UQ activist banned from suspension talks

Drew Pavlou has been barred from a University of Queensland meeting to discuss his suspension.
Drew Pavlou has been barred from a University of Queensland meeting to discuss his suspension.

A student activist who led protests against the Chinese Communist Party won't be allowed to attend a university meeting about his two-year suspension.

Drew Pavlou has been highly critical of the University of Queensland's ties to Beijing and claims the institution is trying to silence him by finding him guilty of misconduct.

The 21-year-old has already flagged plans for a legal challenge after last week learning he'd been banned from studying at the university for two years.

UQ Chancellor Peter Varghese has expressed concern about aspects of the findings and the severity of Mr Pavlou's penalty.

He ordered an out-of-session meeting of UQ's governing Senate to discuss the matter, and the university has confirmed that will happen on Friday afternoon.

Mr Pavlou was a student-elected member of the Senate before he was suspended, but has been told he won't be allowed to attend Friday's meeting.

"Despite being an elected representative to the UQ Senate, I've been barred from attending a meeting reviewing my expulsion. KANGAROO COURT!" he tweeted on Friday.

In a video posted later on Twitter, Mr Pavlou said he was looking forward to Mr Varghese exonerating him, and urged him to "cut off" Vice-Chancellor Peter Hoj.

The university has promised to issue a statement after the Senate meets.

AAP has asked the university if it can confirm media reports that Mr Hoj, who is a member of the Senate, will not be at Friday's meeting.

Mr Pavlou faced a disciplinary hearing last month over misconduct allegations detailed in a confidential 186-page document, reportedly linked to his on-campus activism against the communist party and in support of Hong Kong and Tibet.

He has repeatedly attacked the university's relations with the Chinese government, which has co-funded four courses offered by the university.

The institution is also home to one of Australia's many Confucius Institutes - Beijing-funded education centres which some critics warn promote propaganda.

The university has denied the action taken against Mr Pavlou has any bearing on free speech issues.

The Australian arm of Human Rights Watch has said the full reasons for his suspension, which covers the remainder of his term in the Senate, have not been shared.

It says that from the outside, Mr Pavlou's penalty seems "harsh and unnecessary".

Australian Associated Press