‘Politics should stay off campus,’ says higher education chief

Politics, and namely the political opinions of lecturers, should stay out of the classrooms of local universities, Sou Chio Fai, the Director of the Higher Education Bureau (DSES) has said in an interview with TDM Radio.
Refusing to comment on any particular case and especially the case that is currently running in the courts regarding a former lecturer of the University of Saint Joseph (USJ), Sou said that teaching staff from universities are entitled to have personal opinions on politics, but that such opinions should not be aired inside classrooms or even on the university campus.
Sou said that there is a consensus on such a topic among all the higher education institutions.
“Politics should be kept out of the university campus,” Sou said in the interview with TDM Radio. “The campus and higher education institutions are meant to train staff. [They should] not only provide professional knowledge but also experiences in collaborative work.”
Sou also noted that while “any citizen is free to express their position [in political terms] … a university lecturer or professor should not [use his role] to teach or influence students and other colleagues with his [personal] positions.”
Questioned also about the removal of certain books and newspapers from university libraries, Sou said that the DSES has never issued any instruction or guidelines to institutions on such a matter.
Sou said that all the tertiary education institutions enjoy pedagogical autonomy and academic freedom, which is granted by both the Higher Education Law and the Macau Basic Law.

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