January 10th, 2020
The protesters inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Monday, photographer: Lam Yik Fei (NYT)
According to a 2019 report from Scholars at Risk (SAR), there have been “97 violent incidents involving attacks on higher education communities across 40 countries. At least 32 students, scholars, staff, campus security personnel and others died as a result of these attacks, with many more injured.”
University campuses have been turned into battlegrounds where demonstrations have turned violent and at times deadly. An article in World University News provides a disturbing look at the level of violence against students and faculty that seems to have escalated on university campuses across the globe. Click here to read more.
Here is a glimpse into four countries where recent protests have impacted universities and the lives of students:
In November 2019, anger against metro fare hikes sparked mass demonstrations across the country with students protesting against the high cost of higher education. Demonstrations turned violent forcing several universities in Chile to close their campuses in response to safety concerns. Source: Scientific American
Ethnic tensions have claimed the lives of seven students at universities across the country in the past three months. This has prompted Ethiopian government to deploy its federal police to universities across the country to help calm the tense situation. Source: Reuters
The pro-democracy student protests in Hong Kong which started more than six months ago have continued into this new year. Hong Kong’s universities have been sanctuaries for the young protesters who wish to preserve Hong Kong’s autonomy from China. Several university campuses have become the battleground of the student protests resulting in the temporary closure of some universities and suspension of classes. Source: The New York Times
On Sunday, January 5, 2019, dozens of masked men and women armed with sticks and iron rods shouting slogans used by India’s ruling right-wing Hindu nationalist party attacked students and professors at India’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University, injuring more than 30 people. Eyewitnesses alleged that police did not stop the violence but had joined the attackers in beating up students. Source: University World News
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