Newsletter - December, 2017

What Our Alumni Say

Akop Gabrielyan (MA 2012-2014)

Executive Assistant to Founder & CEO at Teach For Armenia Foundation "Today I visited CEU, where a Master's degree was received some years ago. Referring to the years of my study here, I always remember these years with satisfaction and the feeling of pride, as I didn't betrayed my views, remained loyal to the idea of academic impartiality..."

Hani Sulastri Hamid & Marko Kukec (MA 2012-2013)

Hani is Planning, Learning and Accountability Coordinator at Rikolto Indonesia & Marko is Post-doctoral researcher at Helmut Schmidt Universität, Hamburg "When we first met as colleagues at the Department of Political Science, we could not have imagined how profoundly the year spent at the CEU will shape our professional and private lives."

Bruno Castanho Silva (PhD 2012-2017)

Post-doctoral researcher, Cologne Center for Comparative Politics, University of Cologne "Pursuing a PhD in political science at CEU was one of the best decisions I took in my academic career. The department is incredibly diverse in both methodological and substantive interests, with world class scholars."

Gergo Zavecz (MA 2010-2011, PhD 2011-2017)

Junior Research Fellow, Central Bank of Hungary "My time at CEU was remarkable in so many aspects: I was a CEU student when I did my first empirical research, when I first received a research grant, when I first published in a journal, when I was first asked to write a book chapter..."

Imre Szabo (MA 2009-2010, PhD 2011-2016)

Post-doctoral fellow at University College Dublin "The single best decision in my professional life was when I applied to CEU’s Political Science MA program in 2009. I had an experience at CEU that shaped who I am in fundamental ways. I have learnt how to process complex information about the functioning of political systems and societies."

Bogdana Buzarnescu (MA 2009-2010)

Principal Assistant - Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe "CEU, and in particular, it’s political science department, has been an enriching and truly formative period for me. Firstly, it has been a year of intensely demanding yet intellectually stimulating studies."

Constantin Manuel Bosancianu (MA 2008-2009, PhD 2011-2017)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, “Institutions and Political Inequality”, Political Economy of Development research area, WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Germany. "I have pursued both my MA and my PhD degrees at CEU, and I consider it to have been an excellent choice. The programs have allowed me to gain the skills that are indispensable on an increasingly competitive European academic job market."

Maria Fedorova (MA 2013-2014)

Data Analyst at International Organization for Migration "Few years in my life so far were as intense, challenging, and rewarding as the year I spent at CEU. The academic excellence combined with a great variety of classes was truly impressive. The knowledge I got proved to be useful years later and helped me substantially in my work."

Sharon S. Belli (MA 2014-2016)

PhD Researcher, Political Science Dpt., University of Antwerp, Belgium "CEU made me fully understand my potential. Each student is treated individually and professors make sure that everyone develops a critical mind along with valuable skills. I would never have gone on with the research if it were not for the mentors, professors and colleagues who challenged me."

Ivan Nikolovski (MA 2015-2017)

Junior researcher at the Institute for Democracy ‘Societas Civilis’ – Skopje and President of JEF Macedonia – Macedonian national section of the Young European Federalists movement "The primary reason for choosing the 2-year master program in Political Science at CEU was to upgrade my knowledge of the state-of-the-art and gain the necessary research skills. But CEU offered me more than that."

Martin Molder (PhD 2012-2017)

Researcher, Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu "I will always look back at CEU with fondness and gratitude. By now I have been working and studying at different universities for around 15 years. From all that, my time at the Department of Political Science at CEU clearly stands out."

Zainiddin Karaev (PhD 2001-2004)

Trust Funds management - Fragility, Conflict and Violence (FCV) Group, The World Bank "For me, experience at CEU and Budapest has been transformative in every way. CEU offered enabling learning environment, backed by a strong group of professors, who were friendly yet demanding."

