CEU, as a young and flexible institution, enables and encourages faculty and students to reach across disciplines to address the complex social and political issues of the 21st century, including bioethics and corporate responsibility, climate change and environmental security, media freedom and data privacy, gentrification and urbanization, minority- and gender-rights policies, terrorism, and human security.
CEU’s Center for Network Science, for example, puts CEU at the forefront of an up-and-coming field that involves physics, computer science, economics, political science and environmental studies, to name a few. The Center offers a PhD program in network science for students who want to explore the workings and the consequences of networks, from social media to terrorist cells, and power distribution to financial markets.
The approach permeates through to the course level as well. CEU’s Department of International Relations collaborates with the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy on a course entitled “Transnational Environmental Politics,” which explores conflicts over resources essential for security – energy, food, and water. CEU Business School partnered with Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest to develop a course called “Design Thinking,” in which MBA and design students collaborate on interdisciplinary problem-solving that characterizes successful innovation and entrepreneurship today.
CEU’s interdisciplinary approach helps foster critical thinking and leads to a natural connection between theory and practice. The School of Public Policy, for example, engages students in a “passion project” that involves crafting a possible response to a concrete policy challenge and delivering it to a “client” organization, such as an NGO or multinational organization. The CEU-based Human RightS Initiative, meanwhile, brings outside professionals to conduct monthly, one-day, intensive skill workshops on communications, fundraising, and project management for students, faculty and staff. CEU students often secure internships at organizations such as the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the European Roma Rights Centre to complement their studies.