The University of Hong Kong announced that it was going to rename its Faculty of Medicine, which conducts groundbreaking research into severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and avian influenza, in honor of a local tycoon who recently donated $128 million (US). The decision prompted alumni of the faculty to formally protest, saying the deal amounts to a sale of the faculty's reputation and could undermine the institution's academic independence.

The Li Ka Shing Foundation announced the donation in May, saying there were no strings attached and the foundation wished to support education and biomedicine. The University Council formally accepted the donation and at the same meeting proposed to rename the Faculty of Medicine in recognition of the donation.

In a letter to alumni, the dean of the faculty, Lam Shiu-kum, said: "It will be the beginning of a modern era of community giving towards the future of Hong Kong, an...

Interested in reading more?

Magaizne Cover

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?