THE new vice chancellor of the University of Hong Kong (HKU,香港大學) has pledged to uphold academic freedom and free speech.
Professor Peter Mathieson, the first expatriate to hold the post in a decade, takes over from Professor Tsui Lap-chee (徐立之).
He also said the university would support students who engaged in peaceful protests, provided they did not break the law.
“I am delighted to be the 15th vice chancellor of University of Hong Kong. I will make every effort to strive for the best ... together with the students, staff and alumni,” he said in Cantonese.
“I will do everything to uphold Hong Kong’s and HKU’s core values. We want to protect academic freedom and the right of free speech.” He said there is still much for him to learn, including the cultural aspect, and he will work hard on that.
On Occupy Central (佔領中環), he said, “The university will help any student that happens to participate or get into any trouble in Occupy Central, but always within the boundary of respect for the law,” he said.
Mathieson was the dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom (英國) for five years before moving to HKU.