uniko calls for immediate release of arrested student
22 February 2021
Universities Austria (uniko) joins Central European University (CEU) in the call for the immediate release of Ahmed Samir Santawy, the CEU student who was arrested in Cairo earlier this month while visiting his family. The student was charged with being a member of a terrorist organization, among other charges, and was held in custody for an additional 15 days last week without a hearing or legal representation. uniko stands alongside CEU in condemning the denial of the student’s right to a fair trial and calls on the Egyptian authorities to grant Ahmed Samir Santawy immediate access to legal aid and to his family.
Urgent appeal of six European Rectors' Conferences to the Hungarian government
14 September 2020
Solidarity with the Budapest University of Theatre and Film Arts (SZFE): The Rectors’ Conferences of the Czech Republic (CRC), Germany (HRK), Poland (KRASP), Slovenia (RKRS) and Austria (uniko, FHK) are seriously concerned about the threat to university autonomy.
The six Rectors' Conferences express their concern about the Hungarian government transferring all of the management powers of the Budapest University of Theatre and Film Arts (SZFE) to a new board of trustees, which is appointed directly by the government.
After the forced move of the Central European University and the withdrawal of the autonomy of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences last year, these measures are a further step toward silencing critical positions by reducing the political independence of art, culture and science in Hungary.
This action violates internationally accepted and generally valid principles of academic freedom and self-government of academic institutions. The six Rectors' Conferences refer to their Vienna Declaration, signed in 2018, which identifies academic freedom and institutional autonomy as key elements for the functioning and development of higher education institutions. Autonomous universities are an essential element of democratic societies, because they are a place of free discourse on current social and political developments.
The Rectors’ Conferences therefore urge the Hungarian government to restore full autonomy of the university and they declare their solidarity with the resigned university management and the protesting students.