BASEES statement on the Central European University in Budapest

The British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies has been following with deep concern the situation that has been developing with respect to the Central European University in Budapest.   The Association stands firmly with all our academic colleagues, the University’s past and present students and people of Budapest who have taken to the streets and airwaves protesting the proposed legislative changes to the University’s status.

Since its foundation in 1991, the CEU has been committed to the defence of academic freedom, non-partisan intellectual enquiry and the highest standards of teaching.  The University has taken its place alongside the leading higher educational institutions in Europe producing scholars who have had a pivotal role in setting the research agenda across disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.  Its academic leadership in Hungary and the wider European community is evidenced by its success in securing highly competitive European Research Council grants and in the prestigious awards made to its researchers in fields as various as medieval studies, network and cognitive science.   A particular strength of the CEU is its internationalism; it has brought together scholars at all levels from countries across the globe, including professors and lecturers and students from up to 117 different countries.  

The CEU programmes are both internationally accredited and certified by appropriate Hungarian authorities and we are convinced by the evidence the University has presented   that it has complied in full with all Hungarian laws. It is frankly inconceivable that the parliament would knowingly set out on a path to destroy this precious achievement of the past twenty-five years.  The proposed amendments to Act CCIV on National Higher Education by damaging the CEU will have negative repercussions on Hungary’s international academic reputation and its relationships with European and North American partners.

Below there are links that describe in detail the proposed legislation and the ways that BASEES members can led their support to the University:

You can also sign the petition in support of CEU and help spread the word among your colleagues and all those concerned with educational freedom

Judith Pallot

President of BASEES