April 1 2017
Mr. Zoltán Balog
Minister of Human Capacities
1054 Budapest, Akadémia utca 3.
Dear Mr Balog
FROM THE FACULTY OF PHILOSOPHY, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
I write on behalf of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge to register our protest at the modifications of the Higher Education Law being considered by the Hungarian Parliament, which are likely to result in the closure of the Central European University in Budapest.
The closure of this centre of excellence would be a disaster for higher education and intellectual life in Hungary and for Europe as a whole. You do not need to be reminded of the achievements of CEU in its short life so far. In our subject, philosophy, the small department already has a reputation as providing one of the best PhD programmes in continental Europe. Other departments (e.g. Cognitive Science, Economics) have won themselves exceptionally large numbers of European Research Council grants at all levels, and members of a number of departments have won prestigious international prizes. The quality of the CEU’s academic staff and degree programmes is unquestionable.
CEU is an American and Hungarian institution, and it has conformed to all relevant laws in Hungary and the USA. Although chartered in the USA as well as in Hungary, its home is in Budapest and it an institution that enhances the reputation of your country throughout the world.
We respectfully urge the government to withdraw the proposed legislation and enter consultation with CEU. The government cannot let this outstanding institution leave Hungary.
Huw Price FBA
Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy
Faculty of Philosophy
Cambridge CB3 9DA
+44 (0)1223 760830