Academics warn of political battleground at universities

Pro-democracy Hong Kong academics say they have been sidelined from city universities for their political views, as fears grow that education is increasingly under pressure from Beijing, reports AFP.

Although semi-autonomous Hong Kong enjoys rights unseen on the mainland, including freedom of expression, there are growing concerns those liberties are being squeezed as China's tolerance for dissent diminishes. A former member of a top decision-making body at one of the city's leading universities described the situation for academics as a “bloodless political battleground”.

Students have voiced their support and concern for staff they feel have been targeted over their views. In recent years they have joined faculty members in protesting against what they believe are political appointments of pro-Beijing management figures at universities. Several academics who spoke with AFP said they felt their careers or those of their colleagues had been scuppered because of their political stance.
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