Invisible University



After the successful 2022 Spring Semester, Central European University is continuing the certificate program (offering ECTS credits) for junior and senior undergraduate (BA) and graduate (MA and PhD) students from Ukraine, whether residing in Ukraine or in refuge, whose studies have been affected by the war. The name of this transnational solidarity program evokes the various nineteenth and twentieth-century underground and exile educational initiatives (such as the “flying universities”) in Eastern Europe, as well as the tradition of Invisible Colleges formed after 1989 in the region.

The program offers an intensive learning experience on the role of Ukraine in changing European and global contexts, placing questions relevant for Ukrainian students into a transnational comparative perspective.  The program is not meant to replace or duplicate the existing education opportunities in Ukrainian universities, but to support them by filling the lacunae that temporarily emerged due to the Russian invasion. By strengthening the ties of Ukrainian educational institutions, as well as scholars and students, to transnational networks, we hope to counter the destructive effects of brain drain through creating access to educational infrastructure and academic knowledge for students irrespective of their current location. The program is designed in a hybrid format (online teaching with a possibility of shorter on-site visit to Budapest in the form of a winter and summer schools). 



The program is implemented by Central European University (Budapest Campus), in cooperation with Ukrainian (Ivan Franko National University of Lviv and Ukrainian Catholic University), and EU-based (Imre Kertész Kolleg at the University of Jena) university partners. CEU recently joined the Ukrainian Global University initiative; we also seek to expand partnerships with universities in Kyiv, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Odesa and other Ukrainian university centers.

The project is supported by the Open Society University Network, with co-funding from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), as well as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The educational program is comprised of three components:

- online thematic lecture courses (in the humanities and social sciences),

- mentoring (in English and Ukrainian)

- skill-building (academic English, academic writing) and career support for future education.

Eligibility: Any student who has been pursuing a BA, MA, or doctoral degree program in a Ukrainian university in the academic year 2021-22, or who starts her/his university studies in 2022. Participation in the program is free of charge.



IUFU offers a trans-disciplinary core course that can be taken by students with different backgrounds and six further courses in four thematic tracks (History, Culture and Heritage Studies, Society, Politics and Law). Each course consists of 12 sessions (100 minutes); equal to 4 ECTS credits. Courses will be taught online in late afternoons (Central European Time) once a week per class. Mentoring and Academic English classes are open for those who take at least one thematic course or the core course. 


The duration of the Fall semester classes is September - December 2022. The most motivated and successful participants will have an opportunity to participate in a Winter School on CEU’s Budapest campus in the second half of January.

Course offerings:

i) the core coursePDF icon Ukraine: Imperial, Soviet, Independent, European

and six thematic courses:

ii)      PDF icon History of Public Sphere in Ukraine and East Central Europe (History track)

iii)    File War, Memory, and the City. Shaping Collective Remembrance and Re-Articulation of Past in Ukraine in European Contexts(Culture/Heritage track)

iv)     PDF icon Ideologies on the Move: Transnational Ideas in Local Intellectual Cultures (Politics/Law track)

v)       PDF icon Migration, Displacement and (Trans)National Solidarities in Ukraine in the Global Contexts (Society track)

vi)     PDF icon Heritage-Based Post-War Urban Reconstruction in Ukraine (Culture/Heritage track)

vii)  File Ukraine in/and Europe: Frameworks of European Integration(Politics/Law track).

Courses ii) to v) are co-funded by the German DAAD action, “Ukraine digital: Ensuring academic success in times of crisis,” and implemented in partnership with the Imre Kertész Kolleg at the University of Jena. Course vii) is implemented in cooperation with Ivan Franko National University of Lviv and the Department of Political Science and Management, University of AgderKristiansand, Norway.


Program director: Ostap Sereda, Associate Professor in History at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv and recurrent guest professor at CEU.

Welcoming word from the director:

Main organizers:

László Kontler, CEU Professor, History, Acting Rector of Közép-európai Egyetem    

Vladimir Petrovic, Research Professor, Institute of Contemporary History, Belgrade, and CEU Democracy Institute

Joachim von Puttkamer, Professor in History at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena and Director of the Imre Kertész Kolleg

Nazar Stetsyk, Associate Professor, Department of Theory and Philosophy of Law, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv.

