CEU Opens Summer School for Ukrainian Students and Opens “Unissued Diplomas” Exhibition to Honor Lives of Students Lost Due to the War in Ukraine

July 5, 2023

July 5, 2023 – As students cultivating their future filled the halls of Central European University (CEU) for theInvisible University for Ukraine Summer School (IUFU) and the CEU Summer University on Monday, they were greeted with the stark reminder of those young lives whose dreams will never be fulfilled. An exhibition, Unissued Diplomas, on display features symbolic diplomas issued posthumously to Ukrainian students – some who sacrificed their studies and aspirations for the sake of their country; some who died in the occupied territories, and some who became victims of Russian attacks on civil infrastructure – highlighting the ongoing price people in Ukraine pay daily for their freedom.  

Each diploma uncovers a personal story about an education, life goals, and changes in the past year of those who will never graduate as a result of Russian aggression on Ukraine. The diplomas share the stories of students’ lives, hopes and dreams – stories that in some small way keep their memory alive. The exhibition will be inaugurated on July 2nd, on the opening day of the IUFU summer school. 

The audio tour of the exhibition can be listened to online at this link: https://soundcloud.com/user-418708485/unissued-diplomas-audiotour-1 

Invisible University for Ukraine (IUFU), the intensive online program for Ukrainian students offered by Central European University (CEU), is opening its third on-site school since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion in February 2022, this year offering two parallel sessions in Budapest, Hungary, and in Lviv, Ukraine with cooperation of the Lviv Center for Urban History. The summer school will connect students from all academic and geographic backgrounds (many of them internally or externally displaced students) and globally renowned scholars. The focus is on cultural representation, decolonization, and canon-building in Ukraine. Notable invited guests include Marci Shore, Jan Kubik, Joep Leerssen, Ostap Slyvynsky, Tamara Hundorova, Maria Sonevytsky and Andriy Zayarnyuk  

Creating a symbolic and also institutional bridge between Lviv and Budapest, the 2023 IUFU Summer School offers an example of defiance against autocracy (not only in Russia) and the cynical negation and destruction of Ukrainian cultural heritage,” said Professor Balazs TrencsenyiStudents gather from twenty cities accross Ukraine and Europe, to meet each other and a team of engaged academics, reflecting together on the global implications of the war and the ways of contributing to a democratic and culturally open postwar Ukraine,” Trencsenyi added.  

Emerging as an immediate response to the Russian aggression on Ukraine, IUFU set its mission to provide access to a high-quality education for Ukrainian students whose education has been disrupted by the war and prepare them for intellectual reconstruction of Ukraine. Since then, IUFU has served as a safe and productive academic space fostering intellectual growth and meaningful discussions on critical present challenges and Ukraine's historical and future role in the global context; successfully supporting over 400 students from diverse backgrounds, facilitating their academic projects and creating opportunities for intellectual exchange. The winter semester of the IUFU witnessed the participation of more than 200 students from over 30 institutions across Ukraine.   


Notes for Editors:

The Invisible University for Ukraine (IUFU) aims to facilitate discussions on reflecting on the war experience and its implications for postwar reconstruction of culture and society. It also aims to maintain international attention on the Ukrainian cause beyond news coverage and empower the voice of the young generation. Key topics include documenting and reflecting on the Ukrainian war experiences within the cultural sphere, reshaping Ukraine's position on the European cultural map, exploring interpretative frameworks, addressing multiethnic heritages, examining national canon-building, discussing inclusion/exclusion dynamics, cultural diplomacy, art and war, economic structures of cultural production, and more. The school aims to expose students to critical perspectives on Ukrainian cultural heritage, preparing them for active participation in international public discussions.  

Unissued Diplomas was initially inspired by a similar exhibition organized in Lviv in August 2022, commemorating students who lost their lives in the first months of the full-scale war. In January 2023, Ukrainian students from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy selected the 36 student stories which compose Unissued Diplomas and called for international cooperation to bring the personal stories to university campuses worldwide. The exhibition has been displayed around the world, being featured within more than 70 university and activist communities.  

“They were people of our age or even younger. They traveled, fell in love, supported others, and studied their favorite subjects,” said one of the organizers Yevhen Yashchuk. “We want people to think about the price of unprovoked aggression. The war is still going on; there is a strong necessity to defend freedoms; and students in Ukraine still need our support.”  

For more on the exhibition, see https://www.ceu.edu/article/2023-06-29/unissued-diplomas-exhibition-ceu-honors-lives-students-lost-due-war-ukraine  

One of the world’s most international universities, a unique founding mission positionsCentral European University as both an acclaimed center for the study of economic, historical, socialand political challenges, and a source of support for building open and democratic societies that respect human rights and human dignity. CEU is accredited in the United States and Austria,and offers English-language bachelor's, master's and doctoralprograms in the social sciences, the humanities, law, environmental and network sciences, management and public policy. CEU enrols more than 1,400 students from over 100 countries, with faculty from over 50 countries.   

In 2019 CEU relocated from Hungary to Austria as the Hungarian government revoked its ability to issue U.S.-accredited degrees in the country. As a result, CEU offers all of its degree programs in Vienna, Austria, and retains anon-degree, research and civic engagement presence in Budapest, Hungary, through its CEU Democracy Institute, the Institute for Advanced Study, the CEU Summer School and The Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives (OSA), and its Hungarian language public educational programs and public lectures.