CEU Calls For Negotiations, Refutes False Allegations

Budapest, April 20 – From the beginning of this episode, CEU has called on the Hungarian government to sit down and begin confidential negotiations for a mutually acceptable solution to enable it to continue operations in Hungary. Instead, CEU has been subjected to a barrage of incoherent statements and false allegations. It is time for the government to stop playing these games, figure out its negotiating positions, and begin talks with the university.

As a matter of fact, no consultation nor meeting has taken place between the government and university leadership, despite repeated requests by the university to the relevant government officials.

Regarding allegations by Fidesz fraction leader Lajos Kosa April 19:

  • There are not 4 CEUs. As with other institutions of higher education, there are separate legal entities (for example, handling academic publishing activity, managing the dormitory, or managing real estate), but these do not function as universities – they have no teaching functions. Since they carry out activities supporting the university's operations, the term CEU appears in their name, but these are not to be confused with Central European University.
  • Allegations regarding CEU's U.S. accreditation and awarding of diplomas are also false. CEU, registered in New York State, is accredited by the Middle States Commission for Higher Education. The program registration and the Middle States Commission for Higher Education's institutional accreditation do not only cover what is known in Hungary as program accreditation, but also require more of CEU in terms of quality assurance. The Hungarian Education Authority's report also notes this.
  • No Kft (limited partnership company) awards CEU diplomas - the U.S. diplomas are awarded by CEU accredited by the Middle States Commission, and Central European University appears on them. We note that "Central European University Oktatási Kft." does not exist as a legal entity.
  • CEU is not an “offshore” university – CEU has operated in Hungary for more than 25 years. This is a model common to dozens of American universities operating in a number of countries.

Hungarian and international representatives of the higher education sphere have requested that the government begin negotiations with CEU. The President of the Republic of Hungary requested this when he signed the bill into law. CEU repeats its call for dialogue, together with experts in the area of higher education.