Launched in Spring 2022, Invisible University for Ukraine (IUFU) is a certificate program (offering ECTS credits) initiated by Central European University for junior and senior undergraduate (BA) and graduate (MA and PhD) students from Ukraine, whether residing in Ukraine or in refuge, whose studies have been affected by the war. The program is not meant to replace or duplicate the existing education opportunities in Ukrainian universities, but to support them by filling the lacunae that temporarily emerged due to the Russian invasion.
IUFU offers in the Fall Semester of 2023 online interdisciplinary courses in the field of Humanities and Social Sciences that can be taken by students with different backgrounds. Each course consists of 12 sessions (100 minutes); equal to 4 ECTS credits. Students are expected to take at least one course and not more than three. Besides thematic courses, several trans-disciplinary intensive online seminars lasting for one-two days will be offered to all students of the program. Courses will be taught online in late afternoons once a week per class.
The program is designed in a hybrid format (online teaching, complemented by an on-site Summer School in Budapest in January 2024). It is comprised of three components:
- thematic courses (in the humanities and social sciences),
- mentoring to develop and complete ongoing research projects,
- skill-building (academic English, academic writing).
Mentoring and Academic English classes are open for those who take at least one thematic course or the core course.
Research scholarships (up to 800 Euro per semester) are available on a competitive basis for those students who wish to implement a special empirical or theoretical project in addition to their course work in IUFU, drawing on their academic background, previous work, and relevant to the current situation and/or related to the themes of the courses. Students receiving research funding will be required to submit a paper of 10–12 double-spaced pages based on their research at the end of the semester. The results of these projects will be published on the website of IUFU and the site Visible Ukraine (visibleukraine.org). Those who receive the grant are required to participate also in the mentoring sessions. Applicants, whose projects are selected for funding can start their research in September.
The program is implemented by Central European University (Budapest Campus), in cooperation with Imre Kertész Kolleg, University of Jena, as well as other Ukrainian (Ivan Franko National University of Lviv and Ukrainian Catholic University) and global university partners.
The envisioned duration of the Spring semester classes is 25 September – 22 December 2023. The most motivated and successful participants will have an opportunity to participate in a Summer School on CEU’s Budapest campus in January.
Course Offering in Spring 2023
Seven Thematic Courses
- Imagined Geography of Ukraine from the Late Eighteenth till the Late Twentieth Centuries: Regions, Cities, Landscapes, Population (Kateryna Dysa)
- The Politics of Warfare: Key Concepts in the History of Modern Military Thought (Tetiana Zemliakova)
- Identities-Borders-Orders: Migration and Belonging (Viktoriya Sereda and Oksana Mikheieva)
- Ukraine’s EU Integration: Compliance and Resilience in Times of War & Geopolitical Rivalries (Inna Melnykovska and Nazarii Stetsyk)
- Sexuality and Decoloniality (Nadiya Chushak, Mariya Mayerchyk, and Olga Plakhotnik)
- Late Soviet and Post-Soviet Counter-Cultures in Ukraine and East Central Europe (Bohdan Shumylovych and Balazs Trencsenyi)
- Western Balkans: Imperial Legacies, Nation-Building, State Disintegration (Vladimir Petrović)
In addition, we plan to offer a number of workshops open to all IUFU students on integration to global academic networks (in cooperation with Davis Center at Harvard University), internship and educational opportunities for Ukrainian students globally, as well as other relevant topics chosen by the students themselves.
Brief descriptions are available here.
In person and small-group instruction, helping the students to develop their research projects and reflecting on the thematic lectures. It will start in early October and will be conducted by doctoral students from CEU and other partner institutions. Participation in mentoring sessions is obligatory for students taking research stipends.
English for social sciences / humanities (offered on basic/advanced levels); academic writing in English.
Prospective Team of Teachers
The program is taught by prominent scholars linked to the Central European University (including members of its faculty, as well as researchers of CEU Democracy Institute and the Open Society Archives), Ukrainian and German partner institutions, and internationally renowned specialists from East Central and Western Europe, and North America.
Associate Professor in History at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv and recurrent visiting professor at CEU (program director)
Research Professor, Institute of Contemporary History, Belgrade, and CEU Democracy Institute Budapest (academic vice-director)
Professor, CEU History Department, and lead researcher of CEU Democracy Institute
Professor, CEU Legal Studies, and Co-Director of CEU Democracy Institute
Professor, CEU History, and Pro-Rector for CEU Budapest
Joachim von Puttkamer
Professor in History at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena and Director of the Imre Kertész Kolleg
Associate Professor, Department of Theory and Philosophy of Law, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv.
Who Is Eligible?
Any student who has been pursuing a BA, MA, or doctoral degree program in a Ukrainian university in the academic year 2021–22, or who started her/his university studies in 2022 and 2023. Participation in the program is free of charge.
How to Apply?
Applications should contain a short (up to 1 page) motivation letter including:
- reason for applying to IUFU and expectations from the course(s)
- a description of the applicant’s thematic interests (e.g., research topic or thesis topic if applicable)
- choice of preferred course(s) an applicant would like to take;
And a short CV with information on
- name in Ukrainian and in the version used in international passport
- e-mail address
- current location
- previous education, current university and program of study
- involvement in civil activities/volunteering
- level of English language competence.
Those who wish to apply for a research scholarship should include a concise project proposal (between 400 and 800 words), describing the main lines of the envisioned research project and its desired outcome, including references to the relevant sources and secondary literature on the topic.
The applications can be submitted in English or Ukrainian.
With questions about the application please turn to the IUFU student coordinators:
- Svitlana Dovhan, CEU alumna,firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nataliia Shuliakova, BA student, Yale University, email@example.com
- Olha Stasiuk, PhD student,CEU, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Yevhen Yashchuk, CEU MA student in History, email@example.com