BPA and Heads of Department of Philosophy open letter to Hungary in support of CEU Budapest

The Hungarian Parliament are instigating legislation that would make it impossible for CEU to continue its present operations in Budapest (details are here). The BPA have sent a letter to the Hungarian Minister responsible for universities recommending that Parliament revise these plans. The letter was co-signed by 30 departments of philosophy from the UK and Ireland.

Mr. Zoltán Balog
Minister of Human Capacities
1054 Budapest, Akadémia utca 3.

Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary;
Office of the Prime Minister;
Central European University

Dear Minister Balog,

As Heads of Departments of Philosophy, we are writing on behalf of our colleagues to voice our concern at the legislative changes to CEU’s status in Hungary. We believe that these changes are not in Hungary’s interests, will endanger the academic freedom vital for CEU’s continued operation in Budapest and will strike a blow against the academic freedom that enables all universities, including those in Hungary, to flourish.

The CEU Philosophy department is home to world class scholars, attracts visiting philosophers from all over the world to spend time in Hungary, and has produced PhD students who have gone on to work at leading universities in Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the US and the UK. CEU’s Philosophy department is a valued member of the international academic community and its presence in Hungary has certainly added to the reputation of Hungarian academic life on the international stage. The government’s legislation to alter CEU’s statute of operation will be disastrous to Hungary’s international academic stature.

We respectfully urge the government to revise the legislation and enter consultation with CEU, bearing in mind the damage such legislation will do to Hungary’s well-founded international academic reputation and relationships.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Robert Stern
President of the British Philosophical Association

Dr. Nikk Effingham
Head of Department of Philosophy, University of Birmingham

Professor Fabian Freyenhagen,
Head of School, School of Philosophy and Art History, University of Essex

Professor Matt Nudds,
Head of Philosophy Department, Chair of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Warwick

Professor Stella Sandford
Head of Department of Philosophy, Kingston University

Professor Helen Beebee
Head of Department of Philosophy, University of Manchester, UK

Professor Hallvard Lillehammer
Assistant Dean, Department of Philosophy, Birkbeck, University of London

Professor Peter Osborne
Director, Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University London

Dr Russell Re Manning
On behalf of Religions, Philosophies and Ethics, Bath Spa University

Professor Tim Thornton,
Professor of Philosophy and Mental Health, School of Nursing, University of Central Lancashire

Dr Daniel Whiting
Head of Philosophy, University of Southampton

Dr Brendan Larvor
Reader in Philosophy and Head of Philosophy, University of Hertfordshire

Dr Manuel Dries
Head of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The Open University

Dr Meena Dhanda SFHEA
Course Leader Philosophy, University of Wolverhampton

Dr Alison Ainley
Head of Humanities and Social Sciences, Principal Lecturer Philosophy, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge

Professor Havi Carel
Head of Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol

Professor Don Ross
Head, Philosophy Department, University College Cork, Ireland

Dr. Ullrich M. Haase DEA SFHEA,
Head of Philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University

Professor Bill Brewer
Susan Stebbing Professor of Philosophy, Head of the Department of Philosophy, King’s College London

Professor Fiona Macpherson, FRSE
Head of Philosophy and Director of Research in Philosophy, Director of the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience
Deputy Head of School of Humanities, University of Glasgow

Professor James Harris
Head of Philosophy, University of St Andrews

Professor Miklos Redei
Head of Department, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
London School of Economics and Political Science

Professor Stephen Burwood
Programme Leader for Philosophy, University of Hull

Professor Dave Archard
Department of Philosophy, Queen’s University Belfast

Dr Edward Harcourt
Chair, Philosophy Faculty Board, University of Oxford

Professor Bob Brecher
Director, Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics & Ethics, University of Brighton

Dr Matthew Chrisman
Head of Philosophy, University of Edinburgh

Dr Mark Cain
Programme Lead for Philosophy, School of History, Philosophy and Culture, Oxford Brookes University

Professor Rosanna Keefe
Head of Department of Philosophy, University of Sheffield

Professor Maximilian de Gaynesford
Head of Department, Philosophy, The University of Reading

Professor Helen Steward
Deputy Head of the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science, University of Leeds

Dr Andrew Fisher
Head of the Philosophy Department, The University of Nottingham

Professor Sorin Baiasu
Director of the Philosophy Programme & Associate Director of Research for SPIRE
(School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment)

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