U.S. universities suspend Hong Kong study programs amid deadly protests

Students at Chinese University of Hong Kong threw Molotov cocktails at police, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.
Image: HONG KONG-CHINA-POLITICS-UNREST
Protesters react after police fired tear gas at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), in Hong Kong on Nov. 12, 2019.Philip Fong / AFP - Getty Images

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By Theo Wayt

At least 12 American universities are suspending study abroad programs in Hong Kong as violent clashes between anti-government demonstrators and police continue to ravage the city.

International students of the Chinese University of Hong Kong evacuate with their suitcases after anti-government protesters occupied the campus, in Hong Kong on Nov. 15, 2019.Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters

Fifteen Georgetown University students studying at the City University of Hong Kong and Chinese University of Hong Kong will leave the city after both host institutions said classes would end early, a school spokesperson said.

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Earlier this week, masked students on the Chinese University of Hong Kong campus built barricades and threw Molotov cocktails at police, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, The New York Times reported.

Students from Syracuse University studying at the City University of Hong Kong will also leave when their program ends Nov. 19.

“Protest activities at Hong Kong’s universities have become more intense,” Syracuse Chancellor Kent Syverud said in a statement. “Given the high degree of uncertainty, we believe that our students’ best interest is served by leaving Hong Kong.”

The University of California Education Abroad Program, which serves students from all 10 U.C. schools, will suspend its spring 2020 program, The Daily Nexus, the student newspaper at U.C. Santa Barbara, reported.

The 79 U.C. students studying in Hong Kong have been given the option to return home early, the paper said.

The University of California did not reply to a request for comment.