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The students of Budapest’s University of Theatre and Film Arts (SZFE) on Monday vowed to maintain their blockade of university premises, insisting the new leadership was “illegitimate” and its overtures were “an ultimatum” rather than conciliatory.

The students held a press conference in response to an open letter by university leaders promising full-time employees a wage hike in two stages, talks on the university’s planned developments as well as a promise not to punish the student organisers of the blockade.

The students said the country’s law on higher education set down the conditions regarding the autonomy of universities, and this was not up for discussion. They said they were prepared to discuss the university’s transformation in the presence of a guarantee of autonomy.

The students insisted that only a leadership “appointed lawfully” would have the authority to certify the validity of the school year.

Theater University Students Occupy One More Building in Protest Against Appointing New Vice-rectors
Theater University Students Occupy One More Building in Protest Against Appointing New Vice-rectors

Turbulence around Budapest’s University of Theater and Film Arts’ (SZFE) is escalating further. On the heels of the news that new board of trustees chairman Attila Vidnyánszky unilaterally appointed two vice-rectors, students occupied one more of the university’s buildings last night. What is more, a workers’ strike kicked off today. They confirmed this latest action […]Continue reading

They said they would continue to exercise their democratic right to protest and maintain their blockade.

SZFE’s previous senate and leadership announced their resignation on Aug. 31, saying the foundation that took over the university on Sept. 1 under a government decree had deprived them of “all essential powers”. The students cordoned off the university’s main building and employees went on strike.

featured image by SZFE HÖK- Facebook