Balazs Trencsényi, CEU, Professor, History Department, lead researcher of History WG, CEU Democracy Institute

Renáta Uitz, CEU Professor, Legal Studies, Co-Director of CEU Democracy Institute

 The program is taught by prominent scholars linked to the Central European University (including members of its faculty, as well as researchers of CEU Democracy Institute and the Open Society Archives), Ukrainian and German partner institutions, and internationally renowned specialists of the topics from East Central Europe, Western Europe, and North America. The mentoring is offered by advanced doctoral candidates from these institutions.


The program categorically excludes any cooperation with scholars having current affiliation with any Russian state institutions or anyone supporting the Russian aggression. Some prominent Russian colleagues who protested against the Russian invasion in Ukraine, gave up their position, and emigrated, after being targeted by the authorities for their critical stance, will also contribute to co-teaching some of the classes. In addition, some current CEU PhD students of Russian background who publicly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine will take part in the small group seminars.

The list of instructors includes:

  • Edit András, CEU Visiting Professor at the Department of History (2022 Spring)
  • Volodymyr Artiukh, Postdoctoral Researcher at COMPAS, University of Oxford, co-director of the Society track (2022 Spring)
  • Oksana Barshynova, Deputy Director of National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kyiv (2022 Summer School)
  • Adam Bodnar, Professor, Department of Law, SWPS University Warsaw (2022 Spring)
  • Olena Boryslavska, Professor at the Constitutional Law Department of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, editor-in-chief of the Ukrainian Journal of Constitutional Law
  • András Bozóki, CEU Professor, Department of Political Science
  • László Bruszt, Professor, CEU Department of Political Science, Co-Director of CEU DI (2022 Spring and Fall)
  • Kateryna Busol, Senior Lecturer, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (2022 Spring)
  • Lenka Bustikova, Associate Professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University (2022 Spring)
  • Juraj Buzalka, Associate Professor of Social Anthropology, Comenius University in Bratislava (2022 Spring)
  • Péter Csunderlik, Assistant Professor, ELTE, University Budapest, Institute of Historical Studies (program director of 2022 Summer School)
  • Dániel Dózsa, PhD Candidate, Leiden Law School (2022 Spring)
  • Alexander Dmitriev, Threatened Scholars Initiative Fellow, CEU (2022 Spring and Fall)
  • Kateryna Dysa, Associate Professor, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Department of History
  • Dace Dzenovska Associate Professor in the Anthropology of Migration at the University of Oxford (2022 Spring)
  • Natalia Dziadyk, CEU doctoral student in Public Policy (2022 Spring)
  • Zsolt Enyedi, CEU Professor, Department of Political Science
  • Borbála Faragó, CEU Lecturer, Center for Academic Writing (2022 Spring)
  • Olena Fedyuk, MSCA IF fellow in the project “RightsLab: Towards Transnational Labor Rights? Temporary Work Agencies and Third Country National Workers in the EU” at the University of Padua (2022 Spring)
  • Alberto Fierro, anthropologist, MTST – Movimento dos Trabalhadores sem Teto (Homeless Workers’ Movement), Brazil (2022 Spring)
  • Monika Florczak-Wątor, Professor at the Constitutional Law Department of the Jagiellonian University, Head of the Center for Interdisciplinary Constitutional Studies
  • Lizaveta German, curator of the national pavilion of Ukraine at the 59th Venice Biennale / National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture, Kyiv
  • Mykola Gnatovsky, Professor of International Law, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, President of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (2015-2021) (2022 Spring)
  • Kateryna Gornostai, film-maker, Kyiv
  • Róbert Gulyás, conference interpreter, European Parliament, English teacher
  • Karl Hall, CEU Associate Professor, Department of History (2022 Spring)
  • Yaroslav Hrytsak, Professor, Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv
  • Caroline Humphrey, Professor of Anthropology, University of Cambridge (2022 Spring)
  • Maciej Janowski, Director of the Polish Historical Institute, Warsaw, guest professor at CEU (2022 Spring)
  • Tetiana Kalynychenko, adviser for Peaceful Change Initiative (London) (2022 Spring)
  • Natalia Khanenko-Friesen Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta, director of Candian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS)
  • Kseniya Kharchenko, Documenting Ukraine project at the IWM, Vienna (2022 Summer School)
  • Oksana Kis, Head of Department of Social Anthropology, Institute of Ethnology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (2022 Spring)
  • Oleksiy Kononov, CEU alumnus in Legal Studies (2022 Spring)
  • Michal Kopeček, Professor, Charles University, Prague, and co-director, Imre Kertėsz Kolleg, University of Jena
  • Yuliia Kovalenko, Festival Programmer, Docudays UA (2022 Spring)
  • Péter Krekó, Director of Political Capital Policy Research and Consulting Institute (2022 Summer School)
  • Ilya Kukulin, Threatened Scholars Initiative Fellow, CEU (2022 Spring)
  • Volodymyr Kulikov, CEU Visiting faculty, Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv, co-director of the Heritage and Cultural Studies track (2022 Spring, Summer School, Fall)
  • Börries Kuzmany, Assistant Professor, Vienna University, Institut für Osteuropäische Geschichte
