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Old July 8th, 2009, 04:04 PM   #21
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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 9th, 2009, 11:59 AM   #22
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西港島線 接通港大新校園
2 June 2009
香港經濟日報

港鐵西港島線大學站將有兩個出入口接通香港大學,其中寶翠園出入口接通港大新建的百周年校園,市民可由車站直接前往對外開放的百周年花園,及3幢活化歷史建築;至於接駁港大黃克競樓的出入口,亦會24小時接通薄扶林道,方便師生出入。

工程費逾30億元的港大百周年校園計劃2012年落成,而造價達154億元的西港島線料於2014年通車。西港島線全長3公里及有3個車站,包括西營盤、大學及堅尼地城。

往百周年校園 僅2分鐘

港鐵項目統籌經理鄧伯洪表示,大學站共有5個出入口,其中兩個接通黃克競樓及百周年校園,全以升降機來回車站與地面,乘搭時間約20秒,並以行人天橋接通港大。

鄧又稱,黃克競樓出入口共有8部升降機,車站往校園內只須約3分鐘;而寶翠園出入口通往百周年校園有4部升降機,站內往地面約為2分鐘。

西港島線以融入社區概念興建,港大物業處高級助理處長譚景良表示,師生及市民可經車站來往大學與社區,最遠可由大學往較近海邊的卑路乍街。

譚透露,百周年校園將興建面積逾4萬平方呎的百周年花園,而新校園內3幢歷史建築,會與水務署商討把屬三級歷史建築的西區濾水廠,變身為水務博物館。

譚又指,其餘兩幢為二及三級歷史建築的舊員工宿舍,亦會活化及對外開放。港大發言人補充,正研究該兩幢建築的活化,如變為書店、康樂或展覽用途的場地。

另一方面,運輸及房屋局局長鄭汝樺昨於立法會鐵路事宜小組委員會,解釋西港島線造價由89億元升至154億元,以及政府注資由60億元增加至127億元的問題。

有議員形容,154億元是天價,質疑政府注資大增逾倍是偏袒港鐵,因港鐵投入資金反減2億元,要求當局提交財務報告。鄭表示,補助金加入退還機制,若工程費有剩餘,港鐵需在鐵路通車兩年後,連利息退還餘額,並指補助金額會於票價中反映。
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Old July 20th, 2009, 08:43 PM   #23
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HKU vows to save trees from MTR Corp's axe
26 April 2009
South China Morning Post

Three signature trees at the University of Hong Kong's west gate are facing the chop because of construction of the West Island Line, according to an MTR Corporation report.

But the university's administration said it would protect the trees at all costs, including transplanting them itself if the MTR Corp insisted they should be felled.

A report on tree details for the West Island Line's University station says six trees should be transplanted and six should be felled, including two banyan trees and a flame tree that have been growing next to the Haking Wong Building at the university's west gate for 15 to 20 years.

The report says the form of the trees is good, their health is fair and their likely chances of survival after transplanting is mid-range.

However, the report says that the three trees should still be felled - the same fate awaiting trees assessed as being in poor health and with a low chance of survival.

Certified arborist So Kwok-yin, from the Conservancy Association, said trees were always given the lowest priority during development.

"The West Island Line is just one of many examples because trees cannot complain," he said. "There are always nearly 50 per cent of trees that have to be felled because of construction. While another 50 per cent of trees have to be transplanted, the survival rate is lower than 50 per cent."

An MTR Corp spokeswoman said the trees would have to be felled because they were not transportable.

"The roots of these trees are tangled together {hellip} therefore, the size of the root ball [the roots and soil attached to them when a plant is lifted from ground] is not big enough for these trees to survive after transplantation," she said.

But HKU professor Jim Chi-yung disagreed with that explanation.

"It is illogical to say the size of the root ball of these trees is not big enough," he said. "It is very easy to transplant banyan trees."

Professor Jim, an MTR Corp consultant, said it had asked for his opinion on the trees affected by construction, "but I did not endorse them to cut down these trees".

"These trees are gateway trees, signature trees and landmark trees of HKU," he said.

"You could have an opinion poll at HKU and no one would agree to chop down these trees."

Mr So said banyan trees were among the toughest in the world.

"They could be transplanted even if there is only one stick left," he said. "These reasons are just made up to justify chopping down these trees."

Professor Jim and Mr So called for objective guidelines on tree assessments to be drawn up immediately to avoid subjective judgments on which trees should be felled.

Tam King-leung, the university's senior assistant director of estates, said it would save the trees.

