The Liberal Art University in Hong Kong
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22 December 2017

President Leonard K ChengDear Lingnanians,


The festive season for all is around the corner, but for Lingnanians, our festive year has started for months!

 

Since the curtain for the 50th Anniversary of the University’s re-establishment in Hong Kong was unveiled at a launch ceremony on 19 September (attended by some 700 staff, students, alumni and friends of the University), a series of celebration activities have followed.  They include Professor Siu Fai Wing’s Art Exhibition from 23 September to 6 October, the Launch Conference of the Alliance of Asian Liberal Arts Universities on 20 and 21 November, the Principal Forum in the Greater China Region on 6 December and a number of academic conferences with diverse participants.

 

Festive year of anniversary celebration begins

 

These events have provided great opportunities to share memories, renew friendship, strengthen bonds with Lingnanians and supporters of the University and keep them abreast of the latest developments of the University.  At the launch ceremony when I watched the video 50 Years of Lingnan Spirit featuring the history and proud moments of Lingnan (you can click here to view the video), I was particularly moved by the dedication and perseverance of Lingnanians in overcoming numerous challenges, and realised how much we ought to treasure the things we have got today.  The video clearly highlights the Lingnan Spirit that has been passed down from generation to generation of Lingnanians.

 

Many more interesting celebration events will be staged in 2018.  In the first quarter a Distinguished Leaders Dialogue Series will be launched with the first three dialogue sessions on education, financial development and housing for the youth to be held on 16 January, 26 February and 20 March respectively; the launch of the anniversary publication 50 Years of Lingnan Spirit in mid-January; the Lingnan University 50th Anniversary in Hong Kong Celebration Banquet on 20 January; the Lingnan Arts Festival in March; and many other academic, cultural and social activities.  We are also actively preparing for the exhibition of the legendary Mr Szto Wai to be held in late 2018 (I need to clarify here that he was the Principal of all Lingnan secondary/middle schools in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and overseas, rather than the head of all Lingnan Universities in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau as I mentioned inadvertently at the RTHK programme Yesterday’s Footprints).  For more details you can click here to visit the website designated to the anniversary celebrations.

 

Recognition as top 100 universities in Asia

 

Another encouraging news during the celebration of our Golden Jubilee is that in the QS Asia University Rankings 2018 announced on 16 October, Lingnan was among the top 100 universities in Asia!

 

According to the QS report, we “performed among the top 24% in the QS Asia University Rankings”, and “considering there are approximately 11,900 universities regionally, this makes Lingnan one of the top 1% universities in Asia.”  The ranking result is a recognition of our ongoing efforts in the pursuit of academic excellence.

 

Establishment of Alliance of Asian Liberal Arts Universities

 

As an example of our efforts, the University has taken the lead in establishing the Alliance of Asian Liberal Arts Universities, and organised a launch conference for the alliance on 20 and 21 November with the theme of “Liberal Arts Education in an Asian Context: Achievements, Challenges and Perspectives”.

 

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, to collectively enhance their quality of teaching, learning and research, and raise the image and profile of the member universities by increasing their international presence, and promote liberal arts education in Asia.  I am sure our leading role in chartering the development of the Alliance can help establish Lingnan as the “brand builder” for all member universities in Asia and beyond.

 

From a broader perspective, our Golden Jubilee celebration provides an exceptional opportunity for us to strengthen our brand image, and I am so delighted that our supporters think likewise.  For instance, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust has provided support for the Launch Conference of the Alliance of Asian Liberal Arts Universities as well as a series of our other initiatives in promoting liberal arts education in the coming two years.

 

Brand enhancement on the occasion of Golden Jubilee

 

In line with the results of a brand audit conducted earlier this year and the commencement of a brand campaign in March, over the past few months I have given interviews to the media and contributed articles to some news media to enhance the public’s understanding of the brand essence of Lingnan and the transformative power of liberal arts education that it offers.  These include interviews with the popular RTHK radio programme Yesterday’s Footprints (you can click here to listen to the programme), an influential publication on the Mainland China Reading Weekly, and a publication by QS, as well as feature articles contributed to the Bauhinia Magazine and Sing Tao Daily.

 

We also commissioned TVB to produce a series of TV programmes to promote the University and its distinctive features and achievements.  It includes a TV commercial in various channels of TVB in September to arouse public awareness of our Anniversary celebration, a series of five episodes of 1-minute programmes (with the theme on the “New Experience of Lingnan University’s Liberal Arts Education” 《嶺南大學博雅教育新體驗》) from late October to early November to introduce key characteristics and features of our liberal arts education, and a series of two episodes of 30-minute TV programme (with the theme on “The Essence of Liberal Arts Education, presented by Lingnan University on Its Golden Jubilee”《嶺南大學金禧呈獻:博雅教育之道》) aired on TVB Jade on 9 and 16 December. The series gave an in-depth introduction to the University, covering our history, achievements, characteristics as well as curricula.  In case you have missed the programmes, I sincerely invite you to watch them at TVB’s online platform “myTV SUPER” by clicking here (registration to the platform is required).

 

Outreach to secondary schools to improve admission results

 

The anniversary celebration is also an ideal occasion for us to engage with different stakeholders.  For instance, the Principal Forum in the Greater China Region held on 6 December was an attempt to strengthen our ties with secondary schools in Hong Kong, Mainland, Taiwan and Macau.  Taking this opportunity I appointed on the spot 21 principals of secondary and primary schools from Hong Kong, Mainland China and Taiwan as my advisors to provide opinions on Lingnan University’s future development and education endeavours.

 

These engagement efforts, together with other new initiatives such as the adoption of new JUPAS admission arrangements in 2018 (with a new “best 5 subjects” approach with subject weightings in calculating the JUPAS admission scores for admission) and the launch of a summer institute that also offers programmes for senior secondary students, we hope to further improve our future admission results.

 

As the fruitful year of 2017 is drawing to a close, may I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

 

Leonard K Cheng
President