Hate Crimes

It’s the start of a new academic year for Universities across The UK. British Universities rank among some of the finest in the world, and not surprisingly attract many students from China – indeed, Chinese students are by far the largest overseas student body, with about 90,000 enrolled in British educational institutions. In addition there will be significant numbers from Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. And let’s not forget, a sizeable number of ‘home students’ with British Chinese continuing to top the tables for performances at both GCSE and A’ Levels. This is great for the British economy, with overseas Chinese students bringing in up to £4bn.

Yet there’s a worrying statistic. A recent report by the National Union of Students states:

Broken down by ethnicity, we found that Chinese respondents were most likely to be victims of most types of race hate incident — 30 per cent of respondents from this group had experienced at least one incident (during their current studies). Chinese people were also the least likely to be perpetrators of hate incidents, with none being identified in the survey as having been the sole perpetrator, and only two per cent of multiple perpetrator hate incidents involving at least one Chinese person.

It is a sad fact that hate crimes against the Chinese are more common than for any other ethnic group both among students and mainstream society. Explaining this is difficult. No doubt the social isolation of many takeaways, combined with staying open to catch people leaving pubs at closing contributes to hate crimes fuelled by alcohol, but it can’t be the whole story. No reasoning is obvious when it comes to Chinese students.

Perhaps it is foolhardy to expect to find reason for something as unreasonable as racism and resultant hate crimes. Nonetheless, it is a worrying situation, and one that needs to be tackled.

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