The Center for Academic Writing has been an integral part of Central European University since 1991. When the University was founded, a Language Teaching Center was created to provide general language skills courses. Since then this course has become increasingly oriented towards the specific writing needs of students in individual departments, in collaboration with faculty and student feedback. The Language Teaching Centre was renamed the Center for Academic Writing in 2003.
We provide writing courses for MA students in almost all CEU departments. The first PhD level course was offered in 2002. In 2013 we first offered a multidisciplinary workshop for PhD students from departments of Economics, Political Science, International Relations, Legal Studies, and Sociology. This successful initiative will be continued this year. This year we are also introducing a new PhD writing course for students of Gender Studies.
Since September 2001 the center has had over 30,000 consultations; during the 2013/14 academic year we provided well over 3000 writing consultations to MA and PhD students as well as faculty, covering genres such as research papers, position papers, policy papers, theses, proposals, book reviews, dissertations, critiques, articles for publication, presentations, statements of purpose, cover or motivation letters and CVs.
The CAW has always sought to gain quality feedback on different aspects of its work ranging from course content, methodology and individual delivery. Students have consistently given very positive feedback on all aspects, particularly stressing the professionalism, expertise, helpfulness and availability of instructors. Students also frequently mention that the writing course syllabus closely tallies with the expectations of their professors in setting written assignments.
In Fall 2004 the Centre for Academic Writing was awarded a “Writing Program Certificate of Excellence” from the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), the world's largest professional organization for researching and teaching composition, from writing to new media. This award recognizes, among other factors, the contribution made by the CAW in the following fields:
- Imaginatively addressing the need and opportunities of its students, instructors, institution, and locale
- Using current best practices in the field
- Modeling diversity and/or serving diverse communities