Letter of Protest against the Ban of Gender Studies in Hungary

To
Minister of Education, Mr. Bòdis
Embassy of Hungary in Germany
Embassy of Germany in Hungary
European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA)
European University Association (EUA)

29.08.2018

Dear Minister of Education, Mr. Bòdis!

We have been notified about the planned legislation of the Hungarian government to abolish the teaching of Gender Studies in Hungary.

As Working Group for Gender/Queer Studies and Media Studies within the Germanspeaking Society for Media Studies we express our deepest concern and protests vehemently against this proposal. Gender Studies are well established as a scientific discipline and are therefore an integral part of research and teaching plans of the most prestigious institutions of higher education throughout the world. Perspectives from Gender Studies on questions of human wellbeing, equality, diversity, identity and difference have contributed to the advancement of science and the improvement of society. As a discipline which embraces a plurality of theoretical perspectives and methodologies it provides researchers, students and graduates with skills to address both global but also specific local challenges relating to societal progress. This discipline is therefore both intellectually and politically crucial, across Europe and within Hungary.

The planned measures to ultimately ban academic teaching of one specific discipline by law represent an unparalleled anti-scientific attack on the freedom of research and teaching. The proposal sets a dangerous precedent for state intervention in the composition of all university curricula which cannot be in the interest of a democratically minded Minister of Education.

We urge you to guarantee the autonomy of higher education in Hungary by rejecting the draft decree from the Ministry of Human Resources and the Ministry of Justice that calls for the abolishment of Gender Studies Programs.

Sincerely,

Katrin Köppert
Stefan Sulzenbacher

Speakers of the Working Group
Gender/Queer Studies and Media Studies

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