University of Queensland Student Suspended for 2 Years After Speaking Out Against Chinese Regime

May 29, 2020 Updated: May 30, 2020

Student activist Drew Pavlou has been handed a two-year suspension from the University of Queensland after speaking out about the institution’s ties to China.

Drew Pavlou faced a disciplinary hearing on May 20 at the university over 11 allegations of misconduct, detailed in a confidential 186-page document, after he sought the court’s protection in another case for threats he received linked to his on-campus activism supporting Hong Kong and criticising the Chinese Communist Party.

linked to his on-campus activism supporting Hong Kong and criticising the Chinese Communist Party.

The university ordered his suspension on Friday after the 20-year-old philosophy student left the previous hearing after about one hour, citing procedural unfairness.

UQ Chancellor Peter Varghese said on Friday he was concerned with the outcome of the disciplinary action against Pavlou.

“There are aspects of the findings and the severity of the penalty which personally concern me,” Varghese said in a statement.

“In consultation with the vice chancellor, who has played no role in this disciplinary process, I have decided to convene an out-of-session meeting of UQ’s Senate next week to discuss the matter.”

In a statement, Pavlou said that the expulsion handed down by the university was a “clear attempt” to silence him. He added that though the university’s decision was “not unexpected,” the proceedings against him were attempts by the university to “protect” business interests between the University of Queensland and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The University of Queensland has faced media scrutiny for its relations with the Chinese government, which has co-funded four courses offered by the university.

The institution is also home to one of Australia’s many Confucius Institutes—Beijing-funded education centres some critics warn promote propaganda.

Epoch Times contributed to this report.