We, members of the Refugee Outreach & Research Network (ROR-n) in Vienna, Austria, have learned that the Hungarian Government is trying to close down the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest. This is of particular concern for us as a network because of the significant role CEU has played to date in the inclusion of refugees in the European academic landscape.
Not only has CEU provided scholarships and opened their classes to registered refugees, and launched the Refugee Education Initiative and other open learning initiatives, it also offers more than a dozen graduate courses addressing the topic of migration and forced displacement. As ROR-n we welcome these CEU initiatives in accordance with our own vision for more open and diverse scholarship across Europe and beyond.
We believe that the Hungarian Government’s decision is an attack not only on CEU, a thought leader in the region, but on academic freedom more broadly. We stand in full solidarity with CEU in its fight against the illiberal measures of the Orban Government. We are re-posting here the CEU response to the proposed amendments in Hungarian Higher Education Law, from the official CEU website.
At the same time, we feel it is important to express our solidarity with all other scholars fighting for their academic freedom against illiberal governments and other political interest groups around the world, for example, our Turkish colleagues constantly facing limitations of their academic freedom.
In this spirit, many of us chose to support the March for Science on April 22, 2017, “the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments”, and will continue to stand up for open and diverse scholarship in Europe and around the world.