Outgoing deputy rector László Upor announced to open the school-year at Budapest’s University of Theater and Film Arts (SZFE). He added, however, that the protest still goes on and students wouldn’t give up their demands.
The announcement was made in front of SZFE’s blockaded building at the press conference of the protesting students. “We build an experimental educational republic, that includes traditional educational units, closed and open courses as well as actions that reflect the creative and social situation, or the present of our university and the history written with us. We are an open, free, and ever-changing university despite all contradicting rumors, and we want to stay that way,” László Upor commented.
Deputy rector in charge of educational issues Eszter Novák said, that the upcoming school-year is characterized by the pandemic and a model change that is carried out “violently in a forced march.” Three things were certainly missing from this process: expertise, honesty and humanity, she said. She also announced that they would require the Prime Minister to suspend the board of trustees of the foundation, that is set to take over the maintainer rights.
After the deputy-rectors, the students also spoke up. “With the transformation, we have been deprived of our fundamental rights, and nothing secures anymore the self-determination for the university’s community – apart from us. We are a guarantee of autonomy.”
They also claimed that the currency of their republic will be “active involvement”, which will be put to use by everyone however they wish. Classical educational units, closed and open courses, creative and socially reflective actions, work in the community organization, and the maintenance of the blockade will be equally valuable activities.
They also revealed that the “republic is an attempt to create together in the spirit of academic freedom, without the limitations of institutes, faculties and classes.”
Meanwhile, on the TV show of controversial pro-Fidesz opinion leader Zsolt Bayer, the head of the newly-appointed supervisory board, Attila Vidnyányszky, also revealed his intention to start the school-year. He also said that in his view, an “incredible” political game was going on from the very beginning. He claimed to have gotten information that Amnesty International has been helping the protesters, with some of the students having been trained in a summer camp beforehand.
Featured photo illustration via Theatre and Film University Students Union’s Facebook page