Letter to Lingnanians
02 May 2019
Easter is behind us. I hope everyone had a very nice break and enjoyed the festive occasion with joy and peace. As we approach the end of the semester, I would like to share with you some of the important and exciting development and news in the past few months.
In January 2019, the University organised the First Distinguished Alumni Service Award Presentation Ceremony cum Appreciation Dinner in recognition of the distinguished achievements of four alumni, namely, The Most Reverend Dr Paul Kwong, Mr Allister Ng Kwai-hang, Mr Henry Sam Chien-man and Dr Herman Yau Lai-to. Many long-time supporters of the University and major donors were invited to join this happy event. At the Lunar New Year Media Reception 2019 held in February, I introduced to our media friends three new undergraduate programmes we shall launch in September this year, namely, LEO Dr David P. Chan Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Data Science, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Global Liberal Arts, and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Animation and Digital Arts. These new programmes, all underpinned by our strong liberal arts curriculum, not only address the needs of society, but also strive to expand the horizons and perspectives of students.
In March 2019, I visited our five partner institutions in Paris and the Baltic region after attending the so-called G20 meeting of university presidents at The American University of Paris. A week later, the Vice-President and I made a very fruitful trip to the UK, attending the Higher Education Symposium 2019 that we co-organised with the University of Oxford and the launch of the Centre for Research in Education in China and East Asia at the University of Bath, of which Lingnan is a key partner. During this duty trip, I also signed a student exchange agreement with the University of Bath, gave an academic seminar at King’s College London and visited the world-renowned University of Cambridge, being personally hosted by Professor Adrian Dixon, a UGC member and the former Master of Peterhouse College of Cambridge. Given the importance of internationalisation in our strategic development, I believe these and other similar visits served to strengthen and deepen our collaboration and partnership with the world’s leading universities, with a view to creating more research and learning opportunities for our faculty and students.
A Staff Forum participated by about 90 participants was successfully held in mid-April 2019. As I shared at the Forum, the Steering Group on Strategic Planning (SGSP) has been actively working on the formulation of the Strategic Plan 2019-25 in the past months. Six key strategic areas have now been identified, encompassing undergraduate teaching and learning, postgraduate education, research and knowledge transfer, residential education and student development, institutional advancement, and campus development, and proposed strategic initiatives under each of the above areas. Consultation with various stakeholders including faculty and students is now underway before the new Strategic Plan is finalised. If you have any views or suggestions on the new Strategic Plan, please send them to the Registry (registry@LN.edu.hk) before 6 May.
I am so pleased to see that the outstanding academic and personal achievements of our students were recognised at the Awards Presentation and Reception 2019 held in April 2019. This year, the University presented a total of 546 awards and scholarships to 374 outstanding students, amounting to more than HK$13.5 million in total. Nicely reflecting the emphasis of Lingnan’s liberal arts education on critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills as well as care for society, on the last Saturday of April our Chinese Debate Team won this year’s Inter-Collegiate Debate Competition and our student Anastasia Mak won the Best Debater Award.
In the same month, we also honoured more than 20 faculty members for their achievements in research and knowledge transfer at the Research and Knowledge Transfer Excellence Awards Presentation Ceremony. In the area of institutional advancement, we have also made remarkable achievements; one of the notable examples was the naming of Wofoo Joseph Lee Student Activity Centre and the establishment of Wofoo Joseph Lee Consulting and Counselling Psychology Research Centre, supported by the generous donation of Dr Joseph Lee, Chairman of Wofoo Foundation.
With this academic year coming to a close soon, I would like to thank our staff and students for their hard work, and extend my deepest gratitude to all Lingnanians for their staunch support and my warmest wishes to everyone for a happy summer!
Leonard K Cheng