The final decision about the ELTE Faculty of Social Science Gender Studies masters program was published in the Official Hungarian Government’s Legal Gazette October 12, 2018. The masters program created by ELTE Faculty of Social Science and accredited by the Hungarian Accreditation Committee has been eliminated by governmental decree. The nation’s flagship institution, ELTE University must close its masters program in Gender Studies at the end of academic year 2019 – 2020. This directive follows closely last week’s announcement of the substantial privatization of the entire Hungarian University system.
The initial warning to the Gender Studies program came in August, and was met by strong objection and disapproval from both within the country and internationally. A petition signed by over 5000 academics and their associations gave voice to their opposition to the proposed shutdown of a viable program within a widely recognized scientific field.
The governmental dictate means that presently enrolled students in the Gender Studies program will be allowed to complete their degree work, but that future enrollees will be denied matriculation to the program, which will then be discontinued.
The establishment of the ELTE program was met by harassment and media attacks of the governmental parties since February 2017 when the Gender Studies program was announced. At the same time another university was directed to establish a family policy program in close accord with governmental ideologies regarding traditional familism.
Thank you for all those who raised their voice in support of our program. We welcome suggestions and ideas regarding ways in which we can continue the sense and spirit of the gender studies field in Hungary.
Agnes Kövér-Van Til
Gender Studies Masters Program
ELTE Faculty of Social Science