In recent months, ZHdK and its partnership with the Chinese Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) in Shenzhen, have appeared in the media several times. The cooperation concerned includes both the establishment of a design school in Shenzhen and exchange programmes for ZHdK students and lecturers.
Due to various comments from students as well as the the fact that all students are or will be directly concerned, VERSO has formulated a detailed position paper.
The position paper will be submitted with all collected signatures as a request to the university management. VERSO and all signatories request the immediate withdrawal from the cooperation with the Harbin Institute of Technology and the associated involvement in the planned Shenzhen International School of Design.
- In our view, it is not compatible with the values of ZHdK to cooperate with a state university of a regime that has been proven to violate human rights.
- As a state university, ZHdK has the possibility and the duty to maintain its political integrity and to freely educate people in research and teaching.
- Through the planned cooperation and the associated surveillance on the part of the Chinese Communist Party, there is a danger that ZHdK and its members will (have to) censor themselves more and more and that people will consciously or unconsciously put themselves in danger.
VERSO and all the undersigned want to study and work at an art university where the freedom of teaching and research is of central importance and can be lived in a safe environment. Therefore the immediate withdrawal from this cooperation is demanded.