SOUTH BEND - The University of Notre Dame has announced it has suspended spring 2020 programming at three Hong Kong universities because of escalating violence and protests.

The university says 14 Notre Dame students were schedule to attend classes there.

The universities include the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

“International exposure is an important part of a Notre Dame education, and we reluctantly suspended programming in Hong Kong because student safety must be paramount,” said Michael E. Pippenger, vice president and associate provost for internationalization.

Pippenger says Notre Dame is working with the affected students to find alternative international locations to place the students.