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Old May 11th, 2009, 06:49 PM   #1
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HONG KONG | Polytechnic University Teaching Hotel | Com

Hong Kong Polytechnic University unveils teaching hotel plan
University Press Release
2005-10-04





The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has unveiled a plan to develop dedicated premises for its School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) to further enhance its world leadership position in hospitality and tourism education and to embrace the strong demand for its further contribution to Hong Kong and the region .

To be built adjacent to the campus of the University, the planned premises will consist of a teaching hotel, conference facilities, teaching restaurants, research centres, classrooms, offices and new staff quarters. The hotel will offer quality service at a High Tariff B level, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board's classification, which translates to a 4 to 5-star hotel in international standard. The premises will accommodate student population growth up to 2020.

The news came after the University's announcement that its School of Hotel and Tourism Management has recently been ranked fourth in world-ranking based on research and scholarship, according to a study published in the August issue of the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research , which is one of the most prestigious journals in the field.

According to PolyU President Prof. Poon Chung-kwong, a taskforce, comprising industry leaders and PolyU Council members, was appointed in November 2004 to study the need for and feasibility of the development project. Upon the recommendation of the taskforce, the University Council approved the plan at its meeting last week.

Prof. Poon said: “We believe that having dedicated premises for SHTM is in line with the practice of top hotel and tourism schools in the world. The School is widely recognized as a leader in the region and was recently ranked number four in the world in terms of hotel & tourism research. But the challenge for Hong Kong ahead is huge and we are determined to do even better. The planned teaching hotel complex will give the visibility of a world-class institution which SHTM deserves.

“It will help enhance work-integrated education and research in hospitality management and help us attract high quality students and the best teaching staff from around the world. H aving a teaching hotel near our conveniently-located campus will also facilitate partnership with industry and educational institutions in the Chinese mainland.”

Prof. Kaye Chon, Chair Professor and Head of the School, said the new facility will be a great boost to the School's long-term development. “Apart from the advantage of having various teaching and research facilities, offices, conference facilities and teaching hotel and restaurants under one roof in an excellent location, we look forward to having new research laboratories to experiment with such areas as design, infrastructure and services in a hotel including, for example, hotel room design, wiring and ducting, room service, business centre service, etc.”

“On top of the training offered in the premises, we will continue to arrange placements with hotels at home and abroad to ensure the broad exposure of our students.” Prof. Chon added.

Estimated to incur a total redevelopment cost of about HK$500 million, the premises for the School are expected to be ready for occupation at the start of the 2008/09 academic year, and the teaching hotel and staff residence at a later stage.

SHTM is well known as the pioneer of hotel and tourism education in Hong Kong. Since 1979, more than 10,000 students have graduated from the School. Its r ecent achievements include:
2005 Top ranking among Asian institutions of its kind and fourth in world-ranking based on research and scholarship, according to a study published in the August issue of the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research
2003 Institutional Achievement Award from International Society of Travel & Tourism Educators (ISTTE) for innovation and contribution to the field of tourism education
2002 Designation as World Headquarters and Secretariat for the International Academy for the Study of Tourism (IAST)
2000 TedQual (Tourism Education Quality) Certification from World Tourism Organization (WTO)
1999 Designation as Asia's only university among the 16 - member WTO Education and Training Network

The School has a faculty of 45 faculty members drawn from 17 countries. It now offers programmes at levels ranging from Higher Diploma and Bachelor's through to Master's degree and PhD by research.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 11:44 AM   #2
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Converging lines
Architect Rocco Yim says officials must work more closely with his profession to inspire creativity in public design

30 January 2009
South China Morning Post

What makes beautiful architecture? To begin with, this is the wrong question to ask, according to leading Hong Kong architect Rocco Yim Sen-kee. Calling a building beautiful immediately marks you as uninitiated. As he says, "Of course, architecture is about aesthetics, but it's aesthetics built on many things. Is there good use of light, material and space? What does the building do to your state of mind? And can it unlock your imagination about a culture or a particular feeling?"

The softly spoken architect is not pontificating: he is recalling the ideals of architecture learned at college three decades ago. Over the years, this intellectual foundation, coupled with Yim's talent, has given rise to some of Hong Kong's most prominent creations, including the Peninsula Hotel extension, the Park Lane Shopping Boulevard, Citibank Plaza and IFC2 (a collaboration with celebrated Argentinian architect Cesar Pelli). This year at least three of his projects will be completed in Hong Kong and on the mainland.

