Letter to Lingnanians
21 December 2018
Time flies, and 2018 is soon coming to a close. At this special time of the year, I would like to send my warmest seasonal greetings to every member of the Lingnan community.
This year has been extraordinary to the University. We successfully celebrated the 50th anniversary of Lingnan’s re-establishment in Hong Kong with a series of special events and activities. With the support of the entire Lingnan community, the celebration came to a perfect conclusion with the “Symphony of Lingnanians” held in October 2018. I owe a debt of gratitude to many Lingnanians for making the anniversary so memorable. This year has been special to me as well, as I mentioned in the last letter that I started my second term as President of the University in September 2018. I am as excited as I was when I first joined Lingnan, and look forward to working with all of you to bring the University to its best in the years ahead.
Over the last few months, Lingnan has again made some notable achievements. We received a positive reply from the University Grants Committee (UGC) on our Progress Report in response to the findings and recommendations contained in the QAC’s Audit Report on Lingnan. We were also commended by UGC for our efforts and initiatives in promoting and enhancing Knowledge Transfer (KT).
As we move into the next phase of development, it is more important than ever for us to forge stronger ties with our international partners. The “Annual Presidents’ Forum of the Alliance of Asian Liberal Arts Universities” hosted by Lingnan in November 2018 provided a good platform for the 22 member institutions to discuss major issues and challenges pertaining to liberal arts education and explore areas for collaboration. Apart from strengthening our collaboration abroad, we also strive to establish partnerships with the local education sector in order to promote liberal arts education. For instance, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Hong Kong Sports Institute in November 2018 to form a partnership for supporting elite athletes to pursue higher education at Lingnan. This year will also be remembered for laying the ground work for the Lingnan Entrepreneurship Initiative (LEI) and associated entrepreneurship education. In the coming years, Lingnan will work harder to weave a global network that facilitates our pursuit of academic and research excellence.
I am pleased to share that we have been making good progress in a number of internal projects including the formulation of a new Strategic Plan (SP) 2019-25. Following the Strategic Planning Retreat held in August 2018, I convened two meetings of the Steering Group on Strategic Planning (SGSP) in October and December 2018 to consider and discuss various strategic areas and initiatives. In formulating the new SP, we are going to collect views and gather feedback from the University community through different channels. The new SP is expected to be in place in the summer of 2019. At the same time, we are progressing well in our preparation for the Research Assessment Exercise 2020 and implementation of the new initiatives committed in the Planning Exercise 2019-2022.
2019 will be a year of changes and challenges. With the strength and commitment of the Lingnan community, however, I am confident that we will be able to move forward and unfold a new chapter for the University.
May I offer my best wishes to all of you for a wonderful Christmas and a healthy and prosperous new year! Thank you.
Leonard K Cheng