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Austria: one more step in CEU’s transition to Vienna

The so-far Budapest-based Central European University (CEU) has made one more step in its transition to Vienna. In mid-July, the Austrian Agency for Quality and Accreditation (AQ Austria) granted the CEU institutional accreditation in Austria. It also accredited a first batch of six-degree programmes. These are two Bachelors, in “Culture, Politics and Society” and in “Politics, Philosophy and Economics”, as well as Master programmes in “International Public Affairs”, “Public Policy” (Erasmus Mundus), “Women’s and Gender Studies” and “Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management”. CEU announced that, in the course of the next academic year, it will submit all of its US-accredited programmes for accreditation in Austria.

Austria’s Minister for Education and Research, Iris Rauskala, welcomed CEU’s move to Vienna. She said “CEU is an excellent enrichment for Austria as a location for science. The new university has already received numerous ERC Starting Grants at its Hungarian location, to support its excellent researchers.” The CEU will become Austria’s 16th private university. Teaching in Vienna will probably start in the year 2020. The CEU will in the first phase be housed provisionally in the Favoriten district of Vienna and only later move to its final abode at the Otto Wagner site.

The university had, after long but unsuccessful negotiations with the Austrian government over its stay in Budapest, finally decided to move most of its operation away from Hungary. The university had been created with strong financial and moral support from George Soros, the Hungarian-born US billionaire, liberal and philanthropist and the favourite enemy of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

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