Reply from Hungarian Autorities to the ESPAnet Boards open letter regarding the planned ban on gender studies in Hungary.

In August 2018 the ESPAnet Board sent an open letter to the Hungarian Prime Minister regarding the planned ban on gender studies in Hungary.  The ESPAnet Secretariat has received a reply to the open letter  with the following text from Hungarian Authorities.


CABINET 0FFICE. OF THE PRIME MINISTER                                                                                                                                                STATE SECRETARIAT FOR PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS


The Board of ESPAnet                                                                                                                          6 December 2018

Dear Sir/Madam, 

Thank you for your letter to the Prime Minister.                                                                                            Budapest                                                                                                                                                                             Hungary

We are honoured to have received your opinion since education policy is a strategically important policy area for the Government of Hungary. 

In every Member State of the European Union the right of accreditation of academic programmes falls exclusively within the competence of the state. We respect every opinion, but we also think that it is important for everyone to respect this sphere of competence belonging to the Member States.

In the future, no state-funded and accredited social gender studies programme will be launched in Hungary. However, I would like to assure you that such ongoing higher education programmes may continue for their full duration.

 From our point of view this decision in no way restricts the freedom of academic research as the topic can continue to be researched to scientific standards within other academic fields and can also continue to be taught at universities which are operated by foundations.

Last but not least, let us once again express our appreciation for your opinions you have shared in relation to education policy.

Kind regards, 

CsabaDomotor                                                                                                                                                             State Secretary for Parliamentary Affairs

Here is a link to the letter from the prime ministers Office:


Here is the open letter that the ESPAnet Board sent to the Hungarian Prime Minister:

To: Prime Minister of Hungary, Mr. Viktor Orbán

 Dear Prime Minister,

We have been informed that a government decree enacted without previous consultation with the interested parties has been sent out ordering the closure of the teaching of gender studies in Hungarian universities.

This ordering seems to us a major attack on social science. Gender research form an integral part of studying inequalities and as such are central to sociological and social policy analysis. Gender studies have contributed greatly to our understanding of economy, contemporary society, welfare state transformation and inequalities of paid and unpaid labor between women and men. Without research on gender it is impossible to understand women’s contribution to the development of welfare states around the world.

Therefore we sincerely hope that the Hungarian government will withdraw this decree and secure academic freedom in Hungary that is a central value of European societies.

17th August, 2018

 The Board of ESPAnet