HKU Early Dispute Resolution Initiative

Conflicts and disputes are normal and pervasive in higher education institutions, touching the lives of students, staff, faculty and administrators. Conflict resolution promotes intellectual debate and discussion and can result in innovative developments and positive change. When handled well, conflict provides valuable opportunities for learning and positive change – however, when conflict is not well managed, it can be very costly for universities resulting in loss of valuable time, direct and indirect financial costs, negative perceptions of institutional reputation, safety and security, and long term systemic damage to interpersonal relations within the university community.

This project reflects a desire to develop and design a systems-based approach to collaborative and problem solving conflict management and dispute resolution within the HKU community. The main objective is for fair and timely resolution of the broad range of student and faculty conflicts and disputes through the appropriate use of less adversarial and more collaborative problem solving ADR processes such as mediation (particularly in matters relating to internal complaints, disciplines, grievance and external complaints and concerns). It envisions a more holistic and cohesive approach to the development and implementation of early conflict management and dispute resolution systems within the wider HKU community.