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Hungarian Students Call for Nationwide Strike

Last week, Hungarian high school and college students protested from Monday to Friday. This week, the young people are still demanding that the government set university admission quotas to a reasonable level and help those from lower income households to access higher education.

On Monday, thousands of students marched again on the streets of the Hungarian capital. After protesting in front of the Parliament [hu], they went to the Hungarian Radio's headquarters to demand an announcement of the 5 + 1 points, which they had decided on during one of the last week's forums. Kettős Mérce blog reported [hu] that eventually the Radio's presenters talked about the students’ demands at 9 PM, but did not read the list on air.

Student protests continue in Budapest. Photo by David Ferenczy, copyright © Demotix (12/12/2012).

The march ended with a forum at the University of Theatre and Film Arts, where the following video was recorded. The video calls everyone affected by the cuts in higher education quotas, etc., to join the “nationwide higher education strike” [hu] on Wednesday.

From 1:28 on the video, the students are shouting “We call every sympathizer and the affected ones to join. [We demand] a general strike. Nothing about us without us.” And the last sentence is repeated many times until 2:36.

The students, among other things, are demanding a more professional decision-making process in solving the problems of the Hungarian higher education. One of the reasons for this particular demand is PM Viktor Orbán's appearance in a downtown pub on Saturday with a group of allegedly unknown students – those who are definitely not members of any currently protesting student unions; afterwards, he said there wouldn't be any admission quotas. This statement was later clarified by the Minister of Human Resources, who said that students would have to meet “quality requirements” [hu].

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