CEU’s New Advanced Certificate in Romani Studies to be Offered to Master’s and Doctoral Students Beginning in Fall 2021

January 29, 2021

The New York State Education Department has completed the registration of Central European University’s (CEU) new Advanced Certificate in Romani Studies, making the course of studies available to admitted master’s and doctoral students beginning with the fall term 2021.

The advanced certificate program in Romani Studies offers the core knowledge, expertise and critical competences and skills to lead educational and research projects as well as design and implement policies related to Roma equality, social inclusion and diversity management. Since 2017, the Romani Studies Program has been an independent academic unit of CEU with the goal of engaging scholars, policy makers and activists in interdisciplinary knowledge production and debate on Roma issues.

CEU Assistant Professor and Chair of the Romani Studies Program, Angela Kocze, reflects on the recent addition, commenting: “The Advanced Certificate Program in Romani Studies galvanizes the interdisciplinary scholarly inquiries across various departments and place Romani peoples in global perspective. Romani Studies is envisioned as intellectual reparation, providing critical approaches, knowledge and data about the racialized Roma who are usually absent from the mainstream academic discourses.”

The Advanced Certificate in Romani Studies is closely aligned with CEU’s mission, committed to providing world-class graduate education for building open and democratic societies that respect human rights and human dignity. The program aims to provide students with theoretical, methodological and analytical tools to understand the position of Roma in Europe historically and in the present moment and to contribute to the promotion of social change in our society.

“For almost 20 years, CEU has facilitated access to graduate education for young Roma from Central and Eastern Europe and everywhere in the world. We remain committed to continuing this program,” remarks CEU Provost and Professor Liviu Matei. “ Why is it important? Why not focus on access to primary and secondary education, which is already a problem for the Roma, who are largely excluded from it as well? It is not possible to take part in the public debates todays, to speak up on behalf of one’s community without a graduate degree. If there are no Roma holding master’s and PhD’s, they will not be able to work as policy makers, politicians, journalists, academics or scientists. They will not be able to be part of the public debate that impacts their own communities and the society at large. Only non-Roma would then speak up for the Roma, at best. A graduate degree is an entry ticket to the agora: local, national and global. This is what we endeavor to achieve with our Roma programs. We will not give up on them.”

Created as an interdisciplinary program for Roma and non-Roma students, the advanced certificate offers an opportunity to engage with broader theories, policies, legislation and research methodologies fundamental to understanding the complex situation of Roma and the multifaceted challenges that policy makers are facing in designing equality and social inclusion policies as well as diversity management in the businesses sector.

Mathias Möschel, Head of Department of Legal Studies, who will teach a core course explains, "The Advanced Certificate Program in Romani Studies is key for CEU, its students and its future. It contributes profoundly to CEU's mission by ensuring true democracy for all by providing the practical and academic basis to understand and combat racial discrimination not only against Roma but racialized minorities around the world. Moreover, it brings together faculty of various departments at CEU by offering unique classes such as Critical Race Theory, which situate racial discrimination in a broader context and reality." Admission to the certificate program is open to master’s and doctoral students in CEU’s departments of Public Policy, History, Sociology and Anthropology, Nationalism Studies, Gender Studies, Cultural Heritage, International Relations and European Studies and Political Science.

Associate Professor, Violetta Zentai, who has made significant contributions to Roma studies at CEU, adds, “The New Advanced Certificate in Romani Studies is a remarkable achievement of various past and recent interconnected initiatives at the CEU in which students, alumni, faculty, and staff worked together to make an interdisciplinary field of studies academically recognized.” Zentai notes that the program will offer intriguing possibilities to pursue cross-departmental teaching and learning on the intersections of Romani politics, racial hierarchies, gender regimes, and other pressing and inspiring matters of in/equality struggles, discussions, and interventions.

Through the Romani Studies Advanced Certificate, CEU will provide intellectual leadership to promote social justice to one of the most marginalized and racialized groups in Europe, building on the university’s longstanding reputation in enhancing higher education, research and professional opportunities for Roma.