30.03.2017

Academic freedom in the EU under threat

New legislative proposal in Hungarian parliament threatens the existence of the Central European University (CEU)

Academic freedom is under threat in many places. In Europe, freedom of academia and the independence of scientific institutions are also in peril, with the Central European University (CEU), located in Budapest, as the institution currently being most clearly in danger. The University’s existence is threatened by a change in legislation proposed in the Hungarian parliament on Tuesday. The legislative draft lists a number of administrative requirements that apply to foreign universities in Hungary. From the CEU’s perspective, these requirements are impossible to fulfil and are clearly intended to damage the University. The CEU is a privately funded university that is accredited in both the USA and Hungary, has independent oversight of its endowment, and is independently administered.

For us at the Junge Akademie, the proposed legislation and the potential closure of the University represent a threat to academic freedom in the European Union overall, but also indirectly affect us, as one of our members, the historian Jan Hennings, teaches and conducts research at the CEU as an Assistant Professor. Our alumnus, Carsten Q. Schneider, heads the Department of Political Sciences at CEU.

The Junge Akademie regards this move by the Hungarian government with the utmost concern and urges the government to withdraw the proposed legislation in order to ensure freedom within the academic space of the EU.

Further Reading
Central European University | Background Information:
https://www.ceu.edu/istandwithceu

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