Lingnan University’s cultural studies faculty has parted ways with two adjunct associate professors known for their pro-democracy viewpoints.

Lingnan University
Lingnan University. Photo: GovHK.

Hui Bo-keung and Lo Wing-sang were both active academic figures in Hong Kong’s protest scene and are vocal critics of the increasing restrictions placed on civic freedoms by the Hong Kong government. They have, since 2014, made public comments critical of the police crackdown on protesters, as well as the national security law.

Lo pens political commentary on local newspapers, while Hui is a trustee of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund.

The duo’s names were removed from the university’s website as of Thursday, Stand News reported. Hui and Lo left their permanent teaching positions as associate professors at the university in 2017, but remained on as adjuncts afterwards.

Hui bo-keung, Lo Wing-sang
Hui bo-keung (left) and Law Wing-sang (right). Photos: Citizen News / Lo via Matters.

Lo said he received a letter of termination from the university shortly after he penned an opinion article for Ming Pao in early September, the newspaper reported, bringing his tenure to an end one year before his engagement was due to expire. The university did not offer a reason, he said.

Critical comments

“Ever since the ‘Hong Kong national security law’ was promulgated last year and the democratic ‘election’ system was ‘improved’ in a fortnight, the controversy on continuing to strive for democratisation since ‘the Handover’ has come to a pause,” Lo wrote in the Ming Pao article. “Hong Kong now strides into an era of ‘authoritarian rule.'”

Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

Meanwhile, Hui told Stand News that he had not received the university’s formal notice of termination. He did not know the reason for his termination and did not care much about it, he reportedly said, as he only taught very few classes last year and none this year.

The University said in a statement given to Stand News that the duo’s adjunct appointment had ended in September, but did not disclose the reason their contracts would not be renewed.

HKFP has reached out to Lingnan University for comment.

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Selina Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist who previously worked with HK01, Quartz and AFP Beijing. She also covered the Umbrella Movement for AP and reported for a newspaper in France. Selina has studied investigative reporting at the Columbia Journalism School.