SZFE students and tutors on strike
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16. 09. 2020.

In July 2020, the Hungarian parliament passed a bill that fundamentally changes the structure and working model of the University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest (SZFE).

The bill had been prepared without any consultation with the university authorities and was voted through despite strong protests from students, faculties and university authorities. The bill does not guarantee the university’s autonomy. The new arrangements take away the decision-making power of the University Senate, which is composed of democratically elected lecturers, students and union delegates.

The Senate cannot decide on the shape of the budget, nor adopt the institution's development plan or choose the University's rector, and no longer have the right to independently appoint deans or supervising tutors. These functions have been taken over by a government-established foundation, whose members were appointed by state decision-makers, and which did not include any students or university lecturers.

On August 31, 2020, in the absence of any real dialogue, the Senate and the lecturers resigned in protest.

On September 1, 2020, fearing the loss of sovereignty and freedom of speech, students announced a strike and barricaded themselves inside the premises of the hundred and fifty five-year-old university to prevent representatives of the new authorities from entering the building.

Statement of the community of Polish film schools and theatre academies on the situation at the University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest