WASHINGTON, DC—After a lengthy legal battle with authorities, Central European University (CEU), a graduate-level, private American-accredited university that has operated in Vienna and Budapest since 1991, has announced that it will move the bulk of its European operations to Vienna after the Hungarian government refused to sign an agreement allowing it to continue teaching U.S.-accredited programs in Hungary. There will always be disagreement about what programs an institution should keep or terminate, but these are decisions that fall to institutional leadership.
The state may reasonably assert that public institutions serve taxpayers well through a robust core curriculum, but it has no business interfering with a private university’s prerogative to teach certain subjects: That is a perilous downward trajectory. An independent higher education system with due regard for academic freedom is a pillar of a free society and should be protected from the political whims of those with power.
CONTACT: Doug Sprei, email@example.com