Maximilian Spinner (2007, PhD)

Foreign Policy Department of the Federal Chancellery, Berlin “For me CEU was a very intense and enriching experience, both academically and personally. Academically in terms of a demanding but intellectually very rewarding environment, personally through the great variety of students’ nationalities, academic and professional backgrounds.”

Armin Haeberle (MA 2004-2005)

Head of Corporate Development Frankfurt Business Media - Part of the F.A.Z. Publishing Group, Frankfurt, Germany "CEU was a great experience for me. While the academic level was really demanding, the atmosphere was always friendly and the support and interaction with the professors and university staff a real pleasure. I wouldn’t have thought that a Master’s Degree can be so intense and intellectually stimulating and so much fun at the same time."

Juliane Sophie Stein (MA 2012-2014)

Researcher, Institute for Political Science - Centre for Political Science, Hungarian Academy of Science "One of my major motivations for choosing CEU's Department of Political Science was the attractive combination of excellence in teaching and research on the one hand, and the good range of scholarships on the other. "

Olga Victorovna Smirnova (MA 2001-2002)

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, East Carolina University "My life can be divided into before and after CEU. This was a truly transformative year for me as a student of Political Science. Coming from one of the far most regions of Russia, I have experienced new cultures, met new life-long friends..."

Anna and Dave McKeever (MA 2011-2012)

Anna is Research Associate at Ulster University, while Dave is Part-Time Lecturer at Ulster University "We studied together on the Political Science MA program and married two years after meeting for the first time. CEU education, the outstanding staff, the resources at the department, and the intense workload (there is no point in pretending otherwise) change people."

Benedek Kurdi (MA 2012-2013)

Doctoral Candidate, Social Psychology, Harvard University "The curriculum of the Political Science MA program at CEU offers a reasonably broad and, at the same time, in-depth introduction to the social sciences. The Department of Political Science is very special in the sense that whereas each professor has their own preferred methods..."

Aliya Abbasi (MA 2012-2013)

PhD candidate, University of Queensland "Every day spent at CEU was full of learning, challenges, opportunities, motivation and a sense of achievement. I came to the Political Science Department with a particular aim to study research methodology but my whole conception about knowledge has changed."

Batlang Seabo (MA 2012-2013)

Lecturer in Political Science, University of Botswana "Studying at CEU, in the Political Science department, is indeed a rare privilege that will potentially open up opportunities for me in the future, particularly for my career in research. It is a life-changing experience, an investment in my future."

Andrej Nosko (IRES MA 2005-2006, PhD 2013)

Director for Europe at PILnet: The Global Network for Public Interest Law "To succeed in the current world, you need transferable skills, which will enable you to succeed in many walks of life. CEU provided me with intellectually stimulating environment to acquire them and head start my career."

Stela Garaz (MA 2004-2005, PhD 2005-2012)

Consortium Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at Habitat for Humanity EMEA "CEU contributed greatly to my professional growth due to its committed faculty, access to a great variety of resources, and high quality of teaching. But most of all I have benefited of the enriching multi-cultural environment of the university with its unique body of students..."

Daniel Horn (MA 2003-2004, PhD 2004-2010)

Senior Fellow, Institute of Economics, Center for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences "CEU is a true academic and intellectual community. Meeting people from all around the world and contrasting approaches from all around the scientific spectrum helped me to develop personally..."

Grigorii Golosov (MA 1993-1994)

Professor of Political Science, Project Director, Center for Democracy and Human Rights Helix, St. Petersburg "I spent the 1993-1994 academic year at CEU Pol Sci Department, then newly formed. Academically, the time spent was more than worth it. The variety of different subjects within political science that the relatively small academic staff was able to offer was simply astounding."

Peter Bajomi-Lazar (MA 1995-1996, PhD 1997-2004)

Professor of Mass Communication, Budapest Business School University of Applied Sciences "My years as an MA and a PhD student at CEU's Department of Political Science have taught me that social scientists have a certain responsibility toward society, and they have to do their best to help open and free societies develop in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe."

Annamaria Orban (PhD 1999-2003)

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Communication, Budapest University of Technology and Economics "The CEU PhD program helped a mother of two kids near 40 to speed up her academic carrier… "

Evgeni Evgeniev (MA 2000-2001, PhD 2001-2007)

First Secretary at Permanent Representation of Bulgaria to the European Union “CEU is a meeting place for people of different cultures, knowledge and experience. "

Mano Toth (MA 2010-2011)

PhD, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge "My time at CEU was very rewarding. Engaging in thought-provoking debates expanded my vision and allowed me to go beyond the rather top-down learning experience of my undergraduate years"

Jennifer Yip (MA 2010-2011)

Supervisor, Survivors of Trafficking Empowerment Program (STEP), Refugee Services of Texas "CEU has allowed me develop my capacity in many ways. The activities organized on and off campus made me more socially active and the courses more academically-driven. "

Miles Maftean (MA 2010-2011, PhD 2012)

Lecturer, Eotvos Lorand University "My experience at CEU led me to develop a whole different idea of what learning actually is - it isn't simply obtaining and retaining truth and justifying this truth, but understanding what truth means to all different groups of people around the world"

Winne Ko (MA 2010-2011)

Project and Policy Officer at International Diabetes Federation Europe "CEU is truly global and the 10 month experience not only filled up my intellectual capacity, but also changed my way of thinking about the wider world"

Yuliana Palagnyuk (MA 2003-2004)

Head of the Jean Monnet Department, Senior Lecturer, Department of Public Policy and Management, Institute of Public Administration, Black Sea Petro Mohyla State University in consortium with “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” "CEU was a wonderful experience as it helped me to grow both professionally and personally. "

Endre Danyi (MA 2002-2003)

Lecturer and Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Sociology, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main "The Central European University is all about transformation and movement. It is about the fascination with the ways in which societies, places and practices transform – sometimes slowly, sometimes overnight."

Emilia Lubenova (MA 2007-2008)

Business Development Expert at New - I JSC, Bulgaria "CEU and my Budapest experience are very precious to me, I will always keep them in my heart. You helped me to be what I am now - I feel young and successful and it is sure that you contributed a lot to this feeling of mine"

Sule Chousein (MA 2006-2007)

PhD Candidate, Atatürk Institute on Modern Turkish Studies, Bogazici University "I regard my one year MA experience at the CEU as the best experience of my life. CEU is indeed a unique home which blends academic excellence with her truly dedicated, friendly and professional academic staff with equally exceptional students from all over the world."

Mariana Sireteanu Gustavsson (MA 2000-2001)

Postdoc in Political Science, Linköping University, Sweden "Looking back I can describe CEU as a great meeting place for people, for different cultures, knowledge and experience"

Hairong Lai (PhD 2003-2008)

Executive Director, China Center for Overseas Social and Philosophical Theories "Central European University opened up a new world of research in political science to me."

Peter Stamatov (MA 1995-96)

Associate Professor of Social Research and Public Policy and Distinguished Researcher and Santander Endowed Chair at the Carlos III-Juan March Institute for the Social Sciences (Madrid) "I remember the year I spent at CEU as an exciting time of exposure to ideas and people new to me"

Peter Vagi (MA 2002-2003)

Senior Adviser, Policy Making, Strategy and Reform at OECD - OCDE / SIGMA, Paris, France "Studying at Central European University was one of the greatest journeys of my life. Being a Hungarian myself, it was also a great experience to explore my home city, Budapest together with foreigners from all over the World"

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Warm greetings from your Political Science Department at CEU. I am writing to keep you in the loop with developments at your old and hopefully still cherished department at CEU.

