2024 Spring Semester — Invisible University for Ukraine (IUFU)

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 Spring Semester of 2024 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 July 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.

In addition, we plan to offer a number of workshops open to all IUFU students on integration to global academic networks, internship and educational opportunities for Ukrainian students globally, as well as other relevant topics chosen by the students themselves.

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 22 February – 18 May 2024. The most motivated and successful participants will have an opportunity to participate in a Summer School on CEU’s Budapest campus in July.

Course Offering in Spring 2023

Seven Thematic Courses

  1. Intellectual Debates in Modern Ukrainian History and Contemporary Public Sphere (Ostap Sereda and Balázs Trencsényi)
  2. Rethinking Nationalism: Conceptual Frameworks and Political Challenges (Valeria Korablyova and Vladimir Petrović)
  3. Sustaining Rule of Law and Democracy in Ukraine amidst War and Post-War Reconstruction (Olena Boryslavs’ka and Nazarii Stetsyk)
  4. Cultural Diplomacy during the War: Practices and Institutional Strategies (Yana Barinova)
  5. European Union Enlargement and Reform: A Common Path for Ukraine’s European Future (Veronica Anghel and Inna Melnykovska)
  6. Beyond War and Peace: Rethinking the Balkans for Ukraine (Aleksandar Pavlović and Olesia Marković) (this course is offered with a number of partner institutions from Southeast Europe)

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.

Skill Building

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.


Ostap Sereda

Associate Professor in History at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv and recurrent visiting professor at CEU (program director)

Vladimir Petrović

Research Professor, Institute of Contemporary History, Belgrade, and CEU Democracy Institute Budapest (academic vice-director)

Balázs Trencsényi

Professor, CEU History Department, and Director of CEU IAS

Renáta Uitz

Professor, CEU Legal Studies, and Co-Director of CEU Democracy Institute

László Kontler

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

Nazarii Stetsyk

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?

Fill in the application form (https://forms.gle/zxJiJksZjxmWQx2M8) AND send Send your application materials (motivation letter, CV, and research proposal (if applicable)) to iufu@ceu.edu.

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 and marking the course within which they would like to work on their research.

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,dovhan_svitlana@alumni.ceu.edu
  • Nataliia Shuliakova, BA student, Yale University, shuliakova_nataliia@student.ceu.edu
  • Olha Stasiuk, PhD student, CEU, stasiuk_olha@phd.ceu.edu
  • Yevhen Yashchuk, PhD student, University of Oxford, CEU alumnus, yashchuk_yevhen@student.ceu.edu