Senate Decisions on GDPR, Terminology, Pilot Strategic Initiatives, Department of Network and Data Science

Senate decisions taken at the April 6 (regular) and May 9 (extraordinary) meetings of the CEU Senate 

Academic Calendar 2018-19 /entry into force: August 1, 2018/ 

The Senate approved the Academic Calendar for the academic year 2018-19 (the calendar can be downloaded at the bottom of the page). 

Modifications to the Policy on Establishing, Operating, and Modifying Degree Programs at CEU /entry into force: August 1, 2018/ 

The Senate approved modifications to the policy aimed at streamlining the terminology for courses and elements of degree programs. The following definitions have been accepted for university-wide use: 

-      Track is an organized pathway within a degree program leading toward program completion. In a degree program organized around tracks, a student must choose one of the available pathways toward a degree.  

-      Specialization is a coherent focus of study within a degree program aimed to provide students with in-depth knowledge in a specific area of expertise leading to potential career and further studies opportunities within that area. As a rule, specializations are optional.  

-      Advanced certificate is a non-degree cross- or inter-disciplinary program that spans across academic units and is open to students from various degree programs. In line with NYSED regulations, advanced certificates must be based on courses that form part of one or more of registered CEU degree programs. The certificates can involve other activities and additional requirements, those, however, cannot be credit-bearing. 

-      For courses, the following designations will be applied: ‘mandatory’, ‘mandatory elective’, and ‘elective’. 

 Programs using other terms should transition to the new terminology starting from the academic year 2018-19.

All policies can be accessed online through CEU Document Repository at  These documents are accessible to CEU community members. Please log in with your Microsoft ID and password to view the documents. 

Policy modifications related to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) /entry into force: May 9, 2018/ 

The Senate approved a new Data Protection Policy (replacing CEU’s previous Personal Data Protection Policy) and GDPR-related modifications to the Ethical Research Policy. The purpose of the new Data Protection Policy is to create a framework of rules and procedures within CEU ensuring the privacy of personal data in compliance with the new GDPR adopted by the European Union and applicable to all EU member states from 25 May 2018. The implementation of the new GDPR will require comprehensive changes to the way in which personal data is collected, used and transferred within CEU. Note that the work on the policy continues, and a revised version will be presented for further discussion in the fall. The revised version will include an implementation plan, and will incorporate suggestions from the Senate, as well as any related provisions of the Hungarian national legislation in this area (which is still being developed). To support policy implementation, a dedicated Data Protection Officer will be hired. Trainings will be organized for CEU employees and students. In addition to the general data privacy rules, the new GDPR introduces changes to the management of personal data collected during research. Therefore, CEU’s Ethical Research Policy has also been modified from the point of view of GDPR compliance. The revisions to the Ethical Research Policy contain references to the Data Protection Policy in cases when research involves personal data.  

All policies can be accessed online through CEU Document Repository at  These documents are accessible to CEU community members. Please log in with your Microsoft ID and password to view the documents.  

Pilot strategic initiatives /entry into force: August 1, 2018/ 

The Senate endorsed four new academic initiatives for implementation as pilot projects in the academic year 2018-19. The initiatives are aimed to support the implementation of Goal One of the Strategic Plan: ‘Renew graduate education for the open society in the 21st century’: 

-      Initiative 1 is to offer a minimum of four university-wide courses per year in research methods and theory of scientific inquiry available to all students. These courses should contribute to or replace mandatory elective or elective courses, but not the mandatory methods of each discipline, which each academic unit will continue to teach. Academic units should cross-list as many of these courses as possible and encourage their students to attend. The courses are to be selected and administered through the Intellectual Themes Initiative (ITI). The list of courses for next year will be announced separately. 

-        Initiative 2 is to harmonize the status of doctoral student teaching assistants. Unit-level practices of employing doctoral students for teaching duties (Teaching Assistantships or TA-ships) vary greatly.  Harmonization is necessary for purposes of fairness and for allowing students a chance to practice teaching during their doctoral studies. Details of this initiative will be announced separately.  

-        Initiative 3 is to institute a mandatory class-free slot for university-wide courses. Each department/school should keep three slots per week for this purpose:  Wednesday and Friday 9-10:50, and Friday 11-12:40. This means that no mandatory courses should be taught in these slots in any department/school.  Electives or mandatory electives can still be scheduled. 

-        Initiative 4 aims to introduce more flexibility into the curriculum by instituting (a) individual study plans for academically advanced master’s students (primarily in two-year programs, but in some cases one-year students may also be eligible). Academic units may set minimum GPA requirements for students and should design a fair and transparent process through which decisions are made about students’ applications for individual study; and (b) tutoring for doctoral or advanced master’s students individually or in very small groups in case their curricular needs are not met within the university’s regular offerings. A tutoring course would provide two credits for the students and one credit for the instructor.  This one credit may be rolled over to the following academic year and replace one regular teaching credit in that year or any of the following ones.  

Further communication on all four initiatives will follow from the Pro-Rector for Social Sciences and Humanities. 

Department of Network and Data Science /entry into force: May 9, 2018/ 

The Senate approved the establishment of a new Department of Network and Data Science. A new department will be established on the basis of the Center for Network Science (CNS). The department will continue offering the PhD program in Network Science and the Advanced Certificate program in Network Science. In cooperation with the Department of Economics and Business, the Department of Network and Data Science will also offer in the future two new Advanced Certificate programs recently approved by the Senate (conditional on NYSED registration): Advanced Certificate in Data Analysis and Advanced Certificate in Data Science. 

Suspension of the Advanced Certificate Program in Science Studies /entry into force: August 1, 2018/ 

Upon proposal of the Science Studies Committee endorsed by the Senate Curriculum and Academic Quality Assurance Committee, the Senate approved to suspend the Advanced Certificate program in Science Studies, in light of low student demand and lack of critical mass of faculty for maintaining a viable offer.   

New members to some Senate committees /entry into force: April 6, 2018/ 

The Senate elected new members to the Ethical Research Committee and the “Egyetemi tanar” Applications Evaluation Committee.  

For the Senate Committees, please see: