CEU Opens Academic Year 2012-2013
CEU President and Rector John Shattuck welcomed the incoming class of 629 students at the University’s opening ceremony for the academic year, held on Sept.14 at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Chosen from nearly 7,000 applicants – the largest pool of applicants in CEU history – the new class members come from 82 nations.
“Our mission is the pursuit of truth. But truth has many parts, many of them conflicting,” Shattuck said. “The search for truth requires us to work across disciplines and combine theory and analysis with practice and engagement. We do this at CEU by bringing together the many parts of the University: the humanities, which help us understand the concepts, values and traditions of society; the social sciences, which help us grasp the interaction of political, economic and cultural structures; law, which frames rules for open society and the protection of individuals and groups; public policy, which connects people with the process of governance; and business, which organizes the economic enterprises that are essential to open society.”
CEU Founder and Honorary Chairman George Soros also addressed the audience and announced that he will lecture this fall at CEU and participate in a number of workshops. Soros is particularly interested in delving deeper into economic and public policy issues. “I want to use this occasion to develop my philosophy, which has been guiding me in my career,” he said. “I also want to spend my time with the School of Public Policy, which is now really coming to life and which will be more closely connected with my foundation network than the University itself.”
Liviu Matei, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, also welcomed students on behalf of the faculty. “You are joining a university community which is proud of being 'different' – in more than one way – one that promotes diversity, innovation, and experimentation, and also risk-taking,” he said. “While embracing our differences, however, CEU is first and foremost a place of learning like any other university. CEU is striving to ensure an institutional environment that supports effective learning. We have an extremely accomplished faculty and an excellent student–professor ratio, just below 8:1. We use the graduate seminar model. We try to build a non-hierarchical environment in which faculty and students can interact as equal members of the university intellectual community and in which nobody has a monopoly on truth.”
Two students also spoke, continuing student Denise Nijhuis and new student Anatoly Reshetnikov.
Shattuck presented the first European Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Social Sciences and Humanities to Eleanor Denny, an economics professor from Trinity College, Dublin. CEU established the award on the occasion of its 20th anniversary in 2011 to promote excellence in teaching across the European Higher Education Area.
At the end of the ceremony President and Rector Shattuck accepted CEU's accreditation certificate from Prof. Katalin E. Kiss, a member of the Hungarian Accreditation Committee.
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