CERGE-EI

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CERGE-EI
Cergelogo.jpg
Established 1991
Type Public
Director Michal Kejak
Location Prague, Czech Republic
Website www.cerge-ei.cz

CERGE-EI /sɜr../ is an academic institution that provides an American-style PhD program in economics, a US-chartered Master of Arts program in Applied Economics (the MAE program), and the UPCES study abroad program. CERGE-EI also conducts research in theoretical and policy-related economics.[1] The institution is recognized as one of the top economics institutes in Europe.[2]

The CERGE-EI acronym stands for Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education – Economics Institute. CERGE-EI is a joint workplace (partnership) of two separate entities: the Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education of Charles University in Prague and the Economics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. CERGE-EI is also a New York State Education Department entity with a permanent charter for its degree-granting educational programs awarded by the New York State Board of Regents. The center was founded in 1991 by a group that included Jan Švejnar and Jozef Zieleniec with a goal to educate a new generation of economists from post-communist countries. Today students come to study at CERGE-EI from Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and the former Soviet republics, Central Asia, and other countries. The institution is located in the Schebek Palace in the historical center of Prague, the Czech Republic.[3][4]

Mission[edit]

The goals and interests which serve as CERGE-EI’s mission are:

  • to train future public officials, business leaders, and university faculty and researchers mainly from transition and developing countries in modern economics;
  • to stimulate and support academic and policy-oriented economic research;
  • to disseminate research and policy information to government officials, corporate managers, and academic economists throughout the region and the world through seminars, symposia, conferences, working papers, and other publications; and
  • to facilitate the transfer of modern western standards of economic instruction and scientific work to Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and beyond with a special emphasis on educating the instructors of future generations of business leaders and voters.

CERGE-EI's academic community[edit]

The institution’s student body of approximately 120 students is drawn from over 30 countries, primarily from Central and Eastern Europe and the post-Soviet states. The permanent faculty of CERGE-EI is currently composed of 20 scholars. Most faculty members have earned their PhD in economics from U.S. and Western European universities. New faculty members are recruited via the international job market for academic economists.[5] The working language of the institution is English,[6]

Programs[edit]

The MA/PhD program[edit]

The PhD program is designed in line with the US model of graduate education in economics. It consists of demanding two years of coursework followed by two or more years of supervised dissertation research. Courses include Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Econometrics in the first, and a choice of elective subjects in the second year. A Master of Arts (MA) degree is awarded to students who successfully complete the two years of coursework. CERGE-EI students frequently conduct part of their dissertation research at partner universities in Western Europe and North America. The dissertation usually consists of three scientific papers.

CERGE-EI is accredited by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic and has a permanent charter from The Board of Regents of the New York State Education Department. The New York State Board granted CERGE-EI's permanent charter to award PhD and MA degrees in economics in 2005, following a temporary charter awarded in 2001.[7][8]

CERGE-EI graduates are employed by international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, OECD and the EBRD, universities (for example Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, Tilburg University, W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, or University of Bonn) consulting firms (McKinsey, BCG), private financial institutions, and regional central banks and ministries.[9]

Mobility[edit]

CERGE-EI helps its students visit top universities in the United States or Western Europe for academic mobility stays.[10]

Institutions hosting CERGE-EI students during their mobility stay include:

Under the FINNOV research collaboration,[11] CERGE-EI cooperates with University of Cambridge, The Open University, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Italy, Polytechnic University of Marche, Italy, University of Bordeaux in France, and University of Sussex in UK.

Organizational Dynamics at University of Pennsylvania has an academic partnership with CERGE-EI.[12]

CERGE-EI also regularly hosts visiting students and professors from other top economics departments.

Financial aid[edit]

Many students admitted to the MA/PhD program are granted tuition waivers for the first two years of study. Almost all students who continue in the PhD program after the first two years are granted tuition waivers.

With the exception of first-year, first-semester students, students receiving a stipend are typically required to fulfill an assistantship (such as a research assistantship or teaching assistantship) each month as part of their study program. Fifth-year students receive funding in the form of a salary through employment as Junior Economic Institute Researchers (JEIRs). Selected third- and fourth-year students are eligible for this form of support as well.[13]

Academic Skills Center[edit]

Since application to the graduate program at CERGE-EI is not conditioned on the TOEFL or any other English language exam, the institution established a center where students can work on their language and academic skills. During the first two years the students receive assistance in the form of mandatory courses while later during their stay at CERGE EI students can receive academic language assistance with tasks such as writing the dissertation.

The MAE program[edit]

The MAE program[14] is a one-year, three-semester Master of Arts program in Applied Economics. The entire program is conducted in English, including professional English language courses (English for Academic Purposes courses). The academic degree program is run under the charter granted by the Board of Regents of the New York State Education Department (University of the State of New York),[15] and therefore it is a U.S. degree. Students graduating with the degree typically pursue positions as analysts, consultants, and economists in private companies, financial institutions and consulting firms, banks, and government ministries.

