The Central European University (CEU) was founded in 1991 by George Soros, the American-Hungarian financier and philanthropist, in response to revolutionary changes that were transforming Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. His goal was to create an institution that would be a source of intellectual support for building open and democratic societies that respect human rights.
In the two decades since, CEU has become a highly international institution, with students and faculty from over 100 countries, and is accredited in both the United States and Hungary. It enrolls 1400 students in master’s and doctoral programs, and has a faculty/student ratio of 7:1.
Our reporter Shahin Ghoreishi interviewed the CEU’s Edit Kalman, who serves as
Senior Recruitment Coordinator for Publications & Marketing at our Careers Evening. Here’s what she had to say:
Q: What is the main aim of the university?
A: CEU has developed a distinct academic approach: combining regional studies with an international perspective, emphasizing comparative and interdisciplinary research to generate scholarship and policy initiatives, and promoting good governance and the rule of law.
CEU is known for excellence in teaching and research—with purpose. At the core of its mission lies a set of principles: the pursuit of truth wherever it may lead, respect for the diversity of cultures and peoples, and commitment to resolve differences through debate not denial.
CEU is committed to attracting talented students from around the world—a commitment backed up with unusually generous financial aid. CEU offers masters and doctoral students a variety of financial packages.
Q: How many majors do you offer and are there any new majors in the pipeline in the coming semesters?
A: CEU offers masters and doctoral programs in the social sciences, humanities, law, public policy, business management, economics, environmental sciences and policy, and mathematics. There are 2 Schools, 14 Departments, 35 Master’s degree programs, and 12 Doctoral degree programs. For more, see https://www.ceu.hu/academics
Q: What are the strong points that attract students to apply to this university?
A: Key elements that attract students to CEU include the student-oriented academic culture and the 7:1 faculty-student ratio, the internationality of our multicultural, multi-language student population, and the University’s focus on incorporating the best practices of US and European education.
In both traditional and emerging fields, CEU encourages creative approaches to teaching and research. We emphasize the importance of crossing disciplinary lines to address complex issues. We pursue partnerships that help us integrate theoretical research with professional practice. And we convene leading thinkers from around the world to explore some of the most vexing problems facing society.
In addition to the academic opportunities, CEU provides students with the skills and credentials for successful employment in the public, private, nonprofit, and higher education sectors. Our Career Services Office helps them—before and after graduation—to hone job-seeking skills and to find positions in the international job market. Among other services, it liaises with hundreds of international employers who return to CEU time after time, enticed by our students’ unusual combination of skills, experience, and potential.
Q: Do you offer internship for students, including non-resident students?
A: Our Career Services Office and many of our individual academic departments work with external organizations to provide internship opportunities for CEU students in a variety of fields. Some of our academic programs require internships, including Public Policy and Environmental Science and Policy; others require specific fieldwork relevant to the program, such as Sociology and Social Anthropology.