Budapest, Hungary. SZFE – Protest held against changes at drama, film university. Photo: MTI

Students of the University of Theatre and Film Arts (SZFE) and their sympathisers protested in central Budapest on Sunday afternoon against changes to the way the university is governed. The protesters insist that the institution had lost its autonomy.

A human chain was formed starting from the university building in Vas Street, proceeding along Szentkiralyi Street, past the building of ELTE university on Muzeum Ring Road and Corvinus University on Fővám Square, past the headquarters of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and along the embankment to Parliament.

The protesters forming the chain held the same kind of red and white plastic tape that was wrapped around the SZFE building. They also passed a so-called charter written by the university’s outgoing senate which sets out fundamental principles regarding how the senate envisages cooperation with the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (ITM), the ministry responsible for sections of Hungary’s higher-education network.

Another human chain was formed in Kossuth Square in front of Parliament. While waiting for the charter, the demonstrators chanted:

“Free country, free university” and several sang a choral work, Nobis pacem.

At the university’s Szentkirályi Street building, Lászlo Upor, the university’s outgoing vice-rector, noted that he had agreed with students occupying the university building to postpone Monday’s opening by a week and extended the enrollment deadline to Sept. 13.

But he also warned the academic year could not start unless the ITM addressed “the unsustainable situation”.

SZFE is now managed by a new foundation chaired by Attila Vidnyánszky, the head of the National Theatre.

Students have occupied the university since Monday evening, and the university’s leaders resigned on Sept. 1., though they will perform their duties until the end of the month.

free szfe demonstration
Read alsoRectors’ conference, student union initiate talks on situation around film, drama university

SZFE – Supervisory board not notified of start of academic year’s postponement

The supervisory board of the foundation of the University of Theatre and Film Arts (SZFE) said in a statement on Sunday that it had not been notified by university leaders of the postponement of the start of the academic year or the extension of the enrollment deadline.

“We disagree with the decision,” the statement said, adding that it had asked the rector to justify his decision legally.

“Our disputes must not subsume the priority of teaching continuity,” the statement added.

The outgoing Vice-Rector of the university, László Upor, announced on Sunday the postponement by a week of the start of the academic year and the extension of the enrollment deadline to Sept 13.

Source: MTI

  1. Several hundred MINDLESS IDIOTS gathered in Kossuth Square late yesterday to ‘protest’ about the way SZFE is governed.

    Diddums !

    How about the inhabitants of Budapest protesting about the way these FOOLS have ‘poured petrol’ onto COVID-19’s exponential spread around Hungary ?

    What gives these useless ‘half-wits’ the right to act in such an IRRESPONSIBLE manner at this time ?


  2. Get a proper Job? These people are students!
    Maybe you also take a close look at the pictures and see that most of these people wore masks and even gloves and the plastic stripes werre used to keep the distance between the chain. Compare this please to tourism at Balaton were people just “celebrating the good life”.

    Hopefully though, this righteous and reasonable protest will not cause any increase of infections. I am full of admiration for the young people daring and risking so much to stand up for a democratic structure in their education!

  3. I am Hungarian and I am well aware of the situation in Hungary.Our present government is lead by Orban Victor, who is very close to being a dictator, and definitely aiming to become one. That is why he is placing his own people in high positions in every field (financial institutions, health care, education etc), regardless that they are qualified or not. He has been doing this for years, now faster. SZFE is an old, prestigious University lead by highly acknowledged actors, directors, experts; people who students want to learn from. Orban assembled a loyal-to-him team as usual, and want them to take over the SZFE without any consultation. All famous teachers quit as a protest, and the students decided they don’t accept it either. Universities must have their autonomies. Hence the protest. And it is far more than for SZFE only.
    I agree, the pandemic is very dangerous, but it is a very important cause, an example for the whole repressed–depressed country. The organizer tried to do their best to keep it safe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.