The Baptist University said on Saturday it was cutting all ties with a student-led editorial body, after the group accused the University of censoring its publications and said its members were resigning en masse on Friday.
The HKBU Students’ Union Editorial Board said in a Facebook post that the university had repeatedly interfered in its editorial work.
The board said the university had asked them to stop using the term “Wuhan virus” in their reports, interfered their coverage of the university’s national security curriculum, and demanded that it withdraw copies of a recent issue of their student magazine, “Jumbo”.
The board accused the University of taking the lead to suppress student press, and said all its members would resign with immediate effect.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the university expressed "indignation" at the board's statement. It said it had all along respected the editorial and operational independence of the board.
The university said it had urged the board to withdraw all published copies of an issue, after getting complaints about the content and receiving legal advice that it might breach the law.
"We also strongly condemn the Editorial Board for having used the stigmatising term 'Wuhan virus' in the past, and seriously demand that the term should not be used in future,' it said.
The institution said considering the responsibility and attitude of the Editorial Board in the incident, the university decided to discontinue its relationship with the board and terminate its rights to use all facilities on campus.
It also said the university will take disciplinary action against the students concerned.