In last year’s newsletter we wrote that 2016 was a special year as we were celebrating CEU’s 25th Anniversary. 2017 was even more special, though we never expected CEU would become world famous for being “a community, brought together as never before by our defense of academic freedom,” to use CEU’s Rector and President Ignatieff’s words. Last year we were boasting about our stunning new building at Nador u. 13-15. This building has now become the symbol of our #IstandwithCEU/#aCEUvalvagyok campaign. We are very grateful for the enormous support we have received from you – our alumni during the last couple of months. We still need to rely on you: we need your support and help more than ever in attracting the next generation of talented PolSci students.

The application deadline for our MA or PhD programs is 1 February 2018. If you know someone who might be interested in studying Political Science at Central European University, please forward them the announcement attached - perhaps by adding a short personal note that encourages them to apply.

Last but not least, we would like to remind you of our Alumni Ambassador Program – please join by sending us an email.

Thank you very much for everything – and, please, do not forget: we always love to hear from you.

It is our tradition to forward you messages of our faculty members. This time, 'meet again' Andrés Moles, who is currently serving as the Director of the Doctoral School of Political Science, Public Policy, and International Relations.

"Dear alumni and friends, 

I’m Andrés Moles and I have been teaching political philosophy at the department for almost 10 years. Some of you might remember me, but most of you might have tried to run away from my classes.

As most of you know, last April the Hungarian parliament approved a new law that threatened the very existence of CEU. Approx. 80,000 Hungarians came to the streets demanding academic freedom, hundreds of institutions (both international and Hungarian) sent letters of support to CEU, and thousands of individuals joined the #istandwithCEU/#aCEUvalvagyok. Perhaps partly because of the outstanding support, the government seemed to relax the conditions for the new law. By early autumn, media outlets reported that a basis for an agreement between Hungary and New York had been reached and that there was hope that government would sign it in a matter of weeks. Moreover, CEU established a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Bard College whereby CEU will conduct some academic activity in New York. It looked like CEU would be able to comply with the new law within the January 2018 deadline. However, a few weeks before the original deadline expired, the government unexpectedly announced a one year deadline extension.

Although the extension looks like a generous offer, in fact it is both unnecessary and harmful. It is unnecessary because the only condition missing is the Hungary-New York agreement. The treaty is waiting to be signed at the Prime Minister’s desk. It is harmful, because it extends CEU’s legal uncertainty for yet another year. This move by the government involves a strategic change in the way that CEU is being attacked: in April the attack was frontal, now we are under siege. One of the reasons for this change is the upcoming elections in the spring. Another reason is the amazing support that CEU received from every corner of the Earth. The government’s hope is that the legal limbo in which CEU now operates will wear out faculty and students, making it harder for CEU to recruit a new cohort of students and attract international faculty. By continuing asphyxiating CEU, it hopes to diffuse the pressure and use CEU as a political tool.

However, not everything is bad. The European Commission has filed a lawsuit against the Hungarian government at the European Court of Justice on ‘lex CEU’ and two other issues. The EJC’s decisions are mandatory for all member states of the EU.

Many of us are optimistic, and believe that CEU has a future in Budapest. It is our conviction that the final outcome of the battle will ultimately depend on the resilience of CEU. We do not let ourselves to be intimidated. Teaching is going on as usual. The university makes plans for the future. We enjoy the new buildings and wonder at the new library. Incredibly enough, you can find students and faculty reading and writing in the library.

Let me assure you that we will be here by the time the EJC passes its ruling. CEU’s Rector and President, Michael Ignatieff, has repeatedly stated that CEU is not in danger and that it will continue to operate under any circumstances.

In the meantime, the new deadline extension makes it legal for CEU to start its recruitment campaign for the 2018-2019 academic year. The legal framework guarantees that all CEU students can finish their studies until 2021-2022.

You are our strength. If you wish to continue supporting CEU, the best way to do it is to apply to its programs, and encourage friends and students to apply. CEU will be in a strong position if it can show that, despite everything, it is able to attract a healthy number of applicants and to enroll great students. CEU continues to offer generous financial aid schemes for MA students and all PhD programs are fully funded. The application deadline is 1st February 2018, for more information see our website.

My best wishes,

Andrés"