Universiteit Leiden

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Statement in support of Central European University

Leiden University would like to express its concern about the proposed Hungarian higher education draft law, which, if adopted, would make the functioning of Central European University (CEU) in Budapest nearly impossible. 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.

The CEU and Leiden University maintain institutional contacts and have long engaged in exchange of students and staff. CEU graduates take part in Leiden post graduate and doctoral programmes with great success.

Beacon of excellence 

More importantly, the Central European University is a beacon of teaching and research excellence and a revered academic institution not only in Central Europe, but in the whole of Europe and the world. The CEU has been a centre of intellectual debates and development since its inception and an example of an academically excellent and societally relevant institution.

Academic freedom

We express our strongest support for the university’s continued functioning without administrative or regulatory obstacles, for the benefit of young people in Central Europe and scholarly research and debates all over the world. As scholars of Leiden University, an academic institution with a long tradition of defending academic freedom, whose motto is “Bastion of liberty” (Praesidium Libertatis), we respectfully ask the Hungarian government and parliament to refrain from adopting a law that would create administrative restrictions for academic freedom.