Chief Executive is the head of all Hong Kong public funded Universities!
Updated: Dec 1, 2019
Since 1997 the root of all Hong Kong (HK) students' problems is that their "education" has always been the front line battleground waged by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and HK Government against HK parents and children, particularly those in public funded education. The HK Government is not meeting it's UN obligations for education.
Wikipedia states that "All Hong Kong publicly funded universities (i.e. funded by the University Grants Committee) in Hong Kong has the Chief Executive as their Chancellor. The Chief Executive is also the president of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and chancellor of The Open University of Hong Kong."
In HK there is no autonomy nor academic freedom for public funded Universities. The Chief Executive as the Chancellor (i.e. head) of all HK public funded Universities is conflicted and in breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration 1984 and The Basic Law.
This is a deliberate act by the CCP and HK Government to ensure that HK's education sector is under their direct and full control. CCP "brainwashes" everyone it can - including inside Universities in foreign countries such as UK, USA, EU, etc.
HK does NOT have a free society, free market or a free economy. HK is increasingly being controlled, manipulated and limited, by the CCP. At the root of most HK problems the CCP and HK Government are NOT upholding the Joint Declaration nor HK's UN obligations!
HK is one of the most financially wealthy cities on Earth - and it is one of the poorest cities in the world with the worst social inequalities, most unaffordable housing, etc.
The highest value added is from creativity. For years the HK Government has been spending a lot of time and money seeking the Holy Grail of Creativity - the elusive quest for greater creativity of HK people which they believe would drive HK's high value-added service-based economy.
Generally for higher creativity to thrive people must enjoy a high degree of freedom - which means they need a democratic society with civil liberties and the rule of law. Yet the CCP and the HK Government instead chooses to ignore HK people's democratic and human rights and instead prefers to see and treat them as expendable resources.
UN Declaration of Human Rights Article 26.2 (quote - bold format added): "Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace."
The HK Government does NOT comply with UN Declaration of Human Rights Article 26.2.
HK is spending an enormous amount of resources on an education system that is increasingly designed by the authoritarian CCP and HK Government to produce identical "human robots" that they can control. Public funded education in HK should be holistically meeting the unique needs of each human being living in a democratic and free civil society "..to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms..."
Critically, today's HK Secondary School and University graduates are unable to find in HK the jobs and opportunities that they need from now through the end of the Joint Declaration in 2047 and beyond! HK students see no future in HK and this is a driving force for their participation in the HK protest movement. The elephant in the room is obvious - what will happen after 2047 when the Joint Declaration ends??
The HK Government is unwilling and/ or unable to meet HK's UN obligations to students of their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights including health, affordable housing, social welfare, etc.
Significantly HK does NOT comply with the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). To become adults versed in a democratic civil society students logically need to be educated in what is required of them - this is a UN obligation!
In 2012 there were massive protests against Hong Kong's Education Department Bureau (EDB) proposals for "Moral and National Education" (MNE, 德育及國民敎育). Wikipedia states that the 2001 MNE is a school curriculum proposed by the EDB, changed from the "Moral and Civic Education" (MCE, 德育及公民敎育). MNE was particularly controversial for applauding the communist and nationalist positions of China's government on the one hand, and criticising republicanism and democracy on the other.
Hong Kong's mini-Constitution "The Basic Law" Article 137 (quote - bold format added): "Educational institutions of all kinds may retain their autonomy and enjoy academic freedom. They may continue to recruit staff and use teaching materials from outside the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Schools run by religious organizations may continue to provide religious education, including courses in religion.
Students shall enjoy freedom of choice of educational institutions and freedom to pursue their education outside the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region."
Alex To writing for SCMP on 13 July 2015 in an article titled 'Chief executive as chancellor of Hong Kong universities is an anachronism' wrote (bold format added):
"Controversies ensued earlier this year with the naming of executive councillor Professor Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, a politically divisive figure, to the HKU council. His allied council members' stalling of the appointment of a pro-democracy legal scholar, Professor Johannes Chan Man-mun, to a pro-vice-chancellor post renewed the row.
Chan's case is, however, complicated by his being tainted by alleged mishandling of dodgy donation funds channelled to the university by his colleague and Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai Yiu-ting.
It's over Chan's stalled appointment that many student unions and scholars are now campaigning to change the laws that automatically make the chief executive their chancellor.
Chan's case is murky and so it has clouded the debate. The real issue is clear-cut enough: should the future chief executive continue to be the universities' chancellor and wield the power to name so many council members?
This has become an anachronism. There is no reason why persons of high moral, social and/or academic standing should not become chancellors of our public universities. And even if the chief executive has to remain the nominal head, his or her power to name council members should be significantly curbed."
The Chief Executive as Chancellor of HK public funded Universities in 2019 and also responsible for the Police is clearly conflicted and this is an abuse of power!
HK Chief Executive Carrie Lam after nearly 6 months of massive public peaceful protests still refuses to resign or establish a meaningful dialog with protesters, many of whom are students. To date she has met only one of the protesters' five demands. This is unacceptable to the majority of HK people.
