The Hungarian Network of Academics take a stand for the freedom of Theatre and Film Arts University

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The Hungarian Network of Academics, the Stadium 28 Circle and the Democratic Union of Scholars are in protest against the measures crushing the autonomy of the Theatre and Film Arts University and express solidarity with the students and instructors fighting for restoration of self-determination.

The government took an unprecedented step in the academic world – to rid the university leadership (senate) of its fundamental competencies. The senate is no longer in charge over its own statutes, finances, innovation, nominations for president, institute heads, form masters, starting new classes. The authoritarian decisions of the board of trustees are inappropriate for an academic body, and complete the process of the government’s aggressive and inadequate “model change”, ignoring the opinions expressed by students and docents. The widespread protest by concerned professionals unequivocally signals the illegitimacy of the restructuring.

We demand that the government immediately reverts to the European norms of university autonomy, revokes the board of trustees, reinstates the traditional competences of the senate and enters into negotiation with the legitimate representants of the Theatre and Film Arts University.

The events surrounding the Theatre and Film Arts University are part of a decade-long attack against Hungarian creative and cultural life, and, foreshadow the fate of other state universities, if allowed. We are appreciative and thankful for the exemplary and courageous protests by the students and docents of the Theatre and Film Arts University. They stand for the freedom of academia in Hungary as a whole.