Intellectual Themes Initiative

CEU has launched the University-wide Intellectual Themes Initiative (ITI) as part of a process to explore and develop a new institutional mission that would take into account the accelerating rate of change of the contemporary world and the overwhelming growth in available information about it. The University needs to educate students and conduct research on how to navigate through this complexity. The challenge ahead is to find the best way to integrate existing resources, use the wisdom of the disciplines and the strengths of separate units in an inspiring and productive academic enterprise. Therefore, the University is seeking to respond by initiating the University-wide Intellectual Themes Initiative and inviting its faculty members, student, administrative staff and external partners to propose joint ideas for tackling complex societal issues.

The University-wide Intellectual Themes Initiative is built around themes that serve as federative platforms encompassing a range of teaching and research activities across the University, as well as civic engagement and outreach initiatives. They have been formulated to address complex issues requiring new interdisciplinary or multi-disciplinary approaches to teaching and research.

For inquiries about the Intellectual Themes Initiate or University-wide Seminar series please write to


The Intellectual Themes Initiative (ITI) Selection Committee, chaired by Professor Helga Nowotny, former president of the European Research Council, and comprising of four CEU faculty members, CEU’s President and Rector John Shattuck and Provost and Pro-Rector Liviu Matei, invites new proposals for new teaching, research, or community engagement projects starting in Academic Year 2016-17. The Fall deadline for submission is October 26, 2016. Find attached a revised, more detailed call and application form. 

Professor Aleh Cherp of the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy at CEU dispels a popular misconception that it was Fukushima’s nuclear disaster that forced Japan to develop renewable energy in a recent letter entitled Energy policy: Renewables targeted before Fukushima, published in scientific journal Nature.

CEU launched a new website for its Intellectual Themes Initiative (ITI) at on April 18. The Initiative, launched in fall 2015, aims to promote exploring and developing new activities that encourage cross-disciplinary teaching and research, prompt new forms of civic engagement, enhance the academic profile of CEU and contribute to shaping its future institutional direction.

A university-wide seminar convened by the Provost and entitled “Open Societies and Free Minds: Hannah Arendt and the Idea of Open Society,” held March 18, provided a framework for discussion of how to conceptualize, study and promote open society today, as an institution of higher education.