As Chancellor the control over all matters relating to all public funded Universities in HK lies solely with the CCP controlled political appointee - the HK Chief Executive Carrie Lam! This includes who is allowed by the Chancellor onto the campus, including the Police.
Since 12 June 2019 the UN recognizes that HK Police has used disproportionate force against protesters including students. Specifically the UN lays out the case against senior Chinese and HK Government officials who could be criminally charged for these acts of the use of disproportionate force.
The Chancellor has NOT addressed the November 2019 cases of Police action at Chinese University nor Polytechnic University. The recent repeated violations of University campuses and students by the HK Police, including the use of disproportionate force, is unacceptable and something that the Chancellor as head of the University must address.
HK Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who is also the Chancellor, is ultimately one of the people who, according to the UN, could be criminally charged for the use of disproportionate force used by the HK Police.
The HK Chief Executive must NOT be the Chancellor of any HK Universities or other education related institutions. HK Universities, as educational institutions, must have their agreed autonomy and academic freedoms.
Our view that the Chief Executive should not be the Chancellor has also been promoted by the Hong Kong Professional Teachers Union (HKPTU).
Related wethepeopleofhk.com links "HK Police illegal entry Universities including Chinese University on 11 & 12 November 2019"
Update 30 November 2019 Source Hong Kong Free Press
Beijing takes swift revenge against Hongkongers, and universities are the first victim
"The Chinese Communist Party’s retaliation against institutions in Hong Kong that the party perceives as disloyal has been swift. First, a little background. Last Sunday, the people of Hong Kong voted in record numbers in district council elections to punish the government and its supporters for the chaos here.
Let’s remember that the Hong Kong government’s mismanagement of the extradition bill for the last six months brought protesters out on to the streets. The Hong Kong government’s continued refusal to take responsibility for its misconduct continues to fan the flames.
To this must be added the government’s reliance on only the police to govern, and police misconduct, have made matters worse. So, Hong Kong people voted out pro-government parties in record numbers.
Clearly large numbers of people in the city support the protests. The “silent majority” demands the government be held to account. The government’s response so far: we’ll reflect on this.
Part of the process involved protesters calling for a general strike from November 11. Demonstrators took over universities located near major transportation arteries and caused havoc. They closed the East Rail, Tolo highway, the Hung Hom cross-harbour tunnel, and
Pokfulam Road – all major transportation links. The public, and even our myopic government, noticed.
University students and others took over university campuses, located next to these transportation links. They attempted to enforce the strike. We saw a spike in violence, which no rational person can endorse. In the process, university administrators closed their institutions and cancelled classes for the rest of the semester.
And still the people of Hong Kong, for the most part, stood with the protests, demanding accountable government. The Hong Kong government’s response: noted.
The Chinese Communist Party announced on November 1 at its Central Committee plenum that it would implement new policies for Hong Kong to put down the protests. It appears that university funding is an early target. The party has instructed its proxies in the Legislative Council to veto new funding for local universities.
As one “anonymous” Legco member reportedly said: The pro-government camp was ‘very unhappy’ with what had recently happened in universities and perceived that university leaders had ‘failed to control’ their own institutions.
Our funding system for universities dates back to 1965 when the government set up the University Grants Committee, an imported colonial device. The UGC is supposed to act as a buffer between the government and the universities to ensure their relative autonomy.
The community needs this to ensure that research and teaching “seek truth from facts” – in the words of Deng Xiaoping. Academic freedom, which is also not absolute, requires relatively autonomous universities.
Universities in Hong Kong are public institutions, supported by Hong Kong tax revenue, and should be publicly accountable. Generally, they are accountable through Legco oversight, audit, the Independent Commission Against Corruption, and the media.
Since 2012, the government has tightened control of universities through its appointment of university council members and chairs. Beijing may now judge that this policy has failed to have the desired effect. So, the CCP has turned to another tool – funding – to punish universities for what the party perceives as political disloyalty.
The party is using existing (colonial) institutions in Hong Kong to execute this policy. Previously, the party used mostly carrots rather than sticks to manage our universities. Carrots included huge research funding, and access to facilities, land, collaboration, students and staff based on the mainland. In truth, Hong Kong’s universities needed these resources to thrive.
Apparently, Beijing now believes that universities must be punished for failing to stand by our incompetent government. Rather the party continues to endorse the government’s failures.
No, the Chief Executive said, the party has not held me accountable for mismanaging the city. To punish the universities for pointing out the government’s misconduct is a disturbing development. It undermines decades of work to improve the reputation of universities in Hong Kong, that has been largely successful.
Our universities’ reputation is built on a separate identity from the Communist Party and the government. As the party teaches Hong Kong and its universities a lesson, we are moving further down the road to becoming just like the mainland, and the collapse of “one country, two systems.” Oh, and we’re doing this using our very own institutions. What an irony."
Written by John Burns, an honorary professor at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Hong Kong.
Video tape from 18 November 2019 Hong Kong Polytechnic University showing student being grabbed, dragged on the ground and head stomped on by Police