Letter to Lingnanians
01 September 2023
I am delighted to share with you some of the exciting news and achievements that have taken place at Lingnan University in the past months. As the new President of this vibrant and innovative institution, I am proud of the remarkable progress we have made in various aspects of our academic excellence, research impact, student development, and community engagement.
First of all, I would like to congratulate our graduates for their outstanding performance in the job market. According to the latest survey, the average annual salary of Lingnan graduates has recorded a significant 9.8% increase over last year. This reflects the high recognition and appreciation of our graduates' skills and qualities by employers across different sectors.
Secondly, I am pleased to report that we have enrolled more than 1000 new undergraduate students this academic year. Our JUPAS scores this year for ('4 cores +2 electives' and Best 5 subjects) have maintained steadily amid the downward trend in Hong Kong due to a decrease in the number of high school graduates. Notably, our BA (Hons) in Animation and Digital Arts has become the hottest major in Hong Kong, with a 1:40 competition among just Band-A applicants. This shows that Lingnan University is becoming more attractive and popular among prospective students who value our liberal arts education and holistic approach to learning.
Thirdly, I am thrilled to announce that we are enrolling more than 2400 postgraduate students this fall, a record high in quantity and quality. We have a nine-fold increase in the last ten years, which is a testament to our growing reputation and influence as a leading Asian liberal arts research university. Our taught postgraduate programmes cover a wide range of disciplines and cater to the diverse needs and interests of our students. We also offer generous scholarships and financial aid to support our postgraduate students in pursuing their academic goals and aspirations.
Fourthly, I am proud to share with you some of the impressive research achievements that our faculty members have accomplished in the past year. Our grants under the General Research Fund and Early Career Scheme in the 2023 results announced by the Research Grants Council (RGC) are at record high with an increase of 30% over last year, which is a remarkable advancement in our research strengths and competitiveness. We also received large-scale research grants from external sources, such as the HK$8.5M Smart Traffic Fund project on Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) research led by Prof. Paulina Wong, Head of the Science Unit at the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and HK$7.5M under the RGC Strategic Topics Grant for Profs. William Hayward and Stefan Kühner from the Faculty of Social Sciences for their research work on pandemic preparedness.
Furthermore, we successfully recruited two world-class Chair Professors, Prof. Sam Kwong and Prof. Xi Chen, in artificial intelligence and sustainability respectively. Both of them are in the world-top 2% ranked by Stanford University, and they will bring their expertise and experience to enhance our research capacity and impact in these strategic areas. We also plan to recruit more world-renowned scholars in the coming years to strengthen our research excellence and innovation.
Last but not least, I would like to highlight some of the initiatives and activities that we have launched or organized to enrich our student experience and foster our community engagement. We have established the Lingnan Entrepreneurship Initiative (LEI) to provide training, mentorship, funding, and networking opportunities for our students who are interested in entrepreneurship and innovation. We have also launched the Lingnan Arts Festival (LAF) annual gala to showcase our cultural diversity and creativity through various forms of artistic expression and exchange. Moreover, we have continued to support our students in participating in various local and international competitions, internships, exchange programmes, service-learning projects, and other co-curricular activities that enhance their personal growth and professional development.
As you can see, Lingnan University is on an upward trajectory of development and transformation. We have achieved remarkable results in many areas, but we are not complacent or satisfied with the status quo. We will continue to strive for excellence and innovation in everything we do, guided by our vision of being a leading liberal arts research university with global recognition.
I hope you share my excitement and pride in being part of this dynamic and inspiring community. I also hope you will stay connected with us and support us in our future endeavours. With the next couple of letters I will detail the strategies for Lingnan to develop its full potential with the right time and right place that we possess. Together, we can make Lingnan University a better place for learning, discovery, and engagement.
Thank you for your attention.
President and Wai Kee Kau Chair Professor of Data Science