Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Academic Integrity and Political Courage

Earlier this year, Victor Sit of Baptist University published the so called “Blue Book of Hong Kong Investigation”.  It was blatantly pro-mainland Communists. Among other things, it claimed that ‘The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s general education curriculum is sponsored by, and its materials written with the assistance of, a US fund. Its teaching direction has, in practice, been directed by that fund’.  It caused a great uproar, and CUHK complained, naturally.

BU set up a panel to investigate the matter.  The panel upheld the Chinese University’s complaint, that the statement was unfounded and inaccurate.  It also found that Sit “willfully intended to promote ill-conceived information as scholarship ... compromised academic integrity”.  Professor Albert Chan, President of BU, apologized to CUHK on behalf of BU.

BU deserves credit for taking a firm stand on academic integrity.  Even more so, it should be applauded for the courage to stand up to the political pressure.  Sit is one of the many pro-mainland Communist “academics” in Hong Kong and his book has already been adopted as a reference by the government on the mainland.  Taking such a stand is not going to endear BU in the eyes of the men in power on the mainland and their supporters.

But that is precisely one of the “core values” of Hong Kong that we find so valuable.





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