BISA Statement of Concern on the Hungarian Government and Gender Studies

The British International Studies Association (BISA), has grave concerns regarding the Hungarian government's proposal to ban Gender Studies programmes in higher education institutions across the country. This is a negative development for the generation of research that is beneficial to the advancement of knowledge, teaching that produces engaged global citizens, and the principles of academic freedom that are fundamental to the effective functioning of universities as centres of education. Therefore, we join other learned societies in calling on the Hungarian government to rescind this proposal. As the disciplinary association of experts on International Studies in the United Kingdom, we reject the notion that the benefits of academic programmes can be reduced to ledger sheets guided by impoverished conceptions of what constitutes value. Moreover, we would note that Gender Studies has played a central role in the advancement of International Studies in the UK and beyond, producing knowledge that provides scholarly, social, and policy impacts whose benefits are priceless. Given the complex global challenges that confront all of us irrespective of national origin, we believe that Gender Studies will continue to make important contributions, directly and indirectly, to the discovery and implementation of solutions that are ethical, equitable, and expedient. Thus, for the purposes of ensuring the continuing advancement of knowledge and education, we strongly urge the Hungarian government to rethink its position and commit itself to upholding the principles of academic freedom for all scholarly disciplines.
British International Studies Association


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