Classes at Budapest’s University of Theatre and Film Arts (SZFE) may resume from Feb. 1, if all necessary conditions are in place, the supervisory board of the foundation overseeing the university said in a statement on Wednesday, asking the institution’s employees and students for cooperation.
SZFE’s government-backed new leadership which took over on Sept. 1 ordered the termination of education at the university until Feb. 1 early last month, citing unsuitable conditions for continuing classes, enforcing and protecting student rights and ensuring academic autonomy. The decision came in response to actions by students and employees at SZFE.
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 university’s employees went on strike and students mounted a blockade at SZFE’s buildings in protest against a new leadership they saw as illegitimate. The blockade however had to stop later in compliance with new restrictions against the coronavirus epidemic.
In its Wednesday statement, the supervisory board said that “education at SZFE was impossible due to the illegal blockade of its buildings and banning of the new leadership from entering the buildings, as it was also impossible for the leadership to verify the proper quality of the university’s accreditation”.
In light of this, the board’s decision to suspend classes was “a direct consequence of the unlawful actions taken during the autumn”, it said.
The supervisory board said that “education at SZFE ought to continue during the 2020/2021 spring semester in a way that allows the academic requirements of the 2020 autumn semester to also be fulfilled”.
“SZFE’s leadership will work towards achieving this goal and is asking all university employees and students for cooperation,” the board said.
featured image illustration via SZFE Students Union’s Facebook page