"We will stop these trees from being felled at all cost," he said. "The university has told the MTR Corporation that we don't want these trees to be cut down. Even though it might not be easy, we will transplant these trees with the help of our experts before they are chopped."
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Old August 11th, 2009, 06:02 PM   #24
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MTR chief eases fare rise fears
11 August 2009
The Standard

MTR commuters have been assured that fares will remain unchanged even if the HK$15.4 billion cost to build the West Island Line surges.

``Fares are independent of the final capital cost of the project,'' chief executive Chow Chung-kwong said yesterday after a ground-breaking ceremony for the line, which will be completed in 2014.

The project is a three-kilometer extension of the Island Line from Sheung Wan to Kennedy Town.

There will be three new intermediate stations at Hong Kong University, Sai Ying Pun and Kennedy Town.

According to Chief Secretary for Administration Henry Tang Ying-yen, it will take only eight minutes to get from Kennedy Town to Sheung Wan and 14 minutes to Tsim Sha Tsui.

Chow described the new line as a ``community railway'' as new pedestrian walkways, escalators and lifts will make traveling within Kennedy Town more convenient.

The railway will also make traveling to new public facilities such as the Kennedy Town swimming pool easier.

The project will generate more than 3,000 jobs and about HK$62 billion in economic benefits.

But the cost and the siting of the ventilation shafts have fueled debate.

Since the line was first approved in 2006, the estimated cost has risen by 73 percent from the original HK$8.9 billion.

Taxpayers will foot HK$12.7 billion, or 82 percent, of the cost.

``There is a clawback mechanism to ensure any government contribution left over will be fully returned,'' Chow said.

A group of six people protested outside the Kennedy Town station site over the siting of the proposed ventilation shafts at the Hong Kong University station.

The MTRC is planning two shafts in the pedestrian area on Hill Road, Kennedy Town, causing concern they will only trap and circulate bad air from a waste-collection center and from cars running on either side.

Chow said the air from the shafts will be ``as good as, if not better'' than the air in the area.

Ma Lo Yee-mei, who has lived in the area for 10 years, said the shafts will only recirculate fumes from car exhausts and spew out bad air from the center.
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Old August 13th, 2009, 12:13 PM   #25
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The extension will cost HK$2.5 billion, of which HK$1.3 billion will be funded by the government, the remainder will be raised by the university.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #26
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14 Oct 2009
Press Release
Groundbreaking Ceremony of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Building for Interdisciplinary Research


Location: 5-7, Sassoon Road, Pokfulam
Commencement of Construction: September 2009
Anticipated Completion: Mid 2011

Site Area: 3,815 m2
Construction Floor Area: 15,840 m2
Total Net Operational Floor Area: 8,082 m2
Height: 12 storeys
Estimated Cost: HK$306 million


The groundbreaking ceremony of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Building for Interdisciplinary Research was held today (14 October). The ceremony signifies a new era of human research at the University of Hong Kong (HKU).

HKU has achieved worldwide recognition for its research achievements. The Phase 1 of the Human Research Institute (HRI) will accommodate specialized research laboratories and state-of-the-art inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary centres, including the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Engineering Centre, the Behavioral Sciences and Holistic Health Centre, the Institute of Human Performance Research Centre, the Clinical Trials Centre, the Genome Research Centre, the Medical Physics Research Centre, and the Chemical Biology Centre.

In recognition of the generous donation of HK$133 million by The Hong Kong Jockey Club through its Charities Trust, the HRI (Phase 1) Building will be named "The Hong Kong Jockey Club Building for Interdisciplinary Research". The construction of the Building will be completed in mid 2011.

At the ceremony, Professor Lap-Chee Tsui, Vice-Chancellor of HKU said, "The construction of the future home of the Human Research Institute is part of a comprehensive development plan of the University's strategic research initiatives." "This Building will provide the space, the technologies and the facilities to cultivate a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary environment that will enhance collaboration amongst researchers within HKU."

Mr John C C Chan, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club said, "The Club is pleased to support this important project by funding the development of a base for the Human Research Institute, where multi-disciplinary units will be housed under one roof. We believe the project will help cultivate a cross-disciplinary research culture and environment conducive to close collaboration, which is essential for furthering human research in HKU and Hong Kong in general."

The Building will adopt environmentally-friendly design, including vertical greening at the outer wall of the building, and the installation of solar panels.

For media enquiries, please contact Mr. Henry Ho, Senior Manager (Community Relations), Communications and Public Affairs Office), Tel: 2857 8555/91880219, email: [email protected] or Miss Julie Chu, Assistant Executive (Community Relations), Communications and Public Affairs Office, Tel: 2859 2437, email: [email protected]
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Old December 7th, 2009, 04:56 PM   #27
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State Councillor visits University of Hong Kong
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Government Press Release



State Councillor Madam Liu Yandong this morning (December 6) visited the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) where she was greeted by the Chairman of the HKU Council, Dr Leong Che-hung; the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen; and the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr York Chow.

