University of Hong Kong’s decision not to appoint Johannes Chan as pro-vice-chancellor smacks of political interference

Commentaries and Op-eds September 30, 2015, South China Morning Post

What is happening to my alma mater, the University of Hong Kong, is saddening and worrying. HKU Faculty of Law gave me the skills, basic knowledge and mindset to become a legal scholar. As head of the law department and later dean of the faculty, Professor Johannes Chan Man-mun extended me enormous help, patience and guidance.

However, as the HKU Convocation’s extraordinary general meeting a month ago attested, the issues go beyond whether Chan is fine enough a scholar and administrator (having been dean for 12 years) to be appointed a pro-vice-chancellor.

A primary role of a pre-eminent law school, particularly in the troubled region that is China and the wider Asia, is to instil a sense of responsibility in its students for their society and fellow citizens, while imparting knowledge through research and pedagogy. In continental Europe, Japan, South Korea and indeed mainland China, academics have significant influence over the formulation of government policy.

This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post. Find it here.

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