Yim is known for his ability to weave modernism into densely populated urban spaces. Now in his 50s, he won an international competition late last year to build the 500 million yuan (HK$568 million) new Yunnan Provincial Museum, adding another accolade to his long list of achievements.

It is "entirely contemporary" in its construction, he says of the glass-clad building, the form of which alludes to Yunnan's natural landscape, in particular the famous Shilin "rock forest" outside Kunming.

Having built a solid portfolio of commercial buildings, Yim is preoccupied these days with public and cultural architecture, evidenced by the clutch of buildings he and his 110-strong company are working on. These include a teaching hotel at the Polytechnic University, which features glass atria designed to be integrated with the surroundings. There is also the much publicised "Door" in Tamar, an arched complex that will become the Hong Kong government's new headquarters in 2011. Across the border in Guangdong, he is building a multipurpose cultural centre in Shenzhen and the Museum of Guangdong. The latter is in the shape of a Chinese treasure box and is his favourite project to date.

Yim is not dodging commercialism - the redevelopment of the former Hyatt Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui which he is close to completing is purely commercial, he says - but now, well into the "third stage" of his career, he is trying to focus on non-commercial projects.

"When I first started in architecture it was a period of taking up small projects and joining design competitions. As the company grew, big commercial projects started rolling in," he says. "I think it all began with the Bamboo Pavilion [for the Hong Kong/Berlin Festival in 2000]."

His new bond with public and cultural architecture has marked Yim's position in Hong Kong's architectural world, which provides most architects with few options beyond private property projects. Yet the change is also a return to the ideals that Yim embraced in his formative years.

"In the perfect situation, you don't worry about commercial constraints, artistic value is attached with great importance and the building serves not only a small group of people but the general public," he says. "Every architect wants to achieve that. That's a value we learned at college."

His career focus may have evolved, but Yim's passionate belief in the strong ties between architecture and city life has changed little. "I always believe no building survives alone; it coexists with the city. Its worth is judged by how it interacts and forms a relationship with the surroundings."

This fundamental idea helped propel Yim to fame in his late 20s. In 1983, a few years after Yim had read architecture at the University of Hong Kong, the mainland was in talks with Britain about the future of colonial Hong Kong. The city's economy was in the doldrums and Yim had few jobs in hand. Being young and energetic, he looked abroad and entered the Opera Bastille design competition in Paris. He came up with a scheme that featured a street leading from the Bastille Plaza, allowing it to "interact with the opera and enable all kinds of human activities to flourish".

Competing against 744 contestants from 50 countries, the inexperienced Yim did not expect to be named one of three first-prize winners. The judges commended his design for being a "strongly marked architectural gesture" and for its "lyrical vocation".

In the end, the work of Canadian co-winner Carlos Ott was adopted, but Yim's interaction-oriented approach lives on; the new Hong Kong government headquarters serves as a recent example.

"A lot of people think it's going to be an iconic piece of architecture," he says of the Tamar project. "But it's not - it's going to be an iconic place. We want it to refine the quality of Hong Kong's public space. The green lawns, green roof and the open space on the ground level will serve to connect with the surroundings."

As with many of his peers, Yim ventured across the border in the late 1990s. The mainland's constant thirst for new ideas has seen his projects multiply in recent years. "Compared with Hong Kong, the mainland is more receptive to new ideas," he says. "The entrepreneurs are younger, in their 30s or 40s. They're more flexible, less conservative. They hire an architect for his creativity."

However, these projects are not without difficulties.

For Yim, the biggest problem is the lack of sophistication of some mainland cities, which makes it difficult for his creations to do what he wants them to: interact. A case in point is the HK$400 million Guangdong Museum project, a lacquered box-like structure in Guangzhou with features such as alcoves and layered spaces.

"The site where the museum is located is bleak and empty. The whole area simply hasn't taken shape. We know [British-Iraqi architect] Zaha Hadid is building an opera house there and there's a river nearby, but that's it. There's no other reference point to guide or inspire us. We have to rely on the museum to shape the area."

Hong Kong has a different set of issues, Yim says: the crux of the problem being a lack of creativity. "There's not enough initiative to encourage creativity. We have almost no public design competitions for new buildings, whereas on the mainland even a small community would try to get the best design through public competitions," he says.

