CEU Launched Invisible University for Ukraine

April 28, 2022

Vienna, April 28, 2022 -- Central European University (CEU) launched a certificate program (offering ECTS credits) for junior and senior undergraduate (BA) and graduate (MA and PhD) students from Ukraine, whose studies have been affected by the war, whether still residing in Ukraine or in refuge. Participation in the program, which kicked off on April 20th, is free of charge. Any student who has been pursuing a BA, MA, or doctoral degree program in a Ukrainian university in the academic year 2021-22 was eligible to join. The language of instruction is English and Ukrainian.

“Born out of an intention to help displaced Ukrainian students by creating an inclusive framework of instruction, IUFU was set up in a frantic speed in merely three weeks. We have currently more than 130 students from Ukraine, taught by over 50 instructors, and 30 doctoral students who volunteered to mentor in the program. While many of our students are in very precarious conditions, they are all extremely motivated to pursue their studies and reflect on the current situation with the help of scholarly frameworks of interpretation,” says Professor Balazs Trencsenyi, one of the main organizers of IUFU, from CEU’s Department of History.

The Invisible University for Ukraine (IUFU) is a hybrid non-degree academic program is an emergency response to the consequences of the war in Ukraine. It is also meant as a pilot project for a more inclusive transnational concept focusing on students and scholars at risk. Is not meant to replace or duplicate the existing online education in Ukrainian universities – it is to support them and provide help for filling the lacunae that temporarily emerged due to the Russian military invasion.

"I am grateful to my colleagues and PhD students at CEU who responded so quickly and sensitively with this initiative of academic solidarity to the terribly unimaginable situation of Ukrainian students. Our first online meetings with them were very inspiring, as they consider this possibility to study at CEU as important now and for their future. It is also reassuring how many Ukrainian and international prominent scholars immediately agreed to teach at the IUFU," adds IUFU Program Director Ostap Sereda (Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv / Recurrent Visiting Professor, CEU Department of History).  

The program offers an intensive learning experience, placing questions relevant for Ukrainian students into a transnational comparative perspective. It aims at familiarizing the students with various cutting-edge interpretative paradigms and methodological traditions in the humanities and social sciences. The goal is to prepare students for deeper integration into the international academia and broad ongoing discussion on the role of Ukraine in changing European and global contexts. For further details see https://www.ceu.edu/non-degree/Invisible-University and https://www.ceu.edu/non-degree/Ukrainian-students. The project is financially supported by the Open Society University Network.

Notes for Editors:

The name of the transnational solidarity program “Invisible University for Ukraine” evokes the various 19th and 20th century underground and exile educational initiatives in Eastern Europe, as well as the tradition of Invisible Colleges formed after 1989 in the region.

The program is designed in a hybrid format (online teaching with a possibility of shorter onsite visit to Budapest in the form of a summer school), and is implemented in cooperation with Ukrainian (Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Lviv) and EU-based (Warsaw) university partners. It is comprised of three components: thematic courses (in the humanities and social sciences), mentoring (in English and Ukrainian), skill-building (academic English, academic writing), career support for future education.

Learn more about the Ukraine Solidarity Initiatives of the CEU community here.

Read CEU faculty experts’ insights provided for the press on the war here.

About CEU

One of the world’s most international universities, a unique founding mission positions Central European University (CEU) as both an acclaimed center for the study of contemporary economic, social and political challenges, sustainability and the environment, and a source of support for building open and democratic societies that respect human rights and human dignity.

Academic freedom is core to everything we do, and so is solidarity, of which we have benefited ourselves from many quarters. From September 2021, for example, CEU supports the Free SZFE Association through sharing educational and accommodation facilities with their students and faculty in response to the attack on the academic freedom of Budapest's University of Theatre and Film Arts (SzFE), when many SzFE students decided to continue their studies with the FreeSzFE Association set up in the wake of the protests.