Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying stated on Tuesday that the Chief Executive has certain responsibilities in Hong Kong’s government-funded universities. The statement was made at the airport before Leung’s departure to the UK and Israel for an official visit.

Leung said that the extent of his involvement and responsibilities, as well as that of the institution’s management and staff, varies according to the legislation of the respective tertiary institutions. As head of government, he said, he must act according to his responsibilities under the ordinances that form these universities.

Leung Chun-Ying. File Photo: Stand News.

He further added that the views of staff and students on potential amendments to the governing structure of these institutions would be considered.

The Chief Executive automatically serves as the chancellor to all of Hong Kong’s tertiary institutions, a role that is traditionally only symbolic. Last month over 7,000 University of Hong Kong alumni voted to remove Leung from this position.

Deputy Convenor of HKU Alumni Concern Group Mak Tung-wing disagrees with the notion that the Chief Executive has responsibilities and rights in government-funded institutions.

“In the past 100 years prior to CY Leung, the Chief Executive or governor was appointed as chancellor as derived by traditional law in order to boost fundraising efforts. It would be a purely ceremonial role and the Chief Executive would normally not interfere in the daily operations of the institution. The alumni and authorities of HKU were astonished when CY Leung vetoed nominations for honorary degrees earlier this year. It was the first step of a very clear deviation of the current Chief Executive as compared to the previous ones,” he told HKFP.

Peking University President’s lecture cancelled 

Peking University President Professor Lin Jianhua has cancelled his guest lecture at the University of Hong Kong at the last minute, citing the reason as an “emergency business engagement.” The lecture on Globalisation in Higher Education, scheduled for today, was cancelled on Sunday, after two large-scale protests on HKU campus last week regarding HKU Council’s decision on pro-vice-chancellor appointment.

Medhavi Arora is in her final year at the University of Hong Kong studying Journalism and International Relations. Her print, video and multimedia pieces have been featured in the Times of India and CNN-IBN. She is a former intern at UN Women and has additional experience in sustainability, international affairs and communications.