A student activist highly critical of the University of Queensland’s ties to Beijing has been handed down a two-year suspension from the institution.
Drew Pavlou faced a disciplinary hearing on May 20 at the university over 11 allegations of misconduct, detailed in a confidential 186-page document, reportedly 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 Mr Pavlou.
“There are aspects of the findings and the severity of the penalty which personally concern me,” Mr 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.”
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.