31 August: Six members of Hungarian University of Theatre and Film Arts’ (SZFE) management announced their resignation by which they object a board appointed by the government. The management fears that the new board might undermine the University’s independence, reported Reuters.
The parliament passed a law this year, transferring ownership of the state-run University, to a private foundation.
The government then appointed a board of five members and rejected representatives suggested by the University.
“The new Rules of Organisation and Operation, which took effect without prior consultation, deprive the Senate, the university’s supreme decision-making body, of all decision-making possibilities and will no longer be able to represent the interests and values of the university,” University of Theatre and Film Arts said in a statement published on Facebook. “Senat members elected by the university community will resign their seats on 1 September, and the only way to imagine further work is for the Senate to regain the powers that the Senate had.”
According to Hungary Today, following the resignation, on 1 September students of the University of Theatre and Film Arts blocked the entrances to the building to prevent the new board from entering.
Students at #Hungary’s University of Theatre and Arts blockaded themselves at the entrance. They vow not to let the new director in. The management of the university resigned after the arrival of a government-appointed board undermining the school's #autonomy. Photos: HVG pic.twitter.com/GvOWbV2VcC
— Viktória Serdült (@viktoriaserdult) September 1, 2020
Freemuse’s State of Artistic Freedom 2020 highlights that “Since 2010, President Orban’s populist government has increasingly adopted authoritarian measures and rigorously pursued soft forms of repression.”