Matt Atlas

Hungary Passes Controversial Bill To Tighten State Grip On University

The Hungarian parliament approved a controversial law reforming the University of Theater and Film Arts (SZFE) today, which critics say puts the prestigious school under government control, reports. The law passed the House, despite protests from students and artists.

Under the new law, the University will come under the control of a newly established government-run foundation in September.

According to critics, the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is going to fill critical positions in the foundation with its people and thus influence the university’s operation. The Cabinet rejects the arguments of critics, promising greater efficiency in raising money from the changes.

At the time the law was passed, about two hundred students, artists, and actors protested in front of the Hungarian parliament. Two hundred leading Hungarian actors, directors, and writers have also signed a petition against the controversial reform.

Orbán’s government reformed Corvinus University in Budapest in a similar way and is planning to reorganize other universities.