Speech by CE at Lingnan University's 50th Anniversary in Hong Kong Celebration Banquet (English only) (with photos/video)
Rex (Council Chairman of Lingnan University, Mr Rex Auyeung), C Y (former Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung), Carlson (Chairman of the University Grants Committee, Mr Carlson Tong), Leonard (President of Lingnan University, Professor Leonard Cheng), ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to be here with you to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lingnan University’s re-establishment in Hong Kong.
The story of Lingnan University is distinctively associated with the special relationship between Hong Kong and our motherland. Founded in March 1888 as Christian College in Guangzhou, it moved on numerous occasions within Guangdong. It moved to Hong Kong in 1938 and spent a few years here, before moving back to Guangdong. In 1967, the institution was re-established in Hong Kong as Lingnan College (嶺南書院), aiming to provide quality education to the public when tertiary education and university places were scarce at the time. Attended by only 100 students at the beginning, it has thrived over the years. In 1999, the institution was awarded the university title and renamed as Lingnan University.
Since then, it has taken its place as a leading Asian liberal arts university, combining the best of Chinese and Western traditions and 21st century drive and innovation. Indeed, as Rex has just mentioned, Forbes in 2015 recognised Lingnan University as one of the continent’s top 10 liberal arts colleges. In 2016, the university was commended by the audit report of the Quality Assurance Council under the University Grants Committee, citing its excellence in liberal arts education and quality whole-person development for students. And, in its 2018 Asia University Rankings, QS named Lingnan University among the top 100 Asian universities.
With its foundation of a very close teacher-student relationships, Lingnan strives for excellent teaching and student development by its student-oriented faculty and small class teaching. It is the first local university to achieve full, four-year residency for all undergraduates. All-embracing residential life ensures that Lingnan students are as blessed in social and ethical education as they are in intellectual edification.
Connecting with young people occupies a very important place in my Election Manifesto and maiden Policy Address delivered last October. My belief is to nurture the younger generation and develop in them a positive outlook on life, a passion to serve the community, a commitment to society, a sense of national identity, a love for Hong Kong and an international perspective. I am therefore enthusiastic and thankful about Lingnan’s global outreach work. In building connections with international and Mainland universities, broadening its network of student and faculty exchanges, Lingnan expands the horizons and opportunities of its students, nurturing confident, independent young adults for Hong Kong and for the world. To date, the university has more than 190 exchange partners in about 40 countries. A remarkable 90 per cent of the university’s undergraduates participated in exchange programmes over the past academic year.
The university’s strategic collaborations are no less impressive. It was Lingnan University that took the lead in establishing the Alliance of Asian Liberal Arts Universities to boost the development of liberal arts education throughout the region. My congratulations for the very successful Launch Conference held by the Alliance in November last year, which brought together universities and scholars with rich experience and expertise in liberal arts education from all over the world, especially Asia, to share insights and experiences and explore collaboration opportunities.
I am heartened as well by Lingnan’s “Education for Service” motto and the contributions that have long been made by its students, both through research and in community service. Such efforts have increased significantly in recent years and would help lay the solid foundation for a better Hong Kong.
Ladies and gentlemen, history has endowed Lingnan with a singularly indomitable spirit and a clear and compelling passion for education. For the past 50 years, Hong Kong has been its welcome beneficiary. For that, I am grateful to the university, its leadership and faculty, its students and alumni. Let me say as well that I am counting on Lingnan’s inspiring spirit to shine its light on Hong Kong over the next 50 years.
I know you will enjoy tonight’s banquet and all that follows in the coming months in the continuing anniversary celebration of Lingnan University.
Ends/Saturday, January 20, 2018
Issued at HKT 20:15
Issued at HKT 20:15