The Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin – Institute for Advanced Study shares the concerns of the Central European University (CEU) about the proposed amendments to Act CCIV of 2011 on National Higher Education, which was submitted to the Hungarian Parliament on March 28. We, along with the CEU’s faculty and students, fear that the amendment threatens the existence of this outstanding university. An internationally renowned and respected academic institution, CEU has served for many years as a focal point of research in Central and Eastern Europe and as a magnet for academics and talented students from all over the world. It has helped to academically integrate Central and Eastern with Western Europe while connecting both with the rest of the world.
From the university’s inception, the Wissenschaftskolleg has profited from CEU, and particularly from its Institute for Advanced Study, a successor to the Collegium Budapest, which the Wissenschaftskolleg had helped to found. The Wissenschaftskolleg has a vital interest in attracting highly qualified scholars from Hungary and the countries with which Hungary has close intellectual and historic ties. The CEU and its Institute for Advanced Study have played and continue to play an important role in identifying these scholars. Both institutions provide a bridge between Hungarian and international universities and to Institutes for Advanced Study in other countries.
Scholarship and research are crucially dependent on international exchange of and between scholars. Such exchange is the essence of research: different and critical perspectives that transcend national horizons. All Institutes for Advanced Study operate on this principle, and so does the CEU, rightly famous for its diverse and international faculty. Nationalizing the Hungarian academic landscape not only threatens the country’s international reputation, it harms academic freedom itself. The Wissenschaftskolleg expresses its solidarity with Central European University in protecting the freedom of academic research and teaching.
Rector of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin - Institute for Advanced Study Berlin
Berlin, March 31, 2017