Statement in support of Central European University

The Russian and East European Studies unit in the University of Oxford’s School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies views the Hungarian government’s proposed legislation, apparently designed solely to curtail the operation of the Central European University, with regret and dismay.

We agree with CEU’s president and rector, Prof. Michael Ignatieff, that the legal proposals which impose disproportionate burdens on the University, are ‘discriminatory’ and designed to exclude CEU from operating in Hungary. Any change forcing CEU to quit Hungary would lead to lasting damage to Hungary’s reputation for academic freedom. It would lead to turbulence in Hungary’s relations with its European Union partners and its ally, the United States. All of this is avoidable.

We express our solidarity with the staff and students of Central European University. We call upon the Hungarian government to withdraw this legislation and negotiate with CEU to find a satisfactory way forward and to uphold freedom of academic inquiry in Hungary.

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