A fund-raising push has been launched to help Hong Kong Institute of Education academics with legal fees in their defence of academic autonomy. The campaign, by the Professional Teachers' Union and the University Education Concern Group, aims to raise between HK$2 million and HK$3 million to cover the legal costs of institute head Paul Morris and vice-president Bernard Luk Hung-kay. They will testify at a judicial inquiry set up by Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen to investigate claims of government interference in the internal affairs of the institute. Concern group spokeswoman Dora Choi Po-king said issues related to academic freedom should be a matter of public interest. 'It's not fair that [the two professors] have to pay the fees themselves ... I hope the inquiry will be conducted in a fair manner,' she said. Professor Choi said the first contribution came from a cleaner working in one of the universities who gave HK$500. Teachers' union representative Fung Wai-wah said professors Morris and Luk might be bankrupted before the truth was revealed. He said the campaign would last at least until June but admitted it would not be easy to raise enough money. Collection boxes have been set up at the union's offices.