Email this article Government Homepage
Speech by FS at Polytechnic University anniversary celebrations (English only) (with photos/video)

Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, at the commencement ceremony of the 70th anniversary celebrations of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University this afternoon (March 20):

Professor Poon, Victor Lo, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Good afternoon.  It gives me great pleasure to join all of you today to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and to share your joy in witnessing the remarkable achievements of PolyU.  

Education in the 21st Century

    Like many modern cities in the Asia Pacific Region, Hong Kong is quickly evolving into a knowledge-based economy.  Today, education is no longer merely a transfer of knowledge or skills needed to tackle day-to-day problems.  Through education we foster knowledge, creativity and important core values in individuals, who in turn form a well-trained and versatile workforce to help sustain Hong Kong's competitiveness in a globalised economy.  

    Hong Kong Government has always made education a top priority on our policy agenda.  This year, we will be spending over HK$57 billion on education, which represents 23% of total government expenditure.  It remains our single largest expenditure item and its absolute amount has grown by 50% since 1997.

    These monies are well-spent.  We owe our appreciation to our distinguished academics, university staff and researchers - including many of you here, Hong Kong hosts Asia's best hospitality and executive business management programmes.  Our institutions are now venturing into new niche areas with international acclaim, and our researchers and scholars have produced impressive findings that gain global recognition.  

    Looking ahead, we are spearheading education reforms for a more holistic senior secondary and university education.  Under the new "3+3+4" academic structure, students enjoy a better structured and diversified curriculum, with more room for whole-person development.  By doing so, our younger generations will be better equipped to face the challenges of our rapidly changing society.

Achievements of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

    The transformation of the PolyU in the past decades is a resemblance of the rapid social and economic changes in Hong Kong.  Starting as a government trade school and gradually evolved into a polytechnic and then a full-fledged university, PolyU has made tremendous progress in the past 70 years.  Today, you have firmly established yourself as an application-oriented university, devoting your efforts to the provision of application-oriented education and applied research, often in collaboration with the business and industrial sectors.  

    Over the years, PolyU has conducted numerous world-class research projects and many of its endeavours enjoy great acclaim internationally.  To name a few, PolyU is the first local institution to make space tools.  It has also established the world's first sweating manikin called "Walter" which brought about new applied technology in the design of clothing for soldiers and astronauts.  

    PolyU's School of Hotel and Tourism Management was the only one in Asia Pacific rated by the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education in 2002 as one of the world's top 15 academic institutions in hospitality and tourism based on research and scholarly activities.  Each year, 200 students can benefit from the School's work-integrated education and gain valuable practical experience at leading hotels, restaurant chains and tourism organisations in Hong Kong and abroad.  

    I would like to congratulate PolyU and its Council members, staff, students and alumni on their outstanding achievements.  As a cradle of budding professionals and talents, PolyU has nurtured over 240 000 graduates who possess the knowledge, professionalism and commitment to serve the people of Hong Kong.  PolyU's contribution to our economy, particularly in advancing our technological and industrial standards and in nurturing for Hong Kong a pool of capable human capital, is most remarkable.  

    We are all proud of PolyU's accomplishments and I am confident that PolyU will scale new heights in the years ahead.  Thank you.

Ends/Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Issued at HKT 16:24


Photo Photo
Print this page