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March 21, 2023

UMF Targu-Mures students protest ethnic segregation

Approximately 200 students of the Targu-Mures University of Medicine and Pharmacy (UMF) protested in front of the Mures Prefecture yesterday, shouting ‘We want no ethnic segregation!’, ‘We are no political commodity!’ and demanding ‘education without politics’. Mediafax reports that Nucu Marica, Vice-President of the Mures Students’ League that organises the protest said he hoped the message of their action that intercultural does not mean segregation would reach the authorities. ‘We don’t want the government meeting tomorrow to adopt against our will a law against UMF Targu-Mures and split it. This is segregation, not multiculturalism. We want to live together, study together, we don’t want to live in societies closed based on ethnic criteria,’ said Marica, also noting that the students who protest totally agree with education in the maternal language, but fear that a possible separation of the Hungarian language side will downgrade the university from category B to a lower class or will even lead to the closing of a part of the university.  The Mures Students’ League collects signatures ‘against the ethnic segregation at UMF Targu-Mures,’ in front of the Prefecture. UMF Targu Mures Rector Constantin Copotoiu says the Ministry of Education, after a meeting with representatives of the university leaders, decided to support either the establishment of a study programme or the setting up of a Hungarian faculty within UMF. Copotoiu says the Hungarian representatives of the university agreed to all that has been decided but, at the end of the meeting, Professor Szabo Bela demanded ‘a purely Hungarian department’ in the university, because he had no guarantee that what had been discussed there would actually happen. The rector says he made it clear he could not agree to such thing, because the university’s Senate had voted for mixed departments and that, even if the matter is brought before him a hundred times, he will make the same decision, at which time Education Minister Catalin Baba ‘became upset’.  Deputy Prime-Minister Marko Bela was saying last Saturday that the UMF rector election won by Leonard Azamfirei had not been recognised by the Ministry of Education and threatened he would quit the government if the Education Law is not complied with at UMF. Marko Bela a complained about the fact that, ‘for certain nationalist considerations, the application of a legal requirement for the provision of education in the maternal language is hindered.’

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