Tartu students protest against treatment of Central European University ({{commentsTotal}})

University of Tartu students demonstrating in solidarity with CEU.
Open gallery
7 photos
Photo: University of Tartu students demonstrating in solidarity with CEU. Author: (Susann Kivi/ERR)

Students of the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu expressed their solidarity with Budapest's Central European University on Thursday. The university’s existence is threatened by a new law to be introduced by the national-conservative government of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán.

A new law to be introduced in Hungary would make it impossible for the Central European University (CEU) to remain open. The school, founded in 1991 with the support of Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros, offers its students American degrees, which is possible because it is registered and licensed both in the U.S. and in Hungary.

This connection is what the Hungarian government aims at with a new bill calling for a change in the way higher education is licensed and arranged. To remain open, the CEU would have to found a second campus in the United States—an undertaking far beyond its financial capabilities, according to its president, Michael Ignatieff.

The CEU has an excellent reputation and regularly ranks among the top 50 universities of its kind in the world. At the same time, it is seen by Hungary’s nationalist establishment as a potential source of unrest, as it promotes decidedly more liberal values than the government does.

The protest of the students at Tartu’s Johan Skytte Institute was organized by one of its post-graduate students, Gert Siniloo. According to Siniloo, the students wanted to express their concern over the danger to the independence of universities in Hungary.

“What is happening in Hungary is a direct attack on academic freedom,” Siniloo said. “Considering our institute’s close connections with the CEU, the students found that we need to show our solidarity.”

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Easter Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting productionEaster Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting production
Estonia’s Easter Monday time loop: Discussing an additional day off

Every year, Estonia reliably asks itself the question whether or not Easter Monday should be made a public holiday. Opinions differ. While one side emphasizes the importance of family time, the other thinks an additional day off would threaten economic growth.

Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).
Samost: Kaia Iva’s charisma could help IRL out of long-term low

In Sunday’s “Samost ja Rumm” radio debate show, editor-in-chief of ERR’s online news, Anvar Samost, and journalist and former politician Hannes Rumm discussed the potential and actual candidates for the chairmanship of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL). At the time of the broadcast, Helir-Valdor Seeder had not yet made his intention to run public.