Learning Can Be Fun: Examining the World of Education with Critical Eyes

July 1 - 5, 2019 Budapest, Hungary

Course Description

The course is designed to familiarize the participants with several introductory topics in higher education and to show them how to think critically about these topics. The success of the course depends on its participants being familiar with basic techniques of argumentation; to this end, one third of the course is conceived as a crash course in critical thinking, and it will focus on the following: 1) what arguments are and how to identify them; 2) types of arguments; 3) types of reasoning errors.

It is expected that the participants would not be equally prepared in this respect (some of them would know most of these notions, whereas to other participants they would be familiar but unsystematic, or totally new). To level the field, several weeks before the beginning of the course, the instructors will send the participants weekly quizzes/logical games and puzzles, which they will be encouraged to solve and share with the others (via a common platform, such as a Facebook group).

The first day of the course will be a general recap of argumentative techniques, correct and faulty, applied on examples taken from higher education, thus serving as a warm-up to the theme of the course.

On days 2-4 the course will feature interactive lectures (in the morning) followed by guided discussions on selected readings (in the afternoon) on the following topics:

  • Is education a public good?
  • Financing in higher education (HE): who benefits from HE and who should pay the bill?
  • The concept and impact (on society) of brain drain
  • University rankings – how they are designed and their impact on students and institutions

On day 5 the participants will complete and present their final projects.

In the beginning of the week, they will be asked to form three groups and each group to choose one of the main topics of the course (see below) and construct an argument for a conclusion:

a) the value of higher education;
b) the impact of brain drain;
c) university rankings

The final project will consist of the following: each group will come up with a certain statement regarding their chosen topic and will try to convince the others, with arguments, that their statement is correct.

The attendance certificates will be awarded in the afternoon; a farewell social event ceremony will mark the end of the course.

Tentative schedule

Click here for the course schedule.

Course flyers

Click here for the Hungarian, or here for the English version.

Course Instructors

Pusa Nastase is Senior Program Manager at the Yehuda Elkana Center for Higher Education where she conducts research on higher education management and policy and is involved in capacity development projects. She has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Bristol and an MA in Human Rights from CEU. She has extensive experience with delivering trainings and courses on topics related to higher education.


Monica Jitareanu is Global Partnerships Officer at CEU. She has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from CEU; her research interests cover both analytic philosophy and higher education topics. She has experience engaging with different audiences including undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Target group

We expect the application of high school students from 16 to 19 years of age who are about to graduate.
The language of instruction is English, thus all applicants have to demonstrate a strong command of spoken English to be able to participate actively in discussions.

How to Apply

The application process will start in early December. Applicants will be expected to:

  • Submit an Application Form (CLICK HERE to send a request for the application form. Please do not change the subject of the email!)

  • Arrange for a Recommendation letter sent by your English teacher attesting to your English language skills to juniorsun@ceu.edu within one week after you submitted the application form

All applicants will have interviews with the course instructors. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. They should expect to be contacted for the interview soon after we have received the application and the recommendation.


Email: summeru@ceu.edu
Tel.: +36-1 327-3811

Course timeline

Application is closed. Late submissions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants will be notified by Monday, March 25, 2019 about the outcome of their application.
Tuition fee payment deadline: April 25, 2019
Confirmation of the course: April 30, 2019

Program cost: 20,000 HUF (lunches and closing event are included)

The fee also includes: free wifi access, printing/copying/scanning services, access to course e-learning site, and on-site medical service (if needed).

Online Payment

CEU offers the opportunity for Summer University fees to be paid on-line via https://payments.ceu.edu . You are kindly requested to include your name and the title of your course in the comment field when initiating the payment online.

In case you need help, please read the following material: https://payments.ceu.edu/help.

Cancellation policy

Cancellation by participant 
In the event of cancellation, CEU will refund the tuition fee as follows: 
  • Before April 30 - CEU will refund 90% of the tuition fee.
  • Between May 1 and 30 days prior to the course starting - 50% of the tuition fee will be refunded.
  • Within 30 days of the course starting - no refund for tuition fees will be given. 
Cancellation by CEU Summer University (SUN) 
CEU SUN reserves the right to cancel any of the above courses if they fail to meet the requirement of minimum enrolment. We will inform all applicants on April 30th about the confirmation or cancellation of these courses.  
Should a course be cancelled, the summer school will refund 100% of the fee paid. Participants should not purchase tickets or book accommodations before the confirmation date, as the summer school can only reimburse the fee but no other costs.