CEUʼs Board of Trustees endorses Steinhof area as campus site

Analysis

CEU Board of Trustees has endorsed the choice of the Otto Wagner site at Steinhof, in Viennaʼs 14th municipal district as the university’s permanent home after 2025, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

The board has instructed CEU leadership to complete contract negotiations with the City of Vienna by June.

CEU will develop 35,000 sqm of the site for classroom and office use. Further sections will be developed by the city and its partners into a housing site for up to 1,500 students, and a university co-operation area as a future home for Austrian and international research institutes, university faculties and departments.

"This is a historic decision for the university," says Leon Botstein, chairman of the Board of Trustees. "Otto Wagnerʼs Steinhof is magnificent and has a rich cultural and historic significance for Vienna. CEU looks forward to an enduring partnership with the local community and the city. The entire site, given its beauty, scale and complex history, should become an international center for learning and teaching, research and the arts and culture."

 Michael Ludwig, Mayor of Vienna adds, "The grounds of the historic Steinhof hospital and the complex designed by Otto Wagner will be a perfect new home for Central European University. We have put a lot of time and effort into making this dream come true. I am very proud that CEU has decided to move to Vienna. This decision underlines Vienna’s position as the preeminent research and science hub in the German-speaking region."

Leading the university’s discussions with the City of Vienna, provost Liviu Matei notes, "We are committed to bringing these negotiations to a successful conclusion by June and to securing a permanent home for CEU as an academic institution based in Vienna."

Rector Michael Ignatieff stresses that CEU is committed to working with the local community to ensure that the grounds will continue to be accessible to the public.

In light of the site’s dark history, the rector adds, "CEU will consult with all stakeholders to ensure that this site is appropriately commemorated, and by doing so, can act as a warning to future generations, so that such events may never again occur."

According to an article by Time magazine, the Am Spiegelgrund clinic, one of the child euthanasia clinics set up by Nazi Germany, was located in the Steinhof area.

Budapest will remain a campus site for the university, serving as home for the Democracy Institute, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives and other research and teaching functions of the university, the press release says.

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