Central European University
  • No. Students: 1380
  • No. Staff: 399
  • Study mode: 28 On campus
  • Languages of instruction: English
  • Phone:
  • +3613273000
  • Fax:
  • +3613273007

Photos of university

About Central European University

Central European University is a graduate-level “crossroads” university where faculty and students from more than 100 countries come to engage in interdisciplinary education, pursue advanced scholarship, and address some of society’s most vexing problems. 

It is accredited in both the United States and Hungary, and offers English-language Master's and doctoral programs in the social sciences, the humanities, law, management and public policy. Located in the heart of Central Europe -- Budapest, Hungary -- CEU has developed a distinct academic and intellectual focus, combining the comparative study of the region's historical, cultural, and social diversity with a global perspective on good governance, sustainable development and social transformation. 

Founded in 1991 at a time when revolutionary changes were throwing off the rigid orthodoxies imposed on Central and Eastern Europe, CEU is based on the premise that human fallibility can be counterbalanced by the critical discussion of ideas and that this critical spirit can be sustained best in societies where citizens have the freedom to scrutinize competing theories and openly evaluate and change government policies.

With approximately 1,400 students and 370 faculty members from more than 130 countries, CEU is one of the most densely international universities in the world. Its rare mix of nationalities, ethnicities, and cultures creates an ideal environment for examining such “open society” subjects as emerging democracies, transitional economies, media freedom, nationalism, human rights, and the rule of law. It also brings multifaceted perspective to all aspects of community life. 

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 leads, respect for the diversity of cultures and peoples, and commitment to resolve differences through debate not denial.

History of Central European University

CEU evolved from a series of lectures held at the IUC in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, (now Croatia). In the Spring of 1989, as historical change was gathering momentum in the region the need for a new, independent, international university was being considered. The minutes of the gathering held in April 1989 records a discussion among scholars such as Rudolf Andorka, Péter Hanák, Márton Tardos,István Teplán, Tibor Vámos and Miklós Vásárhelyi from Budapest, William Newton-Smith and Kathleen Wilkes from Oxford, Jan Havranek, Michal Illner and Jiří Kořalka from Prague, Krzysztof Michalski and Włodzimierz Siwiński from Warsaw.

The University was founded in 1991 in response to the fall of the Socialist Bloc. The founding vision was to create a university dedicated to examining the contemporary challenges of "open societies" and democratization. The initial aim was to create a Western-modeled yet distinctly Central European institution that would foster inter-regional cooperation and educate a new corps of regional leaders to help usher in democratic transitions across the region. It was originally located in Prague, but because of "political and financial conflict between its founder and Czech government" represented by Vaclav Klaus it moved to campus in Budapest.

In its second decade, CEU broadened its focus from regional to global, with a special emphasis on democracy promotion and human rights around the world. It has since developed a distinct academic approach, combining regional studies with an international perspective, emphasizing comparative and interdisciplinary research in order to generate new scholarship and policy initiatives, and to promote good governance and the rule of law. CEU has extended its outreach and financial aid programs to certain areas of the developing world.

CEU began the region's first master's degree programs in gender studies and environmental sciences. The CEU Center for Media, Data and Society is the leading center of research on media, communication, and information policy in the region.

On 14 October 2007 George Soros stepped down as Chairman of CEU Board. Leon Botstein (President of Bard College, New York), who had previously served as the Vice-Chair of the Board, was elected as new Chairman for a two-year term. George Soros is a Life-CEU Trustee and serves as Honorary Chairman of the Board.

On 1 August 2009 Rector Yehuda Elkana was succeeded by human rights leader and legal scholar John Shattuck. On May 5, 2016, it was announced that Michael Ignatieffwould succeed Shattuck, becoming the fifth president and rector of the university.


Central European University (CEU) is accredited in the U.S. and Hungary


  • The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014-2015 placed CEU among the world's top 100 universities in the social sciences category.
  • The university is placed 29th worldwide in the field of politics and international studies,and among the top 51-100 worldwide in philosophy by the 2015 QS World University Rankings.
  • The University also ranks among the top 51-100 worldwide on the 2015 QS Subject Rankings for sociology.
  • It also places for history (101-150), economics (151-200) and legal studies (151-200).
  • Additionally, despite its small size and young programs (fewer than a hundred students), the Economics department of the university has recently ranked eighth in Europe by the ERC (European Research Council), based on research excellence.
  • The CEU Business School offers the thirteenth best MBA program in Europe, according to the QS TOPMBA survey 2012.In this survey, CEU Business School is consistently placed among the twenty best business schools in Europe.
  • According to a study published by German newspaper Die Zeit, the CEU Department of Political Science is among the top five political science departments in Europe.
  • CEU's Department of Legal Studies was ranked first in Central Europe by the Czech newspaper, Lidové noviny. The survey included Austrian, Czech, German, Hungarian, Polish, and Slovak universities.

Student Life @CEU

CEU is a vibrant community of students, faculty, staff and alumni from over 100 countries. Join this group of dedicated individuals, who gather at the University's campus in beautiful Budapest to exchange ideas that are aimed at building open societies that respect freedom of inquiry and human rights. 

Clubs and Activities

CEU actively encourages and supports students' interests and activities. In previous years, there have been a huge number of activities from theater and opera visits, to dance classes and ice skating parties. CEU has two sports centers, with aerobics, yoga classes, and tournaments. There is also an exhibition space within the university where the student artwork can be showcased. At the start of each academic year, CEU surveys student interests, and organizes different events and programs accordingly during the year.

Many clubs are formed, from chess and basketball to film and literature. The CEU Debate Society, one of the more prominent student activities, regularly participates in, hosts, and co-organizes international debate competitions.

Freedom of speech is more than an abstract concept. We value it first and foremost because without it, the process of clashing ideas would not be possible. This process is critical to any free and open society which wishes to advance its social mores, criticize its political processes or guarantee the expression of unpopular opinions. Therefore, free speech is not just a concept, but a daily practice, an ongoing process of combating arguments.

Budapest Open 2016

The tournament lasted from Friday till Sunday evening. It was a clash of ideas and a battleground for good argumentation. Overall, there were 72 teams of two members each, plus the organizing committee and volunteers comprising of members of debate societies from ELTE, Corvinus and of course CEU. CEU was the host site of the debate tournament. The team "Make Debating Great Again" from the London School of Economics and Political Sciense were the winners at the end. The members were Stefan Siridžanski and Andrija Đonović.
CEU was represented by Zola Valashya and Aron Suba. 

But debate is not merely restricted to the classrooms of Universities. It spilled over into the amazing socials we provided. Motions of the debate became the center-ground of conversations over drinks and food at many of the historical locations of the city. The students were exposed to the cultural diversity of the city as well as the opportunities of engagement it provides. Participants were also deeply impressed with what CEU stands for along with the location of the University itself.

Without the help of the various wings within CEU, such as the SLO, the RO, the SU and the departments, especially the SPP, this wouldn't have been possible. The ability to get together with people you otherwise wouldn't meet and become friends for life who support each other and work for global values in today's world transcends the world of debate. It is something the University has given us and we at Debate Hungary are proud to carry on this tradition.

Clubs & Groups

List of clubs and groups (with contact person) formed at the beginning of the Academic Year:

  • Care for the Homeless – Lilla Foldy
  • CEU African Research Group - Michael Kanu
  • CEU Weekly - Ekaterina Efimenko
  • CEU Choir – Bernadett Fekete
  • CEU Christian Fellowship - Andras Gal
  • CEU Drawing Club - Rebeka Dora Balazs
  • CEU Film Club - Petronela Antip
  • CEU Footall Club - Ann-Kathrin Beck
  • CEU Meditation - Branislav Kovacevic
  • CEU Running Club - Germain Laigle
  • CEU Students for Justice in Palestine - Leah Wolfe
  • Board Games Club - Giorgi Kekenadze
  • Dancing Club - Dann Moreno
  • Debate Society - Shreya Bhattacharya
  • Football Club - Rustam Azimov
  • Hiking Club - Margaryta Rymarenko
  • Human Righter's Club (HRC) - Arman Gharibyan
  • LGBTQI Club - Debjyoti Ghosh
  • Music Club - Gergely Istvan Hajdu
  • Music Band - Maryna Nazarian
  • Photography Group - Giorgi Kekenadze
  • Roma Research Group - Simona Torotcoi
  • Pulse - Matthew Baxendale
  • SPP Media Club - Petronela Antip
  • Sustainable CEU - Logan Strenchock
  • Yoga Club - Oszkar Breti
  • Women's Soccer - Esther Holbrook
  • Working Group on Critical Theory and Praxis - Jordan Skinner

Student Union

CEU students participate actively in matters of governance and management. To ensure adequate student representation the student body elects a Student Union Assembly (SUA) every academic year. The SUA is an independent body operating according to its Constitution.

