The board of the Association of Hungarian Archaeologists is deeply astonished by the proposed amendments (No. T/14686) to the National Higher Education Law (2011/CCIV). If passed, the change in the legislation would seriously endanger academic freedom and it would make it impossible for the Central European University / Közép-európai Egyetem to operate in Hungary.
This institution became in the past two decades an essential center of Hungarian archaeological scholarship, where several prominent archaeologists have studied, worked, and taught. The Department of Medieval Studies, including its recently founded Cultural Heritage Studies Program, has a special importance for the archaeological profession in Hungary. CEU has housed numerous events in the field of archaeology and heritage protection involving Hungarian as well as foreign experts, and many of these programs, projects resulted from co-operations with other institutions operating in Hungary. CEU regularly participates at such event series as the Cultural Heritage Days, Budapest 100, and the Day of Archeology, organizing programs that are popular also among the broader public. The CEU Library is an important research resource for archaeologists and experts in monument protection.
We consider all steps that complicate or endanger CEU’s operation a serious assault on scholarly life in Hungary, and our opinion is that no responsible politician can support such measures.