The newly appointed Chairman of the University of Hong Kong's governing body, Arthur Li, says students who protested outside the venue where it held its meeting on Tuesday "were so irrational that they were like people who have taken drugs".
Li, who chaired the meeting of the body - the University of Hong Kong Council - for the first time, was trapped in a building after the venue was surrounded by hundreds of angry students who demanded that he come out to talk to them.
But Li urged people not to blame the students alone, saying they are being "poisoned and manipulated" by other people".
Li specifically named Civic Party leader Alan Leong, and his predecessor Audrey Eu as those who had incited the students, but didn't specify how they'd done this.
Li, who met the media along with the university's Vice-Chancellor Peter Mathieson, apologised to Hong Kong people for the behaviour of what he called "the small minority of students".
The demonstration on Tuesday came after students and academics claimed that the autonomy and academic independence of the university was under threat from government interference.
They said the Chief Executive CY Leung's appointment of Li, who is an Executive Councillor and a former education secretary, to head the council was yet another example of this.
The governing body on Tuesday agreed to review the way it is run at a later stage. But the students said it should be done immediately.