Message from President Robinson and Provost Connolly About Central European University
April 24, 2017
Members of the GC community,
As many of you know, Hungary’s governing Fidesz party passed legislation that could eject Central European University from the country. The bill also imposes major restrictions on foreign universities, which are now banned from awarding diplomas unless government-level agreements have been arranged.
Ranked among the world’s top 200 universities, Central European University was founded in 1991 to "resuscitate and revive the intellectual freedom" that communism and fascism had repressed. Its graduate programs, focused on the humanities and social sciences, enroll 1,440 students from 108 countries. The new bill marks the first time that a European Union member country has passed legislation that so brazenly assails higher education.
For those of us in the academy, Hungary’s actions violate core principles of what it means to study, research, and learn freely. Any single threat or fear of sanction can have consequences for higher education worldwide.
On behalf of the Graduate Center, we express solidarity with Central European University. We encourage all members of our community to learn more and take action.
The autonomy of higher education, and the functions performed by universities in fostering democracy—through educating informed and critical thinkers and providing a sphere for open debate—must be fiercely protected. We will monitor events and keep you updated on how else the Graduate Center might assist.
President Chase F. Robinson
Provost Joy Connolly
Submitted on: APR 24, 2017
Category: General GC News | President's Office - Archive | Provost's Office