  • Jozsef Laszlovszky CEU Medieval Studies Department, Cultural Heritage Program, Professor (2022 Spring)
  • Zsofia Lorand, Marie Curie Fellow, University of Cambridge (2022 Spring)
  • Maria Maiofis, Threatened Scholars Initiative Fellow, CEU
  • Irina Matkovska, English language teacher (2022 Spring)
  • Christian Marxsen, Senior Research Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for Comparative Public and Public International Law in Heidelberg
  • Dora Mérai, CEU Medieval Studies Department, Cultural Heritage Program, Lecturer, co-director of the Heritage and Cultural Studies track
  • Oksana Mikheieva, Professor, Ukrainian Catholic University and European University Viadrina (2022 Spring)
  • Miklós Molnár, English language teacher (2022 Spring and Fall)
  • Jan-Werner Müller, Professor of Politics at Princeton University (2022 Fall)
  • Norman V. Naimark, Professor of History, Stanford University
  • Vlad Naumescu, CEU Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology (2022 Spring)
  • Angelika Nussberger, Professor, Chair of Constitutional Law, Public International Law and Comparative Law Department of the Cologne University, Director of the Institute for Eastern European Law and Comparative Law, German Member of the Venice Commission
  • Mitchell A. Orenstein, Professor of Russian and East European Studies, University of Pennsylvania
  • Daniel Palm, Research Fellow, CEU Democracy Institute / Donau University Krems, coordinator of online contents (2022 Spring and Summer School)
  • Volodymyr Paniotto, Director General of the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS), professor at the Sociology Department of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
  • Taras Pashuk, PhD, Lawyer at the Secretariat of the European Commission for Democracy through Law, Lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv
  • Roman Petrov, Professor, Head of International Law Department, Jean Monnet Chair in EU Law and Head of Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the National University “Kyiv Mohyla Academy” (2022 Spring)
  • Eszter Polgari, CEU, Assistant professor, Department of Legal Studies (2022 Spring and Summer School)
  • Andrii Portnov, Professor of Entangled History of Ukraine at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), and a Director of the PRISMA UKRAЇNA Research Network (2022 Spring and Fall)
  • István Rév, CEU Professor, History, Director of Blinken OSA Archive (2022 Spring and Summer School)
  • Tatiana Safonova CEU doctoral alumna in Sociology, co-director of the Society track  (2022 Spring)
  • Oksana Sarkisova, OSA Archive, Research Fellow, CEU Visual Studies Platform (2022 Spring and Summer School)
  • Alexander Semyonov, CEU Visiting Professor in History / University of Bielefeld, Department of History, Editor, Ab Imperio (2022 Spring)
  • Viktoria Sereda, Research Fellow, Imre Kertėsz Kolleg, University of Jena (2022 Spring, Summer School, and Fall, course director of Migration, Displacement and (Trans)national solidarities)
  • Oxana Shevel, Associate Professor of Political Science at Tufts, President of the American Association for Ukrainian Studies (AAUS)
  • Bohdan Shumylovych, Head of Public History Programs at the Center for Urban History, Lviv (2022 Spring and Summer School)
  • Marci Shore, Associate Professor, Yale University (2022 Spring, Fall, and Summer School)
  • Svitlana Shymko, Film Director  (2022 Spring)
  • Marsha Siefert, CEU Associate Professor, Department of History (2022 Spring, Director of Mentoring)
  • Volodymyr Sklokin, Associate Professor, Department of History, Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv (2022 Spring, Fall, and program director of the Summer School in Lviv)
  • Svitlana Shlipchenko, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Center for Urban Research
  • Iryna Solonenko, "Zentrum Liberale Moderne" in Berlin, Senior Fellow
  • Jason Stanley, Professor of Philosophy, Yale University (2022 Summer School)
  • Nazarii Stetsyk, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Ivan Franko National University, co-director of the Law and Politics track  (2022 Spring), co-director of the core course (2022 Fall)
  • Kristóf Szombati, Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany (2022 Spring)
  • Andrea Tompa, writer (2022 Summer School)
  • Philipp Ther, Professor, University of Vienna, RECET – Research Center for the History of Transitions, Director  (2022 Summer School) 
  • Tetiana Vodotyka, Institute of Ukrainian History in Kyiv/University of Göttingen, and founder of the e-journal “MIKS” (2022 Summer School; and course director of War, Memory and the City in Fall 2022)
  • Jordan Voltz, CEU MA student, English language teacher
  • Diana Vonnák, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of St. Andrews (2022 Spring and Fall)
  • Dmytro Vovk, Associate Professor at the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University in Kharkiv and the Ukrainian Catholic University, Director of the Center for the Rule of Law and Religion Studies 
  • Daniel Walkowitz, Professor Emeritus, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, Department of History, New York University
  • Veronica Wendland, Herder-Institut für historische Ostmitteleuropaforschung
  • Sophia Wilson, Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Larry Wolff, Julius Silver Professor of European History, New York University, Co-Director, NYU Florence
  • Serhy Yekelchyk, Professor, University of Victoria
  • Oksana Yurkova, Senior Researcher, Institute of Ukrainian History, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

