Students blockading Budapest’s Theatre and Film University have demanded the resignation of the new board of curators, a body which is to run the university from Sept. 1.
The students, who occupied the building late on Monday, told a press conference that they rejected the recent law changing the structure in which the university is supposed to operate, as well as “the members of the board of curators and those of the supervisory board, and the way they were appointed”. They said they also rejected the university’s new deeds adopted by the new operator, and “any, arbitrarily appointed new leadership”.
The students have demanded the restoration of the powers of the university senate, and that the state continue to provide funding.
Under recent legislation, the drama university is controlled by the Theatre and Film Art Foundation, headed by Attila Vidnyánszky, director of the National Theatre.
The university’s leadership and entire senate tendered their resignation in protest against the changes on Monday.
The new board of curators of the Theatre and Film University has called Monday’s resignation of the university’s leaders and senate members “unacceptable and irresponsible”.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Theatre and Film Foundation, which under recent legislation took over the university’s management on Sept. 1, said that the resigned officials had “abandoned their students and colleagues”.
“Leaders of the university must ensure that classes get under way and the buildings and infrastructure are safe,”
with special regard to the coronavirus situation, the statement said. The university’s leaders “must continue their work and ensure that the institution operates lawfully,” the foundation added.
Authors of the statement also insisted that the autonomy of the university had not been impacted by the recent changes and expressed their readiness to negotiate with teachers and students.
The foundation is “committed to renewing the 155-year-old university, making its work better, more transparent and more modern”, the statement said.