An independent panel was established by the Council of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) on Tuesday to review the school’s governance mechanisms and their effectiveness.

Sir Malcolm John Grant, Chancellor of the University of York, will serve as chairman of the panel, with Professors William C. Kirby and Peter Van Tu Nguyen to serve on the panel.

Malcolm John Grant
Sir Malcolm John Grant. Photo: Academy of Medical Sciences screencap.

The panel will review HKU’s governance structure and assess its effectiveness following the implementation of structural recommendations made in the Niland Reports between 2003 to 2009.

The reports made 17 recommendations in order to create a distinction between governance and management, as well as “developing systems to support devolved executive management.”

Automatic appointment 

The automatic appointment of Hong Kong’s chief executive as university chancellor is a tradition that has drawn recent criticism.

A report published by the University of Hong Kong Public Opinion Programme in March showed that 92 per cent of 4,500 staff voting across eight staff unions supported abolishing the powers of the chief executive in appointing members to the Council.

arthur li
Arthur Li. Photo: Stand News.

Leung’s appointment of Arthur Li Kwok-cheung as chairman of HKU’s governing council has drawn controversy and criticism over academic freedom and political interference.

The review panel will report back towards the end of 2016.

Isaac Cheung

Isaac Cheung

Isaac Cheung is pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Politics and Public Administration at the University of Hong Kong. During the Occupy Central protests, Isaac worked as an editor and reporter at LIVE: Verified Updates, a bilingual news page founded and maintained by HKU journalism students. He has also worked at Coconuts Hong Kong as a reporter.