  Organizational help and doctoral mentors:

  • Gábor Ács, CEU Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Antonio Salvador Alcazar III, CEU doctoral student in Political Science
  • Rabia Merve Demirkan Aydogan, CEU doctoral student in History
  • Polina Baitsym, CEU doctoral student in History
  • Lucija Balikic, CEU doctoral student in History
  • Rohan Basu, CEU doctoral student in History
  • László Bíró, Psychological Counselor, CEU Dean of Students Office
  • Zsuzsanna Bukta, CEU Admissions Office
  • Aliaksandr Bystryk, CEU doctoral student in History
  • Péter Csunderlik, ELTE University Budapest, program manager of the summer school
  • Ceren Cetinkaya, CEU doctoral student in International Relations
  • Cicek Dereli, CEU doctoral student in Medieval Studies
  • Anna Derzhypilska, Lecturer, Theory and Philosophy of Law Department, Ivan Franko University, Lviv
  • Semir Dzebo, CEU doctoral student in International Relations
  • Hong Do, CEU doctoral student in Political Theory
  • Sofia Dyak, Director, Lviv Center for Urban History
  • Anastasia Felcher, Researcher, Open Society Archives
  • Marco Gabbas, CEU alumnus
  • Eva Gedeon, Director, CEU Summer University
  • Julia Giese, Lecturer, Göttingen University
  • Mariia Golovina, CEU doctoral student in History
  • Mate Halmos, CEU Socrates Program
  • Edit Jeges, CEU, project assistant of the summer school
  • Tamara Kamatovic, CEU Center for Teaching and Learning, Postdoctoral Fellow,
  • Aleksandr Korobeinikov, CEU doctoral student in History
  • Michael Kozakowski, CEU Center for Teaching and Learning, Director
  • Yaroslav Kovalchuk, University of Alberta, doctoral student
  • Ruslana Koziienko, CEU doctoral student in Sociology and Anthropology
  • Alisa Lozhkina, CEU doctoral student in History
  • Dana McKelvey, CEU doctoral student in Sociology and Anthropology
  • Anastasia Morozova, CEU doctoral student in Medieval Studies
  • Anton Mudrak, CEU alumnus in History
  • Daniela Munteanu, CEU doctoral student in History
  • Lilla Nagy, CEU, coordinator of the summer school
  • Petar Odak CEU doctoral student in Gender Studies
  • Oleksandr Okhrimenko. Assistant Professor at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
  • Kinga Ágnes Páll, Executive Assistant, CEU DI
  • Greta Rauleac, CEU doctoral student in Sociology
  • Elettra Repetto, CEU doctoral student in Political Science
  • Oleksii Rudenko, CEU doctoral student in History
  • Oleksandr Shtokvych, Head of Secretariat of the Open Society University Network 
  • Ewelina Sikora, CEU doctoral student in Histor
  • Jan Smolenski , The New School University, New York, doctoral student
  • Marta Spodaryk, lawyer, Constitutional Court of Ukraine, Kyiv
  •  Olha Stasiuk, CEU doctoral student in Medieval Studies
  • Orsolya Sudár, CEU doctoral student and CEU Democracy Institute
  • Serge Sych, CEU Vice President for Enrollment Management, Career Services and Alumni Relations
  • Matyas Szabo, Senior Program Manager at the Yehuda Elkana Center for Higher Education
  • Csaba Szilagyi, OSA Archive, Chief Archivist
  • Alexandra Talaver, CEU doctoral student in Gender Studies
  • Darya Tsymbalyuk, fellow of IWM Vienna
  • Simon Trlifaj, CEU doctoral student in Political Science
  • Roman Tymoshevskyi, CEU doctoral student in Medieval Studies
  • Barbora Valikova, CEU doctoral student in International Relations
  • Stefan Voicu, CEU doctoral student in Sociology and Anthropology
  • Yevhen Yashchuk, CEU MA student in History


In the 2022 Spring Semester (April-June), 130 students representing 36 Ukrainian universities and academic institutions from 15 cities attended our classes, taught by 37 mentors and 80 lecturers (most of them teaching pro bono). 

Professors Stetsyk and Petrovic with students of IUFU in Lviv, April 2022


Summer School in Budapest and Lviv, 10-19 July

35 selected participants from the cohort of IUFU-students participated in the summer school, held parallelly at CEU Budapest campus and the Ucranian Catholic University campus in Lviv. 

Participating students reflected on how Ukrainian culture, identity, and institutional practices can be valorized in the global discussion and how resilient civic and academic organizations can be created and maintained in the face of different threats, coming from external oppression, or from dysfunctional, hybrid or openly authoritarian regimes. Students also discussed audiovisual and teaching materials that could articulate their voice in the debate about postwar Ukraine both internally and externally and were invited to design the curriculum for different possible courses on topics they consdered the most relevant.

The program consisted of

i, Thematic discussions with prominent Ukrainian, Central European and American intellectuals on how literature, cinematography, media, or memory politics could face the past, including war atrocities and mass violence in Eastern Europe, and how to think about postwar reconstruction

ii, Visiting institutions and communities that play an important role in defending human rights and in maintaining the alternative public sphere under the pressure of an authoritarian regime and talking to key representatives of local civil society

iii, City walks in Budapest and Lviv about memory politics (monumentalization of the past, competing narratives, heritage projects, etc) and a daytrip to Bratislava

iv, Film Club: watching and discussing movies dealing with ethnical, generational and cultural conflicts and competing memories in East Central Europe


Program Directors of the Summer School: Péter Csunderlik, Assistant Professor, ELTE University Budapest, Institute of Historical Studies and Volodymyr Sklokin, Associate Professor, Department of History, Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv

Organizers: Ostap Sereda, Daniel Palm, Balazs Trencsényi, and Renáta Uitz.

Coordinators: Lilla Nagy and Edit Jeges

The detailed program can be found at PDF icon iufu_budapest_summer_course_schedule_08.07.pdf


Applications should contain a short (up to 1 page) motivation letter and short CVThey  can be submitted in English or Ukrainian.

Research scholarships are available on a competitive basis for those students who wish to implement a special empirical or theoretical project in addition to their course work in IUFU, drawing on their academic background, previous work, and relevant to the current situation. Those who wish to apply for a research scholarship should also include a concise project proposal (between 400 and 800 words), describing the main lines of the envisioned research project and its desired outcome, including references to the relevant sources and secondary literature on the topic. 

Deadline for applications for the FALL TERM: 12 September 2022, 24.00.

Applications should be submitted to