Lingnan organises Conference to mark the launch of the Alliance of Asian Liberal Arts Universities
The Launch Conference of the Alliance of Asian Liberal Arts Universities organised by Lingnan University in Hong Kong commenced on 20 November. With the theme of Liberal Arts Education in an Asian Context: Achievements, Challenges and Perspectives, the two-day Conference brought together educators from all over the world to appraise liberal arts education from an Asian perspective.
The Conference also marks the launch of the Alliance of Asian Liberal Arts Universities and is a major activity organised by Lingnan University in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of its re-establishment in Hong Kong.
Mr Carlson Tong, Chairman of University Grants Committee and guest of honour of the Conference, pointed out in his opening remarks that Lingnan University is in a perfect role to drive the Alliance and host this event. “I am confident that with your insights and active participation, you would find this conference and the Alliance a perfect place to learn the best practices from each other and collectively enhance the quality of teaching, learning and research on liberal arts education through benchmarking,” said Mr Tong.
In his welcoming address, Mr Rex Auyeung Pak-kuen, Council Chairman of Lingnan University said the Alliance’s Launch Conference have brought together over 80 educational leaders and scholars with rich experience and expertise in liberal arts education from all over the world, especially Asia, to share their insights and experiences. “We will discuss the major achievements of liberal arts education in Asia thus far and challenges ahead; identify opportunities for future development and collaboration; and share experiences in implementing best practices and explore areas for collaboration,” said Mr Auyeung.
The Conference was supported by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust as lead sponsor and the Lingnan Foundation as key partner and sponsor.
In his remarks, Mr Leong Cheung, Executive Director, Charities and Community, The Hong Kong Jockey Club said, “The Trust has designated Youth as a strategic focus area. By supporting Lingnan University in initiating the Alliance for Asian Liberal Arts Universities, we hope to unify these institutes to foster knowledge exchange, enhance the quality of teaching, learning and research, increase their international presence and establish a platform to present a collective voice and global vision in enhancing liberal arts education in the region.”
The objectives of setting up the Alliance are to enable universities with similar features and missions to learn from each other, through benchmarking, best practices that can collectively enhance their quality of teaching, learning and research. It can also raise the image and profile of the member universities by increasing their international presence, and will help to promote liberal arts education and its benefits and importance in Asia.
President Leonard K Cheng suggested it was time to appraise liberal arts education and rethink its positioning in the Asian context in view of the challenges and opportunities for the coming decades. “In recent years, we have witnessed in many Asian countries a significant interest in liberal arts education. Major investment has been made in the development of liberal arts institutions as an alternative to their traditional higher education counterparts where highly specialised, technical or career-oriented undergraduate programmes are offered,” said President Cheng.
The Alliance was founded by fifteen renowned liberal arts institutions in Asia including Lingnan University from Hong Kong, Yuanpei College of Peking University, East China Normal University, Duke Kunshan University and The University of Nottingham Ningbo China from Mainland China, Yonsei University, Seoul National University and Kyung Hee University from South Korea, National Chengchi University, Fu Jen Catholic University and Tunghai University from Taiwan, as well as Waseda University, Sophia University, International Christian University and The University of Tokyo from Japan.
Apart from the Launch Conference, the Alliance will explore cooperation in different aspects such as student and staff exchange, programme development, as well as academic and research collaborations.
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