EARMA statement on CEU and St Petersburg
Recent decisions in Hungary and Russia suggest that Governments are using legislation to curtail the academic freedoms of Universities. Of particular concern are;
- The recent Hungarian Higher Education Law restricting the rights of the existing legally established Central European University to continue to operate in Hungary.
- The recent decision by the State Education Regulator to withdraw the license of The European University (a private university) operating in St Petersburg.
Both of these universities operated in the correct legal frameworks established and maintain that they still do so. In both cases there is the appearance of a politically motivated desire to close them down.
While every university, like every other citizen, should operate within the law. Fashioning the law, or 'interpreting' the law to achieve unjust ends is not acceptable and in these cases, the restrictions on universities to be open educators with the freedom to teach, research and engage is particularly worrisome.
For the benefit of their students and the societies they operate in universities must continue to be free to pursue their objectives.