Undergraduate students at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) will have to take an introductory course on the Beijing-imposed national security law in order to graduate.

According to an email sent to all HKU students on Monday seen by HKFP, pupils will have to enrol in a non-credit bearing course titled “Introduction to the Constitution, the Basic Law and the National Security Law.” The requirement will kick in from the 2022/23 school year.

The University of Hong Kong. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

The course will be conducted online, and will adopt “a self-directed learning approach,” according to the email. More details will be announced on September 1 when the new school year begins.

Including HKU, all eight University Grant Committee-funded (UGC) universities in the city have launched or will launch national security courses.

An email sent to all University of Hong Kong undergraduate students detailing a new national security course requirement. Photo: Supplied.

Ming Pao reported on Monday that national security courses at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University will begin next school year.

Hong Kong Baptist University, the Education University of Hong Kong, Lingnan University, and City University of Hong Kong have already incorporated national security content into their curriculum in forms of seminars and workshops, Ming Pao reported.

HKFP has reached out to HKU for comment.

National security picture books

Meanwhile, the Education Bureau (EDB), in collaboration with the Security Bureau, will give picture books to kindergartens, primary and secondary schools in the city to “raise the sense of national security,” Secretary for Education Christine Choi said on Sunday.

Secretary for Education Christine Choi speaking at a Hong Kong Book Fair event on July 24, 2022. Photo: RTHK, via video screenshot.

“Through developing diversified reading resources, we will support schools to launch national education to strengthen students’ understanding of the country, and nurture their concept of the nation and their national identity…,” said Choi on Sunday at a Hong Kong Book Fair event.

“At the same time, [the Education Bureau], together with the Security Bureau, will gift all secondary and primary schools, and kindergartens, a picture book titled ‘Our Country, Our Safety,’ and introduce a sense of national security and raise students’ awareness and sense of responsibility of maintaining national security through various themes and real-life examples.”

The education secretary also said that the EDB will provide subsidies of around HK$50 million for secondary and primary schools, and HK$10 million for kindergartens, to promote reading.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.