Exodus at Hong Kong universities

Exodus at Hong Kong universities



Record numbers of students and scholars are quitting their universities in Hong Kong. Experts say declining academic freedom is a major reason for leaving.


At Hong Kong’s eight largest public universities, some 2,300 undergraduate students broke off their studies early last academic year, reports journalism platform University World News based on new figures. That is 24 percent more than in the 2019-20 academic year. Many students signed up for studies abroad. 
The number of departing academic staff also increased, by 30 percent compared to the previous academic year. According to the latest figures, the total is 362 academics, the biggest brain drain since the tumultuous 1997-98 academic year, when the former British colony was handed over to China.


Mass exodus
Before 2019, it was highly unusual for students in Hong Kong to quit their studies halfway through, experts tell University World News. But now it has become “almost normal”.


More than a hundred thousand residents have now left Hong Kong. The mass exodus came in the wake of protests against the 2019 extradition bill with China and the subsequent introduction of the National Security Act, which effectively put Chinese rule over Hong Kong’s semi-independent government. Academic freedom is coming under increasing pressure, human rights organisation Scholars at Risk noted earlier in its annual report. (HOP, PvT)


HOP Hoger Onderwijs Persbureau

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