UPCES Study Abroad in Prague Program[edit]

In 2001, CERGE-EI and Charles University established the Undergraduate Program in Central European Studies (UPCES). UPCES is a study abroad program in Prague geared toward North American undergraduate students. The program is headquartered in the CERGE-EI Schebek Palace in the center of downtown Prague. UPCES offers a variety of accredited, semester-long courses in the humanities and social sciences. All courses are taught by a faculty of scholars, artists, and industry leaders. Classes also may include Czech and other European students.

Joint Master Program in Economics[edit]

The program is run jointly by CERGE-EI and the Institute of Economics Studies (IES)[16] at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University. It combines the Master-level courses at the IES with the MA/PhD courses at CERGE-EI.

Teaching fellows[edit]

Since 2007, CERGE-EI has supported advanced graduate students and recent PhDs from is own student body as well as other western-oriented programs in the region to serve as instructors in undergraduate programs. As of the spring of 2011 over 20,000 students in 31 institutions and 11 countries have been received instruction in modern economics from Fellows in this program. More information can be found here.

Research[edit]

The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) in its ranking of the Top Economics Departments and Research Centers, has placed CERGE-EI as No. 58 out of 1,236 institutions worldwide.[17] Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) has ranked CERGE-EI in the top 6 percent of economics departments/research institutions in Europe.

The permanent and visiting faculty of CERGE-EI is currently composed of scholars from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Croatia or the USA. All faculty obtained their PhDs at high quality institutions (e.g. University College London, Princeton University, University of Chicago, London School of Economics, or University of Pittsburgh). CERGE-EI visiting faculty are part-time lecturers and dissertation committee members who regularly visit CERGE-EI. Some of the home universities of visiting faculty are Columbia University, University of Michigan, University of California, Berkeley, Bonn University and City University of New York. CERGE-EI has obtained the permission from Václav Havel to seek support for an endowed chair in political economy in his name.[18]

In addition to education, CERGE-EI stimulates and supports advanced economic research. Faculty members and advanced students regularly publish papers in international peer-refereed journals. In the 1990s, CERGE-EI has built significant reputation in research on the economics of transition. As the post-communist countries developed into market economies, the research interests of CERGE-EI faculty and students have expanded to other areas of economics, such as dynamic macroeconomic theory, experimental economics, labor and public economics, and many others.

CERGE-EI publishes an in-house working paper series, organizes regular research seminars at which academics from universities around the world present their current papers (including several Nobel laureates), hosts professional conferences, and houses the largest economics library in Central and Eastern Europe.[19]

Several of CERGE-EI scholars belong to top 5% at RePEc.[20]

GDN[edit]

CERGE-EI is the Central and East European Regional Network representative for the Global Development Network (GDN), a spin-off of the World Bank, and maintains the regional window on GDNet.[21] Through the GDN program, CERGE-EI awards approximately 25 research grants to promising young social scientists from throughout Central Europe. These grants also include extensive mentoring by senior scholars.

Funding[edit]

CERGE-EI is financed by educational and research grants from the Czech government, by grants from other Czech and foreign entities, as well as private donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations. The fundraising activities are carried out by two affiliated institutions, CERGE-EI Foundation U.S.A. and Nadace CERGE-EI. Some funding also comes from student tuition payments.

Governance[edit]

CERGE-EI is governed by an Executive and Supervisory Committee (ESC), which makes major strategic and financial decisions, supervises local management, and makes decisions on the hiring and promotion of faculty members. The ESC is composed of internationally recognized scholars in the field of economics, representatives of Charles University and the Academy of Sciences, and tenured faculty members of CERGE-EI.

Members of the Executive and Supervisory Committee[edit]

IDEA think tank[edit]

CERGE-EI has created the Institute for Democracy and Economic Analysis (IDEA) - a modern and politically independent think-tank that generates and disseminates a broad range of leading ideas for policy, based on solid analysis, and provides citizens with information to make their voices heard in public life and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest. Apart from CERGE-EI scholars, graduates and researchers from other institutions (e.g. Oxford University, Harvard University, Georgetown University, or Columbia University) work for the IDEA think tank.

Student life and culture[edit]

Majority of CERGE-EI students live in student dormitories or private flats located in Prague.

Social life of CERGE-EI students revolves around sport leagues and annual tournaments in sports such as: softball, squash, and volleyball. Other events at CERGE-EI are international food parties in the school’s courtyard, as well as wine tasting events and 'beer parties' every semester.

Sports[edit]

Squash is a popular winter sport among CERGE-EI students, and from 2009 students organize an annual squash tournament. Ski trips in the winter are frequently organized as well. During spring, CERGE-EI students and faculty take part in the annual Prague Charity Softball tournament.[22]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°04′59.46″N 14°25′44.43″E / 50.0831833°N 14.4290083°E / 50.0831833; 14.4290083