"This stagnancy is an inevitable part of development. Every city will gradually become more conservative after years of growth. Hong Kong is right at this stage. Just as we thought we still had an edge, we were taken aback by the Water Cube [National Aquatics Centre] and the Bird's Nest [National Stadium in Beijing]. All we have is the Hong Kong Stadium."

To move things forward, the government should start with the basics, says Yim. "Run design competitions. It should take the lead in being the patron of local design - everything from logos, business cards of officials and public trash bins," he says. "It's a really big issue: Hong Kong needs to map out a new city blueprint for the 21st century."

So is there still reason to be optimistic about Hong Kong's architectural future?

"In the short term, I'm pessimistic," he says. "Our political system is not going to allow dramatic changes. And if I may put it boldly, our legislators don't know enough about architecture.

"But in the long run, I am optimistic. The concentration [of facilities and infrastructure] in Hong Kong gives us a very good foundation to make improvements. We have yet to wake up, but we will one day."
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Old May 13th, 2009, 01:16 AM   #3
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I thought this was planned ages ago. Now we have a rendering
Thanks for posting!
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Old May 14th, 2009, 11:16 AM   #4
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that hotel looks tiny to me, how many guests can it handle?
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Old May 14th, 2009, 04:05 PM   #5
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those renders are screwed up looking
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Old May 14th, 2009, 07:29 PM   #6
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Why?

I do like how they've used the Central side of the Hong Kong Island skyline in that first picture though - you can see Causeway Bay and maybe glimpses of Wan Chai from that position.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 02:01 PM   #7
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the buildings dont look proportional
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Old May 16th, 2009, 08:08 PM   #8
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Mediocre
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Old May 17th, 2009, 06:34 PM   #9
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they're old renders. see here:

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=473
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Old May 18th, 2009, 01:36 AM   #10
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mmm hold on the old one is so much nicer!
what happened...
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Old May 18th, 2009, 04:36 PM   #11
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5/7 status by Starlight from skyscrapers.cn :

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Old May 22nd, 2009, 07:54 AM   #12
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Tourism trade
29 November 2008
South China Morning Post

The Executive Council has approved the development of a teaching and research hotel by Polytechnic University. The Pak Sui Yuen staff quarters in Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, will be converted into a teaching hotel and staff quarters. The three-to-four star hotel will have no more than 299 guest rooms. Other teaching facilities including research centres and conference rooms will take up more than 35 per cent of the gross floor area. The self-financed hotel will be run by a non-profit-making company to be established by PolyU. The renovation will be completed in 2010.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 11:38 AM   #13
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Retired PolyU chief to continue giving
Poon Chung-kwong vows to stick with educational work via his charity foundation

10 January 2009
South China Morning Post

Reflecting on his past 18 years at the helm of Polytechnic University, Poon Chung-kwong used the word "grateful" many times in recalling the events that defined his presidency.

Professor Poon, a devout Buddhist who retired from PolyU last month, said he appreciated the opportunity he had been given to serve the local tertiary sector for so long and pledged to continue with educational work through his charity foundation after retirement.

"I always want to support the university education of poor mainland students," he said.

Set up four years ago with his wife, the Virya Foundation subsidises students from remote mainland villages to gain a university education.

"Many mainland students don't enjoy the affluence and physical comforts of local students, who can have access to study grants or loans if they come from a poor background. Many of them come from families whose annual income averages only two-to-three thousand HK dollars.

"Their admission to university, with the concomitant tuition fees of 5,000 yuan (HK$5,680) per year, can put the whole family neck-deep in debt."

Since his conversion to Buddhism in 1992, Professor Poon has tried to live his life and address his work demands in line with Buddhist philosophy.

"I saw Buddhism as an other-worldly, passive and superstition-tinged religion in the past. As I grew older, I found out that Buddhism offers abstruse philosophy lessons on how to lead your life."

Professor Poon said Buddhism taught him to be open-minded when formulating university policy.

"When management thrashes out policies for the university, it can be hard for them to see the big picture. However wide the range of options they have considered, their plans are unlikely to be comprehensive. That's why we need to study policies from the viewpoint of students and teachers.

"The student council once told me that PolyU was one of the few universities that listened to students' opinions and I felt grateful for that."

