Budapest, May 3, 2017 – While the Hungarian government claims publicly that it does not want to shut down any university, its own lex CEU refutes this claim. CEU wishes to point out that if the legislation is not withdrawn or amended, the Education Authority will withdraw CEU’s license to operate. This can take place as early as October 12, 2017. After January 1, 2018 CEU cannot accept new students, thus making it impossible to recruit for the 2018/19 academic year.
The Hungarian government further claims that it has no intention to shut down Kozep-europai Egyetem (KEE), CEU’s Hungarian legal entity. This is also a deceptive claim. Our institution is one integrated university, with two highly respected forms of accreditation, Hungarian and American. The legislation forbids us to have two legal entities and would make it impossible for the university to continue to award American accredited master’s and doctoral degrees.
“CEU is like a person with two passports – a U.S. one and a European one – and the government wants to take one away,” said President and Rector Michael Ignatieff. “Our dual accreditation is a basic guarantee of our academic freedom.”
CEU also wishes to point out that in the three weeks that have followed President Ader’s call for negotiations on these issues, no negotiations whatsoever have taken place with CEU.
CEU urges the government to heed the call of the European Commission, the European People’s Party, more than 650 universities, over 24 Nobel Laureates, the governments of the U.S., Germany, and France, tens of thousands of Hungarian citizens and representatives of Hungarian intellectual circles across the political spectrum. Academic freedom is not a partisan political issue. Even at this late date, reason should prevail and negotiations should begin immediately.
CEU COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE
COLLEEN SHARKEY | International Media Relations Manager
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