Higher Arts Education Networks’ SZFE Solidarity Statement

16.10.2020

Five European associations of artistic universities have jointly issued a declaration as a “Higher Arts Education Network” on the restrictions imposed by the Hungarian government on artistic education. The declaration condemns in particular the restrictions imposed on the Theatre and Film University SZFE Budapest.

In solidarity with universities whose scientific and artistic freedom is restricted, the Merz Akademie supports this declaration and publishes it here in full.

Artistic and academic freedom are cornerstones of democracies. Any threat or restriction of these freedoms must therefore be fought. We support the Higher Arts Education Network,

says Maren Schmohl, Vice Rector of the Merz Akademie.

Higher Arts Education Networks’ SZFE Solidarity Statement

AEC, Cumulus, EAAE, ELIA and GEECT stand in solidarity with colleague institutions in Hungary and SZFE Budapest in particular.

As European higher arts education networks, we express our deepest concerns regarding the recent direction and implementation of Hungarian policy, which is severely affecting free development of education in the arts. We particularly condemn the undermining of the autonomy of the University of Theatre and Film Arts (SZFE), a renowned 155-year-old higher arts education institution. Free development of education in the arts, together with freedom of artistic expression and freedom of research are cornerstone values of European societies and cannot be negotiated.

We urge the Hungarian government and policymakers to guarantee freedom of development and organisational autonomy for SZFE and all higher arts education institutions in the country.

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