Budapest: Protests against Education Reforms

Budapest - Feb. 15th:
Students Protest Education Reforms

the following report was sent to the global ISM mailing list:

On February 15, 2012 several thousands students made a rally along the Danube to protest against the new Higher Education Act that destroys publicly funded higher education and obliges students to stay in work in Hungary after graduation. The demonstration ended as a several hours occupation of the law faculty of ELTE (Eötvös Loránd University).

The demonstration was organized by the Network of Students (Hallgatói Hálózat, HAHA), an independent student organization. This organization was protesting against the reform of the Higher Education Law in Hungary. As the HAHA explains, the new law is wrong, because: "The government drafted the new law without previous public consultation with the academic community (students, professors, and administrative staff). The new legislation on higher education establishes governance and funding mechanisms that significantly limit university autonomy, particularly in domains of organizational structures, decision making and academic employment, also harming academic freedom. The new law significantly jeopardises social mobility and equal access to higher education by severely cutting down on the number of state-funded student places, encouraging student loans and otherwise limiting forms of support to those wishing to study (including vulnerable populations, such as the Roma). The new law obliges those who receive student support to stay in the country for twice as long as they receive it, thus restricting of
employment mobility, without securing stable employment prospects".

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