. Andrea Petö is also corresponding member of Baltic Worlds’ Scientific Advisory Council.

In an open-ed published at https://videosquare.ceu.edu/en/live/details/101,Press_Conference professor Andrea Petö notes that the past two months there have been numerous attacks against CEU in the Hungarian press – mostly against the founder, George Soros.

“One of the faculty said that for the past 30 years that Soros had been supporting important initiatives around the globe, there had not been a month that had gone by when he was not a persona non grata in at least three countries simultaneously. But the attack that started on March 28th this year is fundamentally different.

The Hungarian Government tabled a law at 6pm that day that was tailored to make CEU inoperable in Hungary. According to this proposal, the classes taught, as well as the hiring and recruitment at foreign universities in Hungary would now be based on intergovernmental criteria and would require the Hungarian government’s approval.

All foreign universities would now be required to have programs in their countries of origin, and only those universities in the European Economic Community would be granted the special degree of cooperation with Hungarian universities. According to the proposed legislation no two universities in Hungary would be allowed to have the same name, and CEU has an English language entity registered in New York and a Hungarian one in Budapest, but CEU lacks a home campus in the US. Furthermore, citizens from outside the EU currently employed at higher education institutions in Hungary would now be required to obtain a working permit.

All these proposals are about hierarchical control, and CEU was founded to fight against those values that underpin this law. If this law is implemented, the painful yet memorable discussions, like the one my class had after the shelling of Dubrovnik would no longer happen.

Intellectual freedom and the belief that what we are doing is righteous is a powerful combination. This is the power that the current Hungarian government wants to dismantle and eliminate. However, I trust that the students from that class, along with the other 14,000 CEU alumni will defend the rights of this new generation to learn from the past and from each other.”

Please post a comment beneath and show your support.

UPDATES: Hungarian Parliament votes to shut down the CEU

Starting January 1st, 2018, Budapest’s Central European University (CEU) will no longer be permitted to enrol new students in any programs, unless an agreement is reached between the United States government, the State of New York and Hungary’s Orbán government no later than September and unless CEU opens a new campus in the U.S. This is the content in the bill that the Hungarian Parliament voted for in April 4, according to Hungarian Free Press.

Hungarian President János Áder has five days to sign the new piece of legislation or to send it back to parliament for review or else request judicial review from the Constitutional Court. CEU students and supporters are appealing to Mr. Áder to refuse to sign the bill and to send it instead for review to the courts.

Read more at: http://hungarianfreepress.com/2017/04/04/hungarys-parliament-votes-to-shut-down-central-european-university/

To learn more about how to best support CEU please visit: https://www.ceu.edu/category/istandwithceu

  • Olena Vinogradova


  • Raili Uibo


  • Rebecka Lettevall


  • Iwo Nord

    I stand with CEU and my colleges there, and wish for the university’s
    possibility to carry on independent high-quality research and education to be fully preserved!

  • Joakim Ekman

    The Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) has for a number of years collaborated with researchers affiliated with CEU. We are now very concerned about what is obviously an outright attack on academic freedom.

    Joakim Ekman, Professor of Political Science
    CBEES, Södertörn University

  • Irina Sandomirskaia


  • Iwo Nord

    I stand with CEU and my colleges there, and wish for the university’s possibility to carry on independent high-quality research and education will be fully preserved!

  • Bjorn Ingvoldstad

    Central European University is in our hearts and minds. This is just not right. Heard the CEU president on our public radio news this afternoon… What a year.

  • Jan Sjolin

    Having been to this university, CEU, worked with their students and attended conferences on a number of occassions, I can simply express that they are needed in the country and much of Central & Eastern Europe.
    To “restrict” their work is not for the better of the academic education in Hungary or CEE.
    Jan Sjolin
    Professor em
    BIA Riga/Stockholm

  • Yulia Gradskova

    I graduated from CEU MA program in 1996 and consider my 10 months there to be an extreamly valuable period.

  • Raymond Bakaitis

    We in the U.S. are battling our own movement towards xenophobia and maladaptive insularity. Unfortunately, these proposed restrictions at CEU feel much the same. Thank you, Baltic Worlds, for calling attention to this attack upon the free exchange of ideas in universities. Raymond Bakaitis, Los Angeles

  • RobertChandler

    Everyone I know who has studied at the CEU has found it an immensely valuable experience.

  • Aleksandrs Cepilovs


  • Merja Ellefson


  • Péter Balogh


  • Katharina Wesolowski


  • Olena Podolian


  • Adomas Lapinskas


  • Francesco Zavatti