Central European University and the Graduate School of the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (GS IST Austria) have signed a memorandum of understanding. A PhD-granting unit at the prestigious research institution, GS IST Austria is dedicated to cutting-edge research in the natural sciences (physics, mathematics, computer and life sciences).
The MoU represents a commitment to cooperation on a number of levels – ranging from student exchange and joint academic events to research collaborations. In the current academic year, the cooperation will involve CEU’s Departments of History, Philosophy and Cognitive Science. In future years, activities are expected to expand to include more CEU departments.
The cooperation has already begun, with an IST Austria doctoral student attending courses at CEU’s Vienna campus. According to the MoU, a maximum of five doctoral students per year from each partner may attend courses offered in English at the other institution, on a mutual basis. Credits will be mutually recognized.
Maria Kronfeldner, Professor of Philosophy at CEU and involved in setting up the cooperation, connects the aims of the cooperation with the current predicament of CEU: “We live in a time of attacks against academic freedom, which is simultaneously a time in which skepticism regarding natural and social sciences spreads in the public sphere. In such a time, it is of utmost importance that we interact – across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. And that is what the cooperation with IST allows us to do” she said.
“We can reflect together with the natural scientists: on the methods of natural and social sciences and on the objectivity of these sciences. We can ask how trust in sciences is generated, abused or prevented; how science and technology should connect to society; how the ethical and political sides of technological developments can be factored in; and, last but not least, how an autonomous and simultaneously responsible science is possible as part of open societies” Professor Kronfeldner added.
“Graduate students at IST Austria use their first year to take courses and rotations, to prepare for affiliation with one of our research groups. Thus, we teach a wide variety of courses, and students from other universities are very welcome to attend these. IST Austria students also take courses offered at other universities. To facilitate this cooperation Graduate School of IST Austria has agreements with several universities in Vienna, and we are very happy to add Central European University to the list” said Professor Nick Barton, dean of GS IST.