Sandstone universities’ China maelstrom widens

Wow. How underhanded is this? On the one hand, UNSW is busy apologising to Australians for being a CCP-Nazi apologist:

The University of NSW has apologised after tweets about the Hong Kong-China situation, featuring a leading human rights expert, were deleted after an online campaign from Chinese students and media.

UNSW found itself at the centre of a geopolitical storm over the weekend, after an article published on its website, titled ‘China needs international pressure to end Hong Kong wrongs’.

The article, written by a university employee, quotes Elaine Pearson, Australia Director at Human Rights Watch and a UNSW adjunct lecturer.

On the other hand, it is apologising to the CCP-Nazis for supporting Australian free speech:

Which translates as:

Thanks to:

Meanwhile, the University of Melbourne’s Asialink is recommending we all shut up and take the money. Via AFR today:

Companies bemoaning the bilateral tensions between Australia and China must understand that seemingly maverick decisions by Chinese authorities are part and parcel of conducting business with the world’s second-biggest economy. As a result they need to double down on their efforts to improve relations with Chinese government and regulatory officials.

Standing on a soapbox and shouting about China’s contribution to Australia’s national prosperity is not the answer.

That is the advice from China experts who spoke to AFR BOSS ahead of the launch next Tuesday of a new report, Winning in Asia, spearheaded by advisory firm Asialink Business.

Getting the relationship with China right – as well as with other export markets – can be richly rewarded.

Genius recommendation.

As pressure comes to bear on UQ and Unversity of Adelaide, at The Australian:

The search for a new vice-chancellor at the cash-strapped University of Adelaide has become a flashpoint for growing concern about Chinese influence on Australian campuses, with federal MPs seeking guarantees the university continues to operate without any foreign influence and with a “bedrock” commitment to freedom of speech.

The trigger for concern is the university’s interest in securing professor Peter Hoj, whose financial and academic achievements leading the University of Queensland also came with criticisms over his perceived closeness to Beijing.

SA Liberal senator David Fawcett said…“I am deeply concerned about the university sector and the exposure it has to nation-states that do not necessarily share our commitment to free speech and our commitment to the contest of uncomfortable ideas,” Senator Fawcett said. “These values are the bedrock of our liberal democracy.”

Other MPs said they feared that commercial pressure facing universities meant there would be pressure to chase the international student dollar at the expense of academic independence.

They are right to fear Hoj given the Pavlou saga.

There is more pushback. Scotty from Marketing is launching a review of the self-evidently toothless code of conduct to cover it all up bring some sunlight, via The Australian:

Universities will face a sweeping review into whether they are meeting national standards for freedom of speech in the face of several censorship controversies ­engulfing higher education.

Former Deakin University vice-chancellor Sally Walker will be tasked with investigating whether universities are in alignment with the free speech code devised by former High Court chief justice Robert French.

The review will assess whether there are gaps in their responses to freedom-of-speech issues, and if more action is required to make sure university leaders protect academic freedoms.

Not good enough. Give us a royal commission. The universities have:

  • collaborated on military and surveillance technologies that aid and abet CCP power and persecution;
  • consistently put dollars ahead of lives during pandemic lobbying;
  • crashed pedagogical standards for foreign kids;
  • distorted policy and recruited policymakers in a classic case of regulatory capture, and
  • persecuted whistleblowers.

These institutions have been all but ruined in terms of their values, reason for being, and licence to operate.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. “UNSW does not take any political stance”

    Really? Is this what universities have been reduced to?? Outrageous. You’re right to draw parallels with the Nazi party – this sort of appeasement is exactly how they were allowed to come to power.

    • I bet they take a social justice stance. Selected social justice. Social justice is an idealogical stance, probably political.

  2. It’s a devilishly difficult decision, for U Adelaide. Go for maximum yuan and freedom from speech? Or be a guardian of pure reason and inquiry? I imagine they might have to agonise for anything up to three minutes.

    • Yeah I read that this morning. Highest paid CEO in the country to find fresh blood, hand out visa’s and get them to buy a house; sorry I mean get them in high quality education.

    • Ironic that Barkla deposed Domino’s Pizza boss Don Meij as the previous record holder given that the former’s customers become the latter’s “skilled” employees. Demonstrating the innovation that Australia is world famous for!

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      38 million in a year to import low cost labour to compete with working Australians…..give that man an order of Australia …or a knighthood ( if we can bring them back )

  3. Say no more:
    “Laurie is a Board Member of the Australia India Institute, and a Member of the Group of Eight’s International Strategy Group, Chair of the Board of the Confucius Institute at UNSW and an Executive Committee Member of the Universities Alliance of the Silk Road.”
    “Prior to joining UNSW, Laurie was the Chief Executive Officer of the Australia China Business Council.”

  4. From that photo, Pro Virus Chancellor Laurie Pearcey, just looks like another Useful Idiot™. Definitely future PM material. *sigh*

    • blacktwin997MEMBER

      Top article, thanks – well worth a read and forwarding to people who might take notice.

  5. TailorTrashMEMBER

    That UNSW memo written for the alumni in mandarin
    …cos they can’t read English …garn straya !!

  6. The people running UNSW are about the moral and ethical level of used car salesmen.
    My limited exposure to Ian Jacobs left me with a dirty feeling inside… slimy little thing he is.