26 March 2019
HKU Council chairman Arthur Li has sent out invitations for a lunch meeting with "top students". Photos: GovHK, HKEJ
HKU Council chairman Arthur Li has sent out invitations for a lunch meeting with "top students". Photos: GovHK, HKEJ

HKU student unions slam Arthur Li lunch with “elite” students

Student unions of the 10 faculties at University of Hong Kong have issued a joint statement to condemn a lunch meeting with “top students” proposed by HKU Council chairman Arthur Li Kwok-cheung and vice-chancellor Peter Mathieson, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Li and Mathieson were said to have invited the university faculties to each nominate an elite student to take part in a lunch meeting with them on March 24. 

The student unions said the invitation lacked transparency and bypassed both the student unions and the faculties.

They also demanded that Li disclose the agenda of the meeting at least three days before the event, otherwise they would call on the student participants to boycott the luncheon.

Meanwhile, a “top student” of the Faculty of Dentistry who was said to have been nominated to attend the lunch begged off from the meeting.

“Because the nature of the meeting is unknown, I do not know my position or what I represent if I were to attend the meeting,” the statement said.

“Furthermore, I do not believe that I can represent the Faculty of Dentistry and/or its students.”

The office of the HKU vice-chancellor said in an email to the teaching staff that both Li and Mathieson would like to meet 10 elite students selected from the university’s faculties over a 90-minute lunch, and asked the faculties to nominate the participants.

The student unions asked the faculties to explain the criteria to be used in selecting the student representatives, as well as details of the meeting.

The faculties said academic results and performances in extra-curricular activities will be the key deciding factors, but they have no information on the specifics of the meeting.

The office of the vice-chancellor, when asked, said they also have no details about the meeting as the invitation came from the Council chairman.

The student unions are of the view that Li could be conducting a “pseudo-consultation” by getting the views of the 10 nominated students.

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