Recent evaluation by Slovak security apparatus pointed at the risk posed by Chinese entities trying to gain access to certain crucial sectors in Slovakia. When looking at countries such as Czechia, the UK, or Australia, it is clearly visible that universities are a point of interest for Chinese entities.
In recent months, the University of Theater and Film Arts in Budapest (SZFE) became the new target of the Hungarian government’s culture war. The experiences of the institution’s response may change the nature of future demonstrations.
The necessity of a reformed Hungarian higher education system became clear in the 2000s: after the regime change in 1990, the number of higher education students was increasing heavily, which decreased the quality of higher education and the value of university diplomas.
In the last few months, life at the universities has changed dramatically and involuntarily. Lectures and tutorials have shifted online, Zoom became the new lecture hall and seminar room, and students had a taste of what it is like to have their exams or finals take place online.
On November 18 in Budapest, the Free Market Foundation together with the Uninvited Network and the Civic Platform organized a conference on education. Teachers, students, parents, recruiters and education policy experts worked together during the event to identify the issues of the education system and to formulate responses and solutions.
The pressure on publications at the expense of didactics, grants orientation, unmotivated students, the level of professors’ skills and, above all, red tape – these are the weaknesses of the system of higher education, which in many cases lower the level of teaching.
In April we continued working actively on the issues of higher education. The Parliament passed amendments to the Law on Science and Studies, incorporating our recommendations submitted in March. Among them is the provision enshrined in the law that well-learning students “shall be granted” studentships (the original wording of the bill was “may be granted” studentships). We understand that there is still a number of pressing issues to be solved as regards the higher education…