Merger Of Universities
Recently, there have been many changes in education policies. It seems that the education system has never been chaotic like this. A weeks ago, there was a discussion over Arthur Li, Secretary for Education and Manpower, who acted as a matchmaker to speed the merger of the Chinese University (CU) and the University of Science and Technology (UST). Some people and the students of the CU and UST criticized that Professor Li interfered the autonomy of the two universities. They also asked him for an apology for what he was saying about the merger. However, Professor Li did not apologize to anybody and insisted that he did not do anything wrong.
From my point of view, as Hong Kong is a city with freedom of speech, anyone can express his idea, including Professor Li. On the other hand, he did not force the two institutions to merge. Instead, he just gave an idea of the merger. Students of the two universities should know that if they and the staff there do not support it, there will not be any process going. They should take into account that whether the merger of the two universities would bring benefits to both of them and whether the two universities would since then develop as a world-class university, rather than jump to the conclusion that the two universities should not merge.
Being a former vice-chancellor in Chinese University, Professor Li would know how important the autonomy for a university is. So, he will not be interfering with the universities. Even he really has interfered the autonomy, he would not have escaped under the accountability system. Although Hong Kong, at present, is not completely a democratic government, the citizens can have the officials resign if they find that they did something wrong under the accountability system.
14th October 2002
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