The Yehuda Elkana Center for Teaching, Learning, and Higher Education Research, named after the third president and rector of Central European University, Yehuda Elkana (1934-2012), is a collaborative academic unit, promoting applied research, teaching, and professional training in higher education. Since its founding, its mission and impact have expanded in several steps, most recently by bringing together, under one roof, the Elkana Center and Center for Teaching and Learning.
As a hub for doctoral students, faculty, and international partners, its many initiatives cluster in four foci:
- Research - Conduct innovative and applied research in higher education, including higher education systems and policy, administration, socio-political engagement, and the scholarship of teaching and learning;
- Teach - Prepare doctoral students for academic careers through courses on teaching in higher education, certificate programs, workshops, support for teaching assistantships, and mentoring during initial teaching experiences;
- Professional Development - Support faculty in their teaching and university administrators through workshops, certificates, mentoring, consultations, and other professional development offerings;
- Broader Impact - Partner with international colleagues and higher education institutions to strengthen institutional capacities, develop university leaders, foster cultures of quality, support teaching excellence, and promote democratic and collaborative practices.
The Elkana Center builds on more than two decades of experience at CEU in promoting research in higher education and the scholarship of teaching and learning, in policy advising, and in professional development programs for university leaders and faculty. These programs serve not just CEU faculty and doctoral students, but connect CEU with higher education institutions, governments, and non-governmental organizations from countries on all continents. The Center further builds on the long history of cooperation between CEU and the Higher Education Support Program (HESP) of the Open Society Foundation and is a regular leader or partner in Open Society University Network (OSUN), CIVICA, and Erasmus+ projects.
In all its activities, the Elkana Center promotes research-informed, inclusive, and reflective practices to foster excellence in higher education and to promote the open society mission of CEU. Inspired by its namesake, the Center places a particular focus on applied studies and practical initiatives, on the importance of context, on the questioning of knowledge and the possibilities of dynamic transformation, and on the importance of engagement in democratic and civil society.