BUDAPEST – Arts university leadership resigns over loss of independence

The University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest saw its rector, László Upor, his deputy, as well as the heads of two of the university’s three institutes, resign on Monday (31 August) after the third institute chief had already resigned earlier. The reason was that they had felt a complete loss of autonomy.

Details emerged on Saturday that the most decision-making powers – including budgetary powers, the ability to self-govern, choosing a rector, and autonomously launching classes and appointing teachers – were transferred to the newly created board of trustees led by Orbán-ally Attila Vidnyánszky, who also happens to be the director of the National Theatre.

Commenting on the newly-created board of trustees, Upor told a press conference that since “it has been deprived of all meaningful and fundamental powers, it has maintained the appearance of independent leadership at the cost of unacceptable compromises, and given that the life of the university is regulated by it –  given all this, we are forced to resign from our leadership positions.” Students protested against these changes on Monday evening.

(Vlagyiszlav Makszimov |

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