Ordinance for university says main language should be Chinese The Chinese University could breach the spirit of the law passed to set it up if it increases the number of courses it teaches in English. The preamble of the Chinese University Of Hong Kong Ordinance states that the university's 'principal medium of instruction shall be Chinese'. Solicitor Chong Yiu-kwong said that although the preamble was not legally binding, it explained the nature and reason behind the ordinance. If the increase in English-language courses continued, the wording might have to be amended or the university might have to adopt a new name, he said. 'The university should publish the breakdown of the number of existing courses adopting Chinese or English as the medium of instruction to prove that it is still abiding by the preamble and the bill. 'And it should draft a policy to ensure that the majority of courses will be taught in Chinese.' The university has announced plans to increase the number of courses in English to attract more non-local students as part of its 'internationalism' plan. The proposal has met strong opposition from students and staff, who feel it is a betrayal of the university's mission of promoting Chinese culture and the tradition of bilingualism. They complained that vice-chancellor Lawrence Lau did not consult students on the policy. Professor Lau was booed by academics and students at a forum to discuss the proposals on Thursday when he refused to drop the plans. He was presented with a petition, signed by more than 800 students and 30 teaching staff, demanding that the changes be halted. A bilingual education committee has been set to examine the policy. 'I don't think the university should impose its decision on students over such an important change in university policy,' said Ivan Choy Chi-keung, senior instructor in the Department of Government and Public Administration, who signed the petition. A spokeswoman said a breakdown on the language of courses would not be published because departments had their own policies on medium of instruction. 'It might be unfair to point out some faculties are offering most courses in English while some are not.' Ma Lik, chairman of the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong, backed the move as a necessary step to internationalisation. 'Like the UK and Australia, Hong Kong should develop education as a global business.'