Gesellschaft für Wissenschaftsphilosophie
German Society for Philosophy of Science
Mr. Zoltán Balog
Minister of Human Capacities
1054 Budapest, Akadémia utca 3.
CC: Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, Office of the Prime Minister
Düsseldorf, March 31, 2017
Expression of solidarity with the Central European University
Dear Minister Balog,
As members of the executive committee of the German Society for Philosophy of Science (GWP), we are writing to express solidarity with Central European University and express concern at proposed legislative changes to CEU's status in Hungary. These changes would endanger the academic freedom vital for CEU's continued operation in Budapest and would strike a blow against the academic freedom that enables all universities, including those in Hungary, to flourish.
In twenty-five years, Central European University has established itself as a private interna-tional university with a global reputation for teaching and research in the social sciences and humanities. It attracts students from 117 countries and faculty from 40. The University as a whole is accredited by the US Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), and its masters and doctoral programs are registered by the New York State Education De-partment (NYSED). Its programs are also certified by appropriate Hungarian authorities and it has complied in full with all Hungarian laws.
In international rankings, some of CEU's departments are rated among the top 50 in the world. CEU also makes Hungary a regional leader in winning highly competitive European Research Council grants. Several of its faculty, in fields as various as medieval studies, net-work and cognitive science, have won the most prestigious awards in their disciplines.
CEU is a valued member of the international academic community and its presence in Hun-gary has added to the reputation of Hungarian academic life on the international stage. The government's proposed legislation to alter its statute of operation in Hungary would com-promise its academic freedom and set a dangerous precedent for academic life in other countries.
We respectfully urge the government to withdraw the proposed legislation and enter consul-tation with CEU, bearing in mind the damage such legislation might do to Hungary's well-founded international academic reputation, to its relationships with its European partners and with the United States.
The executive committee of the GWP
c/o DCLPS, Chair for Theoretical Philosophy
University of Duesseldorf
40225 Duesseldorf, Germany