Tell U.S. government: Central European University must stay open!
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We are American academics who are outraged by Hungarian legislation threatening to close Central European University in Budapest.
In recent days, scholars, university leaders, and public officials across the world have rallied in support of CEU, which has been threatened with closure by legislation advanced by the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. We were pleased to see that the U.S. State Department joined this chorus of support:
"The United States is concerned about legislation proposed by the Government of Hungary on March 28th that imposes new, targeted, and onerous regulatory requirements on foreign universities. If adopted, these changes would negatively affect or even lead to the closure of Central European University (CEU) in Budapest.
CEU is a premier academic institution accredited in the United States and Hungary, with staff and students from over 100 countries. It has strengthened Hungary’s influence and leadership in the region through its academic excellence and many contributions to independent, critical thinking.
We urge the Government of Hungary to avoid taking any legislative action that would compromise CEU’s operations or independence."
On Tuesday, the Hungarian Parliament passed the legislation, making it almost impossible for CEU to remain open. https://www.ceu.edu/article/2017-04-04/ceu-condemns-passage-amendments-hungarys-higher-education-law-restricting Among other things, CEU, which the government casts as a “foreign institution,” will be forced to receive authorization from U.S. federal authorities, and to open a US campus, within months, in order to remain open in 2018.
Because CEU is a joint Hungarian-American university, the United States has been thrust into the forefront of the unfortunate struggle over its future. The U.S. is the global leader in higher education.
We thus call on the U.S. Congress to express its clear support for the academic freedom of Central European University, and we call on the Trump Administration to do everything in its power to support CEU’s continued operations.
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