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「院校自主公投」十問十答:教職員版(上)

2016/3/10 — 12:02

【文:院校自主公投運動】

1. 是次院校自主公投的意義何在?

這次公投的意義,在於讓大學教職員可以透過直接民主的方式,就校董會/校委會的組成,以及特首的角色表達意見,在院校內確立共識。各院校會按公投結果,推動下一輪的院校自主運動,包括促請大學管理當局以及立法會啟動修改大學條例的各種工作。

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2. 大學校監是什麼?

按照《大學條例》,各院校的校監或監督由行政長官兼任,這做法沿襲港英時期港督出任校監的安排。現時行政長官在各院校擁有龐大權力,主要包括:

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· 委任校董會/校委會成員、主席、副主席、及司庫

· 以大學的名義頒授學位及其他學術名銜,包括榮譽學位及榮譽名銜

3. 行政長官與校監的角色衝突

· 大學校監有法定責任保障大學的最佳利益,然而早前特首卻建議商界不要捐款給大學,改為捐款給中學或幼兒教育。行政長官通盤考慮如何投放教育資源合情合理,然而這卻不是大學校監該考慮的問題,說明了兩種角色存在不能協調的衝突
· 八所大學之間存在一定競爭,行政長官同時為八所大學的校監,如何能為八大院校爭取最佳資源?
· 現任行政長官向私人機構募捐,很容易造成利益輸送(如向捐款者頒授勳章或向捐款者批出合約),甚或有涉嫌賄賂的嫌疑,這些都突顯現任行政長官出任大學校監的角色衝突問題

4. 八大院校受公帑資助,受政府官員監督規管不是很合理嗎?

這做法並非必然,也不是國際慣例。

· 歐洲大部分大學的校監由校內選舉產生,教學人員的意見佔主導地位,且有一定任期(如五年)
· 英國的劍橋大學營運經費的2/3來自公帑,但學校的管理體制卻沒有政府官員的干預
· 美國加洲大學是世界知名的公立大學系統,校董會當中雖有州長、副州長等的政治人物,但美國地方政府由民主普選產生,有高度的政治認受性,可以代表廣泛的公眾利益,香港特首並非由普選產生,不能相提並論

「院校自主公投運動」記者會

【院校自主公投運動|記者招待會】是次公投的意義,在於讓大學教職員可以透過直接民主的方式,就校董會/校委會的組成,以及特首的角色表達意見,在院校內確立共識。各院校會按公投結果,推動下一輪的院校自主運動,包括促請大學管理當局以及立法會啟動修改大學條例的各種工作。****************************************************公投日期:2016年3月21至23日參與院校:港大、中大、理大、城大、浸大、教院、科大及嶺大公投議題 (Motions):(1) 取消特首任命校董會/校委會成員的權力; To abolish the powers of the Chief Executive in appointing members to the Council;(2) 增加校董會/校委會中民選教員、職員、研究生、本科生代表的比例。 To increase the ratio of elected members of academic/teaching and administrative/supporting staff, postgraduate and undergraduate students in the Council.

Posted by 院校自主公投運動 on Monday, February 29, 2016

 

Referendum on Institutional Autonomy  Q&A (Teaching Staff Version)

1. What is the significance of this referendum on institutional autonomy?

This referendum allows university academic and administrative staff to express their opinion on the composition of the university court/council, as well as the Chief Executive’s role, in a direct and democratic manner, so as to reach a consensus within institutions. Based on the result of this referendum, all institutions could then proceed to the next stage in the movement for institutional autonomy. This will include urging university management and the Legislative Council to amend university ordinances.

2. What is the role of university chancellor?

The practice of appointing the chief executive as university chancellor is a carry-over from the colonial period, when the governor was chancellor of all publicly-funded universities under the respective universities’ ordinances. The Chief Executive wields immense power over all universities, including in the key areas of:

· appointing members, chairperson, vice-chairperson and treasurer of the court/council
· awarding degrees and other academic titles, including honorary degrees and honorary titles, on behalf of the university

3. The conflicting roles of Chief Executive and university chancellor

The chancellor of a university has a legal responsibility to protect the best interests of the university, yet the Chief Executive recently suggested the business community should not donate to our universities and should instead donate to secondary and early education. It is understandable and reasonable for a chief executive to consider educational resources allocation from a holistic point of view. But this is not a matter a university chancellor should consider. This illustrates the irreconcilable conflict between these two roles.

There exists competition among the eight publicly funded institutions, yet the Chief Executive is chancellor of all of them. How can he strive to secure the best resources for all of them?

When a sitting chief executive solicits donations from private organisations, it is easy for the transfer of benefits (for instance, conferring honours or awarding contract to donors), or even suspicions of bribery to occur, all of which highlight the inherent conflict of having the Chief Executive double up as university chancellor.

4. As the eight universities are publicly funded, is it justifiable that they be monitored and governed by government officials?

This is neither necessary or is it common in international practice

The Chancellors of most European universities are elected by the university population. The views of teaching staff play a prominent role and the chancellors' terms of office are normally fixed (e.g. 5 years).
Two thirds of the operational funding of the UK’s Cambridge University comes from the public, but there is no intervention from government officials in the university management system.
The UCLA in the U.S. is a well-known public university which includes politicians such as the state’s governor and vice-governor as members of the council. However, the American state governments are formed by democratic universal suffrage. They have high political legitimacy and are widely representative of public interests. This cannot be said of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong who is not selected by universal suffrage. 


參考資料:

香港專上學生聯會:〈大專修例十問十答〉,2016。

香港教育人員專業協會:〈修訂大學條例 保障院校自主〉新聞稿,2015。

練乙錚:〈兩岸三地的大學自主和學術自由〉,公民實踐論壇──《大學之道:自由自主》,2016年1月23日。

陳文敏:〈從「一國兩制」看學術自由〉,公民實踐論壇──《大學之道:自由自主》,2016年1月23日。

Karran, Terence. 2007. ‘Academic Freedom in Europe: A Preliminary Comparative Analysis’. Higher Education Policy, 2007, 20, (289–313). International Association of Universities.

 

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