Unbelievable. Via Domain:
Liberal senator James Paterson has taken aim at universities’ reliance on international students, using a speech in Parliament to reveal confidential details about the University of Queensland vice-chancellor’s pay incentives to deepen ties with China.
In a late-night speech on Tuesday, Senator Paterson said a whistleblower from the university had given him a copy of last year’s senior staff remuneration report, which showed vice-chancellor Peter Hoj had received a $200,000 bonus based partly on his success in growing the university’s relationship with China.
According to Senator Paterson’s read-out of the document, one of the key performance indicators Professor Hoj was judged against was a “sound and strategic positioning in China” because of its growth as a research provider and it being a “very important source of international students” for at least another five years.
The remuneration report noted Professor Hoj had visited China six times over 2018 and 2019 and the demand for UQ courses from Chinese students had “continued to grow strongly and we will likely end up with 63 per cent of commencing international students coming from China in Semester 1, 2020”.
Professor Hoj was awarded his “significant” bonus in 2019 even though, Senator Paterson said, he had not been as successful against another key performance indicator seeking “greater diversity” in the international student body to make the university more financially resilient.
A hostile foreign power has taken control of QLD’s leading university and it is now threatening the life not just of free speech but the very lives of students themselves.
This goes far beyond any acceptable behaviour by a public institution and is in open violation of Australian community standards if not law.
The Federal Government must intervene by threatening to withdraw funding unless the university:
- sacks the VC and/or puts in a program of management cleansing of CCP elements;
- reaffirms its commitment to free speech;
- boots the Confucius Institute from campus;
- apologises to Mr Pavlou and offers compensation.
Sure, it sets an uncomfortable precedent. But UQ has already gone far beyond uncomfortable in its CCP embrace. This is a kind of market failure and the Government is in its rights to restore community standards.
Is QLD and its leading university a part of the CCP autocracy or part of the Australian liberal democracy?
There is no grey area.