Central European University

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Central European University
founding 1991
Sponsorship Private
place Budapest and Vienna
President and Rector Michael Ignatieff
Students 1,448 (2018/19)
Employee 392
Annual budget EUR 61.3 million
Foundation assets $ 880 million
Networks IAU
Website www.ceu.edu

The Central European University (CEU; Hungarian : Közép-európai Egyetem ) or German Central European University is a private university founded in 1991 with headquarters in New York ( USA ), a campus in Budapest (Hungary) and since July 2019 with an accreditation in Vienna . The university was previously accredited and licensed in the USA and Hungary , but teaching took place exclusively in Budapest. English is the official language at the university.

The CEU was founded in 1991 by hedge fund manager, political activist and philanthropist George Soros . Today the CEU has an endowment of 880 million US dollars (2010).

On December 3, 2018, the CEU announced its imminent withdrawal from Budapest. Michael Ignatieff , rector and president of the CEU since 2016, complained that the CEU had been forced out of a country that is an ally of the USA. At the same time, the university announced that it would move to Vienna.

Provost of the CEU is Liviu Matei (as of October 2019).

On September 30, 2019, the course began in a temporarily used building in Vienna-Favoriten . In the 2019/2020 academic year, all 600 students in the USA-accredited programs will study at least one trimester in Vienna, the rest in Budapest - 2019/2020 is known as a transition year. The teachers commute. From the 2020/21 academic year, all study programs will then only be offered in Vienna.

The move to Vienna should be completed by 2025 and cost around 250 million euros. This will only be possible with the support of the founder Soros.

You are experimenting with new Masters and PhD programs. From the 2020/2021 academic year, bachelor's degree programs will also be offered for the first time, one of the prerequisites for the CEU to be accredited as the 16th Austrian private university in July 2019 and thus to award degrees recognized in Austria. All of the degrees are also accredited in the United States.


The main goal of the university was originally to promote open societies in post-communist countries and to support and help shape the change in the countries constructively and actively. In the last ten years the self-image of the university has become increasingly international and expanded to global contexts. Young people from many countries study at the CEU today.

The CEU School of Public Policy was founded in summer 2011 .


The CEU was founded in 1991 by a group of American and Central European intellectuals around the investor George Soros . Soros donated 420 million euros to the university as a sponsor and chairman of the Open Society Institute .

Beginning with two locations in Budapest (Hungary) and Prague (Czech Republic), the university had to move completely to Hungary in 1996 under pressure from the then Czech government. Jacek Rostowski from Poland, who was the Polish Minister of Finance from 2007 to 2013 , has been the head of the university's economic department since 1995 . Rector from 2009 to 2016 was the American diplomat, human rights activist and former Vice President of Harvard University John Shattuck .

The CEU offers postgraduate programs ( Master , PhD ) in the fields of humanities and social sciences, law, environmental sciences, economics and mathematics.

The economics faculty of the CEU, the CEU Business School , was also founded by intellectuals and politicians around Soros in 1988, initially independently of the CEU, as the International Management Center (IMC) in Prague. In 2001 it became part of the CEU in Hungary. In 2017, the Business School merged with the Economics Department to form the Department of Economics and Business.

Development since 2017

In 2017, the right-wing conservative Hungarian government changed the Higher Education Act so that the CEU could only continue teaching under certain conditions from September 2017. CEU Rector Michael Ignatieff tried to avert this change and sought dialogue.

On April 9, 2017, 60,000 demonstrators, including students and teachers, called for "academic freedoms to be safeguarded in Hungary". 900 academics around the world signed the letter of protest against the attempt to drive the university of Orbán critic Soros out of Budapest.

In March 2018 it was announced that the area of ​​the Vienna Otto Wagner Hospital is to become the new location of the Central European University, as it is moving from Budapest to Vienna. The future campus of the CEU will occupy a third of the area. Operations in Vienna should begin in autumn 2019, initially in Quellenstrasse in the Vienna district of Favoriten . The CEU anticipates that around 700 students will be enrolled in Vienna in the 2019/20 academic year. The full operation of the CEU in Vienna should start in the winter semester 2022/23.

The requirements imposed by the Hungarian government were met by the CEU. On the one hand, this was the requirement to operate a university in the country of origin if the sponsor was not based in the EU, which was fulfilled by the partner institution Bard College in New York. On the other hand, an intergovernmental agreement was necessary, which ensured the validity of the agreements in the USA. New York State negotiated such an agreement with Hungary. The Hungarian government refused to ratify it.

On May 7, 2019, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Central European University agreed on a cooperation that provides for cooperation between the two universities.

Board of Trustees

Members of the Board of Trustees are:


The CEU has contacts to Germany through the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich , the Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg (exchange and double degree MBA and business administration degree ), the WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management (exchange), the Humboldt University in Berlin and the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich (exchange as part of the Erasmus program ).

Web link

Individual evidence

  1. News from July 12, 2019
  2. Facts & Figures - Students , on ceu.edu. Retrieved October 17, 2018
  3. Facts & Figures - Staff , on ceu.edu. Retrieved August 23, 2017
  4. Facts & Figures - Revenues and Expenses , on ceu.edu. Retrieved October 17, 2018
  5. ^ A b Aisha Labi: For President of Central European U., All Roads Have Led to Budapest. In: The Chronicle of Higher Education. May 2, 2010, accessed December 3, 2018 .
  6. ^ List of IAU Members. In: iau-aiu.net. International Association of Universities, accessed July 28, 2019 .
  7. ceu.edu
  8. derstandard.at : Top university forced to withdraw from Orbán's Budapest
  9. Education: CEU sees move to Vienna as a “new beginning” orf.at, October 7, 2019, accessed October 7, 2019.
  10. SG: The long-term student. The Central European University in Budapest (CEU). In: Pester Lloyd. Pester Lloyd, 2008, accessed April 5, 2017 .
  11. New Name New Place | Department of Economics and Business. Retrieved October 17, 2018 .
  12. CEU fears for existence: "Budapest is our home". In: news.orf.at. ORF Online and Teletext GmbH & Co KG, March 30, 2017, accessed on April 5, 2017 : "The CEU asks the government to dispense with the proposal to change the law and to engage in dialogue."
  13. A university as a victim of Orban's “war” against Soros: That says its prorector , watson.ch , September 2, 2018
  14. Budapest: Tens of thousands demonstrate for the Eliteuni CEU orf.at, April 10, 2017, accessed on April 10, 2017.
  15. derstandard.at: Central European University moves from Budapest to Vienna - derstandard.at/2000093002537/Central-European-University-uebersiedelt-von-Budapest-nach-Wien . Article dated December 3, 2018, accessed December 3, 2018
  16. orf.at: CEU first moves to favorites . Article dated March 22, 2019, accessed March 22, 2019.
  17. orf.at: Soros University comes to Otto Wagner Hospital . Article dated March 12, 2018, accessed March 12, 2018.
  18. orf.at: Soros-Uni: lease for 99 years . Article dated April 9, 2018, accessed April 9, 2018.
  19. Soros-Uni is about to be released from Budapest , NZZ, October 26, 2018, page 3, title of the print edition
  20. CEU and TUM sign cooperation agreement. Retrieved June 19, 2019 .
  21. CEU and TUM Sign Cooperation Agreement | Central European University. Retrieved June 19, 2019 .
  22. ^ Board of Trustees | Central European University. Retrieved July 5, 2019 .
  23. ^ List of bilateral agreements. (PDF) Retrieved April 5, 2017 . as part of the Erasmus program on the Erasmus / Lifelong Learning Program (LLP) page . Eligibility. In: ceu.hu. Archived from the original on July 22, 2009 ; accessed on April 5, 2017 .