Thursday, March 30, 2017

ASEEES Expresses Support for Central European University

Published April 1, 2017

Update: On April 4, Hungary’s Parliament passed legislative amendments that threaten CEU’s existence and institutional autonomy in Hungary. Read CEU’s press release.

For those of you wishing to take action, please write to János Áder, President of Hungary, who can still veto the decision in the coming five days:

and EU Commissioners:

Tibor Navracsics – Commissioner, Education, culture, youth and sports,
Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President, Better Regulation, Interinstitutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights,
Carlos Moedas – Commissioner, Research, Science and Innovation,
European Parliament, Culture and Education Committee Chairman, MEP Petra Kammerevert,


April 1, 2017

The Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies is alarmed by the news that the Hungarian government has proposed legislation that would make it impossible for the esteemed Central European University to continue operations in Hungary. You can read CEU’s official response to the proposed legislation

If you are interested in showing support for CEU, please check the #istandwithCEU page to find more information. Please consider signing the petition to the Hungarian National Assembly and adding your name to CEU’s own declaration of support.

The ASEEES Executive Committee has sent the following letter of protest to he Hungarian Minister of Human Capacities [PDF version]:

March 31, 2017

Zoltán Balog                
Minister of Human Capacities
1054 Budapest, Akadémia utca 3.

Dear Minister Balog,

The Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies is writing to express our alarm at the proposed legislative changes to the status of the Central European University in Hungary. The Association is committed to academic freedom of inquiry and research and to international cooperation in fostering knowledge, and we are deeply worried that the proposed legislation endangers both.

CEU has a stellar reputation internationally, and is among the most prominent Hungarian institutions on the international stage. It has established itself as a private international university with a global reputation for teaching and research in the social sciences and humanities. It attracts students from 117 countries and faculty from 40.  Its programs are both internationally accredited and certified by appropriate Hungarian authorities and it has complied in full with all Hungarian laws.

CEU also makes Hungary a regional leader in winning highly competitive European Research Council grants. Several of its faculty, in fields as various as medieval studies, network and cognitive science, have won the most prestigious awards in their disciplines.

The proposed amendments to Act CCIV on National Higher Education not only endanger the standing a prominent and valued member of the international academic community, but may very well damage Hungary’s well-founded international academic reputation, and its relationships to European and North American partners.  

We respectfully urge the government to withdraw the proposed legislation and enter consultation with CEU.

Yours sincerely,

Anna Grzymała-Busse, President, ASEEES
Michelle and Kevin Douglas Professor of International Studies, Stanford University

Julie Cassiday, Vice President, ASEEES
Professor of Russian, Williams College

Padraic Kenney, Immediate Past President, ASEEES
Professor of History and International Studies, Indiana University

ASEEES Executive Committee:
Susan Linz, Professor of Economics, Michigan State University
Harriet Murav, Professor of Literature, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Eric Naiman, Professor of Literature, UC Berkeley
Lynda Park, Executive Director, ASEEES 




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