Professor Poon explained how he rose from humble origins to become a university head.

"I come from a poor family and grew up in my relatives' house," he said. "I did four part-time jobs when I was at the University of Hong Kong and was the only chemistry major among my peers to graduate with first-class honours."

After completing his postgraduate research at the California Institute of Technology in 1967 and a tenure as a senior lecturer at HKU and upon his return to Hong Kong, he was made a doctor of science by the University of London in 1979 for his research in inorganic chemistry.

Professor Poon attributed his meteoric rise in academic circles to his ability to capitalise on untapped opportunities.

"When I first returned to Hong Kong in 1968, the city had little money for chemistry research. Organic chemistry was popular at the time and inorganic chemistry had just started. With not many accomplished researchers in the field, I got international recognition fast by doing research in it."

The same flair for exploring uncharted territory helped him transform Polytechnic University from a technical college into a world-class academy specialising in application-oriented research.

"It's important that we have our own brand in Asia," he said. "Instead of competing with Chinese University or HKU in doing academic research, I insisted on focusing on applied subjects and collaborating with industry."

His strategy of specialising in practical subjects rather than the more popular academic ones has been credited with the rise of PolyU in international league tables.

"Engineering and science subjects are the fortes of top-notch universities like Harvard, MIT and Stanford. It's hard for us to compete with them in those fields. We chose to invest in fields which have yet to be dominated by our rivals and continue our support for technical subjects."

Professor Poon spelled out the list of subjects that have come to be associated with the PolyU brand in recent years.

"Hotel and tourism management is one of our proudest achievements. Ivy League schools don't do such subjects.

"The university that does best in the field is Cornell University. I am not really afraid of this rival as tourism now is all concentrated in Asia, where a lot of people are needed to do research. That's why we built the teaching hotel, which is the first of its kind in the world.

"It's difficult to be ranked at the top in traditional subjects like medicine, commerce and arts but for hotel management I have confidence that we will soon be ranked number one."

The contribution made by PolyU's faculty of health and social sciences to the mainland's quest for Olympic gold medals and the relief work in the wake of the Sichuan earthquake has further helped cement PolyU's image as a world-class professional university.

The pictures of mainland Olympic winners flanked by PolyU physiotherapists and the faculty's rehabilitative experts helping quake-ravaged victims were also the results of Professor Poon's academic vision.

"I like to pick things that others overlook," he said. "Famous schools specialise in medicine but not medical care and treatment like physiotherapy and optometry.

"We enjoy an edge in developing such subjects as physiotherapy which can be combined with Chinese traditional acupuncture and acupressure."

Professor Poon's extensive network built up during his tenure as a Legislative Council member in the 1980s has earned him the title "king of fund-raising" among university heads.

"I have met many friends from various industries in Legco," he said. "The network of a university principal can help a lot in the fund-raising drive. I am very grateful for their generous support and donations over the years."

Despite his many achievements, Professor Poon said he felt it was time to pass on the torch.

"I have been in university education for four decades. With PolyU heading towards 3+3+4, the university wanted me to stay on and see through the transition but I thought it was time to hand over to new people with new thinking and ideas."

Amid sweeping changes in the local education sector, Professor Poon said universities should do more to inculcate moral values among the young.

"Students of my generation were austere, down to earth and respectful towards teachers and traditions," he said.

"Now, the good economic conditions have given rise to many temptations. Young people lack self-restraint and spend too much time on the internet. Driven by an urge to earn quick fortune and fame, many engage in speculative activities. They are much more clever and knowledgable than the previous generation but their ethical values are not strong enough."

He said a more vigorous promotion of traditional Chinese cultural values enshrined in Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism could be the antidote to rampant materialism and the impatience of youth.

"The ethical foundation of today's students has to be shored up," he said. "They need to have compassion and learn to be responsible for their own actions. That's why I have promised to serve as a college head at Xian Jiaotong University in retirement. I want to tell young people more about Chinese culture and values."
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Old June 5th, 2009, 11:14 AM   #14
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Three universities get backing to expand
13 January 2009
South China Morning Post

Lawmakers have given qualified backing to three university campus expansion plans, despite spiralling building costs.

Leaders of the University of Hong Kong, Polytechnic University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology appeared before the Legislative Council's education panel yesterday to explain the rising costs of their expansion plans.

