The role of university leaders in a political crisis: Students' perspectives from Hong Kong

Yat Wai LO, Euan Douglas AULD

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

University students actively participated in the 2019 Hong Kong protests. In this context, the students expected that their universities would support their political stance. Drawing on data from interviews with student leaders, this article documents and examines students' expectations for their university heads, how they interacted and negotiated with university management and how university leaders variously responded to the students' expectations during the social movement. Noting the difficulties in reconciling conflicts over the positioning of the university amid strong political polarisation and social divisions in the society, this article argues that university leaders can only passively adapt to political unrest, and that such passive adaptation exemplifies university's vulnerability to political crises.
大學生積極參與 2019 年的香港抗議活動。在此情況下,學生們希望他們的大學能夠支持他們的政治立場。本文根據對學生領袖的訪談紀實,記錄並探討學生對大學校長的期望,他們如何與大學管理層互動和談判,以及大學領導者如何在社會運動中對學生的期望做出不同的回應。本文指出,在強烈的政治兩極化和社會分化的背景下,大學領導者難以調和有關大學定位的衝突,他們只能被動地回應政治動盪,而這種被動回應則體現了大學在政治危機中的脆弱性。 Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Higher Education Quarterly published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-19
JournalHigher Education Quarterly
Volume78
Issue number1
Early online date27 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Citation

Lo, W. Y. W., & Auld, E. (2024). The role of university leaders in a political crisis: Students' perspectives from Hong Kong. Higher Education Quarterly, 78(1), 4-19. https://doi.org/10.1111/hequ.12418

Keywords

  • Hong Kong
  • Political crisis
  • Protests
  • Student activism
  • University leadership

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