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The basics
Australia: Latest News

Controversial speakers: Dalai Lama to speak at University of Sydney

Dalai Lama and James Franco have more in common apparently

The decision to cancel a visit by the Dalai Lama at the University of Sydney has been overturned, and the exiled Tibetan leader will now speak on campus in June.

Just ten days ago, it had been reported that the university had withdrawn their support for such an event because of the Dalai Lama’s controversial status in China as a separatist; that hosting the leader could damage relations between the two countries. News media had even allegedly gained access to correspondence which indicated a relieved vice-chancellor following news of the cancelled lecture.

However, now it appears that the lecture will go ahead, with the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights hosting a lecture on campus, entitled ‘Education Matters’.


Three more controversial university speakers:

James Franco

Despite being a recent graduate, UCLA saw a small backlash to news that Franco would be their commencement speaker in 2009. The uproar even saw a full Facebook group created in opposition of the decision. We were quite surprised given Franco's esteemed reputation for juggling academic pursuits alongside his film commitments. Perhaps they hadn’t forgiven him for Spider-Man 3 yet?


Barack Obama

Also in 2009, over 60,000 students at Notre Dame responded negatively to the announcement that the President of the United States would speak at their Graduation ceremony. While a very impressive name to get - perhaps THE most impressive name in the country - it was Obama’s stance on the very touchy topic of abortion which created the uproar.


Jerry Springer

We’re not sure if “Jerry” brought Steve - his trusted security guy - along to his speech at Northwestern Law on the topic of ‘Ethics’; luckily though, things remained calm and chairs were not thrown (that we know of).  Despite being a graduate of the college, and a famous cultural icon in Chicago, it was the former mayor’s reputation as a purveyor of trashy TV which many disagreed with.  

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