Statement of concern over the future of CEU

London, 5th April 2017

On 4 April 2017, the Hungarian parliament passed amendments to its national law on higher education (123 votes for and 38 votes against). The law is still to be signed by Hungarys president. If passed, the law would likely make it impossible for the Central European University (CEU) to operate in Hungary, where it has been based for the last 26 years.

CEU is a world leader in academic research and teaching. Moreover, CEU is a vital hub of nationalism scholars and scholarship, with a dedicated nationalism studies programme.

This legislative change poses a threat not only to the CEUs continued operation but also to academic freedom and independent scholarship worldwide. It also endangers the future training of masters and doctoral students from Hungary, elsewhere in Europe and from around the world, and the professional careers of CEUs international staff.

The Association for the Study of Nationalism and Ethnicity, and its journals,Nations and Nationalism,andStudies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, stand in solidarity with CEU, its staff and students. We strongly condemn the bill which seeks to shut down CEU. We urge the Hungarian government to withdraw the bill and to allow CEU to operate freely and independently within Hungary, as do other private universities in democratic countries.

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