Our Vienna report: the relocation of the CEU was painful

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Says Núr, a Syrian student studying on the scholarship at the CEU campus in Vienna, about where he would be able to use his knowledge gained during his university education in the future. The young woman a political refugee in Austria after the Damascus government made it clear a few years ago that he would do better not to go home anymore.

The CEU promotes diversity and variety: this is immediately apparent as we enter the Vienna building. The university is also proud to have students from 90 countries around the world, which, according to Andrea from Mexico, has benefits such as sharing information and creating a better-fit workforce in a globalized world.

Andrea thinks.

The Index staff visited CEU’s Vienna campus, which boasts state-of-the-art technology for distance learning as well as equipment suitable for an American university. The temperature of those entering the building is measured on automated, face-recognition devices, the corridors are marked separately on the corridors to keep their distance, and in the library we can take out the desired books in a matter of seconds by reading the university ID card.

When we visited Vienna, we saw that the CEU is grateful, you are well in Vienna – the people interviewed by the Index did not bleed so much because most of the university left Hungary. Although moving was a challenge for university staff, some students were not even affected and others were able to complete their studies online.

It has been almost two years since the Central European University announced it was moving to Vienna. This was due to the amendment of the Hungarian Higher Education Act, which is widely considered to be specifically aimed at making the CEU impossible to operate in Budapest. Due to the legislation, CEU was not able to admit new students to the Budapest campus from January 2019, so students They start in Vienna CEU-accredited courses in the United States and Austria.

According to the CEU press office, the city of Vienna approached and greeted the location of the relocation, which cost about two years and cost about 200 million euros, and the Austrian authorities were also helpful in the accreditation process due to the relocation. Students interviewed by the Index described Vienna as an inclusive, diverse city that has become an excellent home for the university. Incidentally, the campus is located in one of Vienna’s most varied districts, the ‘infamous’ Favoriten – given the international atmosphere.

In a statement to the Index, the CEU emphasized that “Austria accepts, respects and values ​​academic freedom”, but that its geographical location is also advantageous. Although he regrets his departure from Budapest, Vienna has opened up new opportunities for building research and cooperation relations, to which the Austrians are specifically open. The CEU sees the Vienna presence as a kind of expansion, as the university also maintains institutions in New York, Budapest and Vienna.

However, not everything has been thrown away in Hungary, many projects are based on research in Hungary, and several institutes of the university remain in Budapest.

The CEU said.

Although the courses have moved to Vienna, the CEU Institute for Democracy, the CEU Institute for Advanced Studies, the CEU Summer University (CEU SUN) and the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives (OSA) will continue to operate in Budapest. .

The university emphasizes that in its research, as well as in its cultural and professional cooperation, it also made a good advertisement for Budapest by the fact that foreign students came to Hungary. This has also been beneficial from a national economic point of view, as “in recent years, more than ten thousand foreigners have spent years in Hungary as CEU students, and every year many hundreds of researchers come to CEU for longer or shorter periods of time.”

It is not easy to quantify the financial benefits of CEU’s presence in Budapest, but the university highlights: by paying various taxes, contributions and service fees



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