A group of Hong Kong students are raising money online to run full-page adverts opposing the “mainlandisation of HK universities”, according to their Facebook page.
The campaign comes just over a year after the Apple Daily ran a full-page advert attacking mainland “locusts” for swarming the city and draining its resources. The HK$100,000 advert was paid for by members of the HKGolden forum.
The SCMP reports:
“Our page has been ‘liked’ 2109 times, and if every person who ‘liked’ us donates $HK30, we will have the money for the ad,” the organiser wrote on May 23 on Facebook, “Just make a little effort, and we will bring changes to our society.”
A total of HK$16, 218.5 has been collected as of May 27, said the organiser’s Facebook page. Some HK$60,000 is needed for the ad.
“They grab degrees, they grab jobs – do HongKongers deserve to be the lower class forever?,” reads the headline of the ad. “We oppose the mainlandisation of HK universities and demand the rights of education and jobs returned to HongKongers.”
“Seventy per cent of students at Hong Kong’s graduate schools are from the mainland,” it continued, “They are allowed to stay in Hong Kong for a year even without a work permit. And they can apply to stay longer once they get a job offer or start their own business!”
The group’s demands include:
- Decreasing the number of mainland [students] at all levels
- Restrict the ability of mainland graduates to work in Hong Kong
- Sponsor more local students
- Nurture local scholars; promote local research
- Examine the recruiting method of self-sponsored graduate students
- Find out whether the percentage of mainland teachers and staff is too high
The SCMP interviewed a number of students about the campaign:
“If mainland students come here by right methods, we can compete here. But there are some mainland students who fake their transcript to get here. They cheat in the exams and hurt Hong Kong’s education reputation.” said Dora Liu, a local student who is studying journalism at Hong Kong Baptist University.
“They should raise the enrollment standards if they want to reduce the number of mainland students,” said a mainland student named Daphne Duan, “instead of denying all mainland students and accusing us of robbing jobs. I don’t see the meaning of this campaign.”
Mainland-Hong Kong relations have cooled considerably in recent years. An SCMP poll in March found that the majority of respondents would rather be ruled by Britain again than be part of China. There was widespread outrage this month when it was revealed that new Hong Kong legislation would have to take mainland public opinion into account.