Services of CEU

Student Life Office 

  • organizing student arrival and leaving procedures
  • Administering student registration for residence in Hungary
  • Helping with housing arrangements
  • Coordinating residential arrangements with the CEU Residence Center
  • Maintaining student non-academic records and personal files
  • Overseeing student enrollment for medical insurance
  • Administering the distribution of student lockers
  • Supporting the work of the Student Union
  • Organizing University-wide student social and cultural activities
  • Supporting student involvement in University life through extra-curricular activities

Student Records Office

  • Issues CEU transcripts
  • Issues certificates of enrollment/graduation
  • Advises on course registration related matters 

       - add/drop a class
       - withdrawing from a course
       - changing registration mode

  • Registers changes in personal data (legal name change)
  • Prepares diplomas, diploma supplements
  • Administers approved credit transfers
  • Records enrollment status changes
  • Answers general questions about the University Information System
  • Answers enrollment verification requests
  • Assists in organizing the Graduation ceremony
  • Provides Apostille services
  • Answers general inquiries on enrollment numbers
  • Provides general assistance with internal policies 

Medical Center - Health Services

The CEU Medical Center is open to all students, faculty and staff. Access to the Medical Center requires a valid student ID and a medical insurance. There are two English-speaking doctors (male and female) who hold regular consultation hours.

The doctors’ schedules are posted outside the Medical Center. If there is any change in their schedules (for instance in the summer months of July and August) updated information will be posted in advance.

Students covered by the CEU Health Insurance Plan have to discuss in advance with the doctors of the CEU Medical Center any possible medical consultations outside CEU. In emergencies students may directly visit the local district doctors or the listed medical facilities.

In case of medical services outside CEU, students may be expected to pay for the treatment and will need to claim reimbursement from their insurance providers afterwards. The providers have the right to consider the claims. There is no set tariff for emergency services, which could amount to 20 000 HUF (approx. 65 EUR) at the local district doctor’s office.

Psychological Counseling

The student psychological counseling service provides help and support in the following areas: personal and emotional problems, different forms of anxiety (panic, performance or social anxiety, phobias), interpersonal difficulties, depression, concentration problems, stress management, eating disorders, decision making, and many others. It is completely confidential and free of charge. It is necessary to make an appointment via email.

CEU Residence and Conference Center

The accommodation facilities available at CEU are one of the many advantages of studying here.

The CEU Residence Center is a modern residence complex in the 10th district of Budapest – an easy distance to the buzz of the city center.

The Residence Center offers comfortable, furnished, air-conditioned accommodation for over 400 graduate students. Students with families, children or partners, or who have pets, must opt for the out-of-dormitory housing.

All rooms are equipped with a private bathroom. Bed linen is provided, but not towels and toiletries. Wireless Internet access is available in the whole Residence Center.

The Center is run as a hotel-type service and students can find many other facilities such as:

  • a cafeteria and a bar 
  • a pub
  • a sports center with swimming pool, sauna and fitness room
  • basketball/football court, tennis court
  • parking

On every floor there is a TV lounge with a stove, coffee machine, a microwave oven, grill oven, kettle and refrigerators, as well as a small kitchen (kitchen utensils are not provided). There is a laundry with washing machines and dryers in the basement.  Students are welcome to participate in residential life programs such as concerts, parties, dance clubs, sight seeing tours and excursions to the countryside. The building includes a conference center with meeting rooms (up to 350 participants seated), catering service, technical equipment and accommodation on a space-availability basis.

Central European University on map :

Study programs at Central European University :
Central European University logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • International students: $ 16.6k / 1 year
  • Ranking:
  • 502 StudyQA
  • Duration:
  • 4 years
    Central European University logo
    • Tuition Fee:
    • Domestic students: $ 2.21k / 1 year
    • International students: $ 6.07k / 1 year
    • Ranking:
    • 409 StudyQA
    • Duration:
    • 2 years
      Central European University logo
      • Tuition Fee:
      • International students: $ 13.2k / 1 year
      • Ranking:
      • 500 StudyQA
      • Duration:
      • 2 years