Baptist University denies severing ties with students - RTHK
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Baptist University denies severing ties with students

2021-07-26 HKT 15:49
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Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) on Monday said it will no longer collect membership fees on behalf of its students' union, but denied that the move is aimed at severing ties with the body.

This follows similar decisions taken by a number of other local universities recently, moves critics say are aimed at distancing the institutions from their student unions for political reasons.

HKBU’s president, Alexander Wai, denied that its decision was politically-motivated, saying he had always disagreed with bundling union fees together with tuition fees.

“I had objected to that when I was a student already because it’s not right. If you’re an independent organisation as we claimed at that time, we should take care of all our business including collecting our own fees and doing promotion,” he said.

“When you do promotion, you will understand the needs of your members. I have been against this practice ever since I was a college student. So it’s nothing to do with what’s happening now.”

In response, the acting president of the students’ union, Keith Fong, described the move as unprecedented and accused the university management of shirking its responsibilities.

He said the move will seriously undermine the operation of the student body, adding that it may not have sufficient funding to continue running its co-operative on campus.

Separately, the university announced it will require all new students to take a compulsory course in national security, starting in the new academic year.

“We will offer a series of talks and seminars to them. They can choose the topics they are interested in. We plan to cover a wide range of topics, for example, internet security and national security, environment and national security, health or even the financial system,” vice-president Albert Chau said.