Image: Wikimedia Commons/ CT Cooper

Petition against Sinophobia in UK universities signed by over 1000 academics

An anti-Sinophobia petition labelled ‘UK Universities Must Take Actions Against Sinophobia and anti-Asian Racism’ has been signed by over 1400 academics and students across the UK. 

The petition, initiated by Leiyun Ni, a History PhD candidate from the University of Warwick, begins as an open letter to UK universities, citing a recent incident with Dr Peng Wang, a lecturer at the University of Southampton who was attacked by 4 men whilst jogging

The petition calls for UK universities to “recognise the pain felt by Asian students and staff amidst increasing rampant Sinophobia and anti-Asian racism and to devote more support and resources.” 

The petition has suggested ways for UK universities to reduce Sinophobia, including: public statements against anti-Asian racism, providing more trauma counselling, and providing training to staff about how to approach anti-Asian incidences. 

 

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, I have seen an increasing level of racist violence against East and Southeast Asian communities

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             – Leiyun Ni

Students and academics from universities including Warwick, King’s College London, Leeds, and UCL have signed the petition urging universities to “take immediate action” against anti-Asian racism in academia. 

When asked for a comment, Leiyun Ni said: “Since the outbreak of the pandemic, I have seen an increasing level of racist violence against East and Southeast Asian communities.

“As a student, I felt very disappointed that UK universities have taken very limited actions proactively against Sinophobia and anti-Asian racism.”

She added: “Therefore, we want to run this campaign to urge universities to take actions against Sinophobia and anti-Asian racism. Meanwhile, we are keen on promoting public awareness of Sinophobia and anti-Asian racism by circulating this petition.” 

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