HKU vice president retracts statement on compulsory China trips

April 21, 2015 11:59
The HKU Student Union has criticized vice president Professor Ian Holliday for his contradictory statements on mainland visits. Photos: Reuters, i-Cable

University of Hong Kong vice president and pro vice chancellor Professor Ian Holliday has retracted his remarks on compulsory mainland visits for HKU students.

Holliday revealed the plan during a meeting with HKU student leaders on Friday, telling them that “if you don’t want to go to China, don’t come to HKU”.

But in another meeting with student leaders on Monday, the vice president retracted his statement and stressed that the idea of mainland visits is not a university policy, adding that it will not be implemented if students are opposed to it, Ming Pao Daily reported on Tuesday. 

The Hong Kong University Students Union (HKUSU) slammed Holliday for his contradictory statements on the issue and called for the university to disclose all documents related to the issue that it has submitted to the University Grants Committee (UGC).

According to the HKUSU newsletter Undergrad, Holliday told students that all undergraduates at the university will be required to make at least one visit to mainland China and another one to another overseas destination as a prerequisite for graduation.

But HKUSU chairman Fung King-yan stressed that Holliday himself said that the plan is not a university policy, although it was included in an Academic Development Proposal that was submitted to the UGC.

When asked whether the university will seek the students’ views on the issue and if there is a timeline, Holliday said no plans are available now.

However, according to the proposal submitted to the UGC, 50 percent of the university students will be asked to make one mainland visit and another one to an overseas destination. The scheme will be expanded to cover 100 percent of the student population by 2022. 

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