HKU council controversyi

Conflicts arose on the University of Hong Kong's governing council in 2015 as pro-democracy Professor Johannes Chan Man-mun was being considered to be pro-vice-chancellor of the institution. His candidacy eventually failed, eliciting criticism that pro-establishment forces had opposed him on political grounds. Tensions flared again when months later Professor Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, a close ally of Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, was named chairman of the council.  


The sacking of academic Benny Tai, one of the founders of the 2014 Occupy civil disobedience movement, has come at a time when society is already divided, with some now questioning the institution’s independence.

  • Sudden change in senior management follows shock resignation of a vice-president less than a month ago
  • Governing council will discuss whether to approve appointment of economist Professor Richard Wong as interim provost, source says

Chief executive holds post by default, but student and staff unions call for that to change after controversial chairman Arthur Li is reappointed to lead governing council.


But Leonie Ki describes time on campus management body as ‘very traumatic’ and ‘worse than hell’, after clashing with students in an appointment saga and siege over governance reforms.

Fears raised that electing ‘yes man’ to governing body will only empower controversial chairman Arthur Li, and not address issue of city leader’s chancellorship.

Timothy O’Leary talks to the Post about the threat to academic freedom as Hong Kong’s ties to China deepen, and why mandatory retirement at 60 is the ‘single worst policy at HKU’.

But the long-time law school dean, rejected for a senior managerial position at the city’s oldest university in 2015, urges its new vice chancellor to stand his ground.

Two former student leaders face imprisonment following their conviction on Thursday for their roles in a chaotic siege of a University of Hong Kong council meeting last year.