History & Impact

CEU has a long history of working with students of traditionally marginalized and underrepresented groups. Nearly two decades ago, CEU was a pioneer in creating an immersive preparatory program for Roma students to prepare for graduate studies. In 2016, members of the CEU community (then based in Budapest) created the Open Learning Initiative (OLIve) weekend program to serve the needs of refugees and those in refugee-like situations. A year later, the OLIve-UP program was launched as a residential university preparatory program for refugee students and those in refugee-like situations. The program has evolved over the years, not least due to the relocation of CEU to Vienna.

At present, refugee initiatives in Budapest bearing the OLIve name continue through a civic organization, independent of CEU. At CEU (Vienna), the OLIve-UP program has been renamed CEU-UP. Nonetheless, the experience, curriculum, and personal expertise continue to inform our university preparatory program, modeled on OLIve-UP. At CEU-UP, we're proud of the years of experience and commitment that saw approximately 70% of OLIve-UP graduates continue in degree programs. At the same time, we're optimistic for the future, for the possibilities to expand impact, and for the learning journeys we continue to create with our students.