The Central European University (CEU) will officially launch US-accredited degree programmes in Vienna from September 2019. Students already enrolled will, however, be able to complete their studies in Budapest.
“CEU has been forced out of Hungary,” said CEU President and Rector Michael Ignatieff. “This is unprecedented. A US institution has been driven out of a country that is a NATO ally. A European institution has been ousted from a member state of the EU.”
Over the last 20 months, CEU has taken all necessary steps to comply with Hungarian legislation, launching educational activities in the US that were certified by the US authorities. Nevertheless, the Hungarian government has made it clear that it has no intention of signing the agreement that it negotiated over a year ago with the State of New York, which would ensure CEU’s operations in Budapest for the long term.
“The government has committed an injustice toward its own citizens, the hundreds of Hungarians who work and study at CEU, and thousands of Hungarian alumni and their families,” continued Mr Ignatieff.
“The City of Vienna and the federal government of Austria have welcomed us with open arms as part of their commitment to academic freedom and research. Despite our consternation at being forced to leave Budapest, we are excited to offer our students the opportunity to study in another great Central European city,” added Leon Botstein, chairman of the CEU board of trustees.
The university retains accreditation as a Hungarian university and will seek to continue teaching and research activity in Budapest for as long as possible.