Shouldn’t a university’s business be education? Shouldn’t education be about teaching our young people not just knowledge but wisdom? Shouldn’t a wise person be reasonable, independent, moral, and responsible?
Then why are some of our universities be so bent on pleasing the rich and powerful? Exalting politicians above academics? Honouring the rich above their professors, students, and alumni? Selling suspect research to curry favour from those expected to ascend in power?
How can we expect our students to be honest, independent, just and compassionate, when their professors themselves are not honest, not independent, not just and not compassionate?
On the one hand, we tell our students, “The purpose of studying is not to gain high marks.” On the other hand, we show them with our actions that we treasure precisely high marks - in the form of funding, ranking, prestige and connections.
What are we? Hypocrites?
[Disclaimer: I do not imply that all universities and all professors are like that. Some are actually behaving quite honourably, standing up for truth and accepting responsibility for their actions, in the face of severe political pressure. For example, Prof. Chung, and Prof. Tsui.]