Madam Liu was briefed by the Vice-Chancellor of HKU, Professor Tsui Lap-chee, on the history of the faculty. She praised the faculty’s high level of research excellence and encouraged it to continue its dedicated hard work and contribute to society.

During the visit to the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the faculty, Professor Guan Yi explained the focus area of research. Madam Liu recognised the importance of surveillance and control of emerging diseases and encouraged medical professionals to work hard to guard against infectious diseases.

The State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases is the only laboratory in the field to gain approval to set up outside the Mainland. It was tasked to monitor and control emerging infectious diseases and provide a platform for bringing together and nurturing outstanding researchers.

Later, at the Genome Research Centre, Madam Liu was given a briefing by Professor Tsui on the research conducted there.

Madam Liu said that the HKU had rich experience in nurturing talents and profound academic achievements. “China has to enhance international co-operation in education and work closely with Hong Kong in tertiary education. I hope that Hong Kong will join hands with the Mainland to raise the level of education in the country,” she said.

Madam Liu, accompanied by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, called on the renowned contemporary sinologist Professor Jao Tsung-i at the Jao Tsung-i Petite Ecole of HKU. She was attracted by precious exhibits of Professor Jao’s rare collections and calligraphy.

On behalf of Premier Mr Wen Jiaobao, Madam Liu sent her regards to Professor Jao. She congratulated Professor Jao for being awarded with Fellowship of China Central Research Institute of Culture and History.

“Professor Jao’s precious collections enable the rest of the world to have a better understanding of Chinese culture,” Madam Liu said.

In the afternoon, Madam Liu met presidents and vice-chancellors of the 10 local tertiary institutions to hear their views on the latest situation of tertiary education in Hong Kong. She then met youth representatives of various sectors in Hong Kong and attended a welcoming reception of the 2009 Boao Youth Forum (Hong Kong).

Madam Liu will leave Hong Kong and return to Beijing this evening. The Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, will see her off at the airport.
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Old January 8th, 2010, 02:50 PM   #28
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Lift cap on non-local students, HKU head says
4 December 2009
South China Morning Post

The University of Hong Kong should become more international by lifting the cap on the number of mainland and overseas students, the new chairman of the university council, Dr Leong Che-hung, says.

Leong, who succeeded Dr Victor Fung Kwok-king three weeks ago, said one of the missions of his three-year term was to make it one of the world's top 10 universities.

The university's plan to expand into Shenzhen - including a new campus and a public hospital - would make it more competitive and overcome space constraints at its campus in Pok Fu Lam, he said.

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said in his policy speech in October that the government wanted to internationalise the education system, and would further relax the rules for overseas students.

"We want to see the ceiling relaxed or even lifted so we can freely admit overseas students," Leong, an executive councillor and former legislator, said.

"It won't affect our resources for local students because the overseas students have to bear the cost.

"Having more overseas students here would help our local students develop a global perspective and mix with different cultures."

No cap is set for overseas students in postgraduate courses.

HKU's overseas undergraduate-student ratio is capped at 20 per cent, with only 4 per cent receiving government funding.

But it cannot meet even that cap, mainly due to a lack of student quarters, and its overseas and mainland undergraduates account for only about 12 per cent of total admissions.

Leong said the university's celebration of its centenary in 2011 would help consolidate support from alumni.

But even the Centennial Campus, to be completed in 2012, would be too small to meet the rising demand for student accommodation and teaching space. He said one possible solution was to turn vacant factories into student accommodation.

In October, the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings rated HKU the 24th-best university in the world. It came second in Asia, behind the 22nd-ranked University of Tokyo. HKU's highest position was 18th, in 2007.

"I would like to see HKU among the top 10," Leong said.

He added that he thought that internationalising would attract good students and teaching staff.

The university has no plan to go completely private.

But it will consider setting up a private wing to provide bridging degree courses for diploma holders or sub-degree graduates, such as graduates from its school of professional and continuing education. Amid rising demand for space and research resources, the university has endorsed a blueprint to expand in Shenzhen with a new campus and a research centre in the border city.

Leong said the university's campus in Pok Fu Lam was "rather small" when compared with some newer institutions. "Recently I visited the medical faculty's state key laboratory and was rather shocked to find out that it was so small," he said. "We definitely need more space, and it is difficult to find land in Hong Kong."

Leong said the new Shenzhen campus would be just "an extension" of the Pok Fu Lam campus, not a new school. "We will consider moving some of our faculties there and some students may have to travel to Shenzhen for classes.

"Of course, all the details needed to be carefully considered."

Leong said having a new research centre in Shenzhen would help the university tap into the mