Press release

CEU President Michael Ignatieff to give Hertie School commencement speech

Ignatieff will address European academic freedom on 2 June in Berlin.

Berlin, 03 May 2017 – Michael Ignatieff, President and Rector of Central European University (CEU), will deliver the commencement address at the Hertie School’s graduation ceremony on 2 June at the Konzerthaus Berlin.

Find out more MPP, MIA and PhD graduation 2017

Ignatieff’s speech comes as CEU’s existence as an international academic institution in Budapest is being threatened by recent legislation passed by the Hungarian government. The legislation targets CEU specifically, requiring it to adhere to new regulations which would jeopardize the school’s existence. Ignatieff will address the importance of academic freedom. The Hertie School has publicly supported CEU’s #IstandwithCEU campaign, among many other universities.

“Commencement speeches undoubtedly carry important meanings,” says Hertie School President Helmut K. Anheier, “but we are particularly grateful, at this moment, to offer a platform upon which President Ignatieff can speak to the international community about threats to academic freedom and democracy.”

Prior to CEU, Ignatieff was the Edward R. Murrow Professor of Practice of the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The historian is also an international commentator on contemporary issues of democracy, human rights and governance. From 2006 to 2011, he served in the Parliament in his home country of Canada and was Leader of the Liberal Party.

At the ceremony, over 150 students from more than 30 nations will celebrate the completion of the Hertie School’s Master of Public Policy, Master of International Affairs or PhD programmes.

Find out more Meet the Class of 2017

The Hertie School is a private university based in Berlin, Germany, accredited by the state and the German Science Council. It prepares exceptional students for leadership positions in government, business, and civil society. Interdisciplinary and practice-oriented teaching, first-class research and an extensive international network set the Hertie School apart and position it as an ambassador of good governance, characterised by public debate and engagement. The school was founded at the end of 2003 as a project of the Hertie Foundation, which remains its major partner.