The expanded facilities will be needed to cope with more students when the universities begin the switch to four-year degrees from 2012. Cost estimates for the 12 buildings across seven universities have soared by 71 per cent, from HK$3.43 billion in 2004-05 to HK$5.88 billion by last September. The Education Bureau blamed the higher costs on "significant increases in construction material prices and changes in market sentiments", and projected more increases before completion.

Cheung Man-kwong, lawmaker for the education sector, said: "There should be a cap on this expenditure because of the economic situation."

Michael Stone, secretary general of the University Grants Committee, said "a price fluctuation clause" would be introduced in tender contracts so that "barring exceptional circumstances, they can't exceed their budgets".

The projects will be put to the Public Works Subcommittee on February 11 and the Finance Committee in April.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 09:06 PM   #15
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By fatshe :

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Old July 7th, 2009, 05:55 AM   #16
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What's under construction next to New World Centre?
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Old July 7th, 2009, 12:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _00_deathscar View Post
What's under construction next to New World Centre?
I see one building of the New World Centre covered up in scaffolding – not sure if it’s demolition or just renovation. Could it be the supertall might be a real thing?
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Old July 7th, 2009, 02:16 PM   #18
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Thought we'd have heard about it from now - that's certainly where it was proposed to be built.

Still think it's going to look ugly right on the promenade - especially with no real height around it.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 06:37 PM   #19
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Old July 8th, 2009, 09:02 AM   #20
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Industry has reasons to be cheerful
PolyU to open a teaching hotel next year as the booming hospitality sector seeks recruits with positive personalities
30 June 2009
South China Morning Post

Fancy a career in the world's biggest industry that could see you working in foreign countries with people of all different nationalities? A career in the hotel and tourism industry could be just what you need.

The good news is that Hong Kong has a whole host of courses aimed at getting you on the right track in an industry that employs more than 170,000 people in the city.

"It offers a vast and diverse range of jobs that require countless types of skilled personnel ranging from housekeepers, guest relations officers and concierges in hotels to travel consultants, and roles in the airline industry, to name just a few," said Cynthia Leung, Hong Kong Tourism Board's general manager of corporate affairs.

"It is dynamic and provides opportunities for a great career."

Before starting out on a diploma or degree programme, students should keep in mind that, as many roles in the industry involve close contact with customers, it is not only a good qualification that will lead to a successful career in the industry - the right personality is also vital, especially for anyone thinking of a career in hotels.

"We look for positive people," said Diana Chik, director of human resources at Langham Hotels. "They should have a positive attitude and be willing to help and learn. They must be cheerful and pleasant and really take pleasure out of helping other people."

Ms Chik explained that hotel staff must also be willing to work long hours. "Hotels are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so it's quite normal for people to work 12 hours a day and often on night shifts."

Graduates of diploma courses can expect to start out in the industry at the bottom, but their diploma will allow them to move faster and smoother up the career ladder. Graduates of degree programmes could expect to enter at positions in administrative roles, Ms Chik said.

Next year, Polytechnic University's school of hotel and tourism management will open a 278-room, fully functioning teaching hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui East. Competition for places on courses at PolyU is fierce, with about 180 applicants applying for each place.

"The selection process is challenging, but it shouldn't discourage anyone," said David Jones, associate professor of the school and undergraduate programme director. "The fact that a student might not have finished top of their class in terms of A-level results does not mean that they are not going to get in." Dr Jones explained that a large part of the application process was decided by individual interviews with applicants, conducted by academics and industry professionals. "We want to see that applicants have a strong interest and desire to work in the industry," he said. "To be successful in the industry, you need to demonstrate desire, excellent people skills and a personality to match."

PolyU offers two levels of course: higher diploma and bachelor of science. Courses in hotel management and tourism management are offered at both levels. Both levels offer students the chance to study hotel management, food and beverage (F&B) management, theme parks and attractions, cruise ships, and to focus on learning about the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions industry.

Many higher diploma students go on to convert their qualification to honour's degrees. Graduates can expect to enter an industry in which Hong Kong is at the fore and in which many PolyU graduates have carved out successful careers.

"The president of our alumni association is the head of F&B at the Jockey Club. Another of our graduates is the managing director of one of the biggest travel agencies in Hong Kong. The general manager of LKF Hotel took her diploma, bachelor's degree and master's degree at our school," Dr Jones said.
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