Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Students leave The Chinese University of Hong Kong on Nov. 15, 2019 in Hong Kong, China.

Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Canadian universities are advising their students on exchange programs in Hong Kong to return home, a result of the escalating violence on college campuses in the city racked by increasingly violent anti-government protests.

Several universities say they contacted their students and are assisting those who want to come home.

This week, the unrest in Hong Kong spread to the city’s major postsecondary institutions, where protesters with gasoline bombs and bows and arrows set up barricades of bricks, while the police fired tear gas and rubber bullets. The clashes have forced the schools, including the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of Hong Kong, to end the semester early.

Story continues below advertisement

Clashes at the Chinese University of Hong Kong on Tuesday were particularly intense. Police said protesters threw more than 400 gasoline bombs.

Police fired 1,567 tear-gas canisters, 1,312 rubber bullets and 380 beanbag rounds throughout Hong Kong on Tuesday. A total of 142 people were arrested and 10 required treatment in hospital.

With courses suspended, many foreign students are fleeing Hong Kong and schools in several countries, such as Australia, Ireland and Denmark, have already urged their students to come home.

McGill University, which has 22 students on exchange in Hong Kong, “strongly encourages” all its students to fly back to Canada, the school said in a statement on Friday.

“Given the current situation in Hong Kong, the health and safety of our students is our utmost priority," university spokeswoman Cynthia Lee said by e-mail.

“We received a clear and strong message from our partner universities in Hong Kong to end the semester early and McGill strongly encouraged all our students in Hong Kong to return home.”

The University of British Columbia has 32 students in Hong Kong. As of Friday morning, the university had contacted all of them to discuss their options.

Story continues below advertisement

“Our recommendation to them is that they leave,” said Murali Chandrashekaran, UBC’s vice-provost, international. He noted the university is encouraging any UBC students who remain to be mindful of directives from their host university and monitor the website of the security service company International SOS for updates and guidance on how to stay safe.

Davin Wong, former president of the University of Hong Kong Student’s Union, who now studies at UBC, said he urged international students in Hong Kong to prioritize their safety, but pointed out that some of them want to witness the events.

Heads of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the University of Hong Kong and a few others issued a joint statement on Friday denouncing the violence on campuses and calling for restoration of order.

But Mr. Wong, who fled Hong Kong about two months ago for safety concerns, said the burden of resolving the conflicts lies with the Hong Kong government and the police.

Susan Barker, vice-provost (student experience) at the University of Calgary, said her university not only has recommended its two students in Hong Kong return home, but has offered them assistance with extra costs incurred.

Paul Marck, a spokesman for University of Victoria, said the universities in Hong Kong that suspended all courses are providing alternate teaching arrangements for students to complete their term through electronic education.

Story continues below advertisement

In an e-mail exchange with The Globe and Mail, a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada didn’t comment on whether the ministry has advised universities to recall their students. The statement directed The Globe to its advisory for Canadians in Hong Kong.

The directive warns people to “exercise a high degree of caution.”

“The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad.”

Mr. Chandrashekaran noted that although UBC works closely with federal agencies in cases such as this, the decision to call the students home was made independently.

Leo Shin, associate professor of history and Asian studies at UBC, said he would echo the Canadian government’s travel advisory that each exchange student is responsible for their own safety.

“The chance of violence escalating is very high, and everyone, exchange student or not, should exercise a high degree of caution when travelling around Hong Kong.”

Story continues below advertisement

With a report from the Associated Press

We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter written by our B.C. and Alberta bureau chiefs, providing a comprehensive package of the news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies