Students unsure on CUHK choice

Local | Sum Lok-kei Jul 14, 2017
The Chinese University of Hong Kong's student union says it will adopt a wait- and-see attitude on the possible appointment of Rocky Tuan Sung-chi as the next vice chancellor.

The university's search and selection committee last month recommended biomedical scholar Tuan to succeed Joseph Jao-yiu Sung.

Union representatives met Tuan, pictured, this month and said some of his ideas are commendable and sound.

Union president Justin Au Tze-ho said yesterday Tuan had assured them that students should be able to discuss sensitive political issues, such as Hong Kong independence, though he also reminded them that the SAR is part of China.

Tuan told students that the university's ranking was important but it should not dictate the research focuses. Au said Tuan also vowed to address student issues, including the quality of internship programs and the double-major system.

"Tuan was willing to confront these issues and has shown determination in introducing reforms in relevant fields," Au said, adding that Tuan promised to review internship programs.

If it is proven that an internship program provides poor learning experience, Tuan may consider changing it, Au said.

Despite agreement to some issues, the student union said Tuan lacked insight on local issues and the education system in Hong Kong, as he had spent most of his time in the United States.

The union's external secretary, Thomas Lee Man-yiu, said Tuan seemed unfamiliar with the student-led protests of recent years.

Without an understanding of social activism in Hong Kong, Lee wondered what stance Tuan could take on future events, or if the university will support students under Tuan's leadership.

The union said it will collect views from students and present a report to the university's council before a special meeting on July 24 that is expected to decide on Tuan's appointment.

Tuan was formerly a researcher in biomedical science in the United States with a teaching position at the University of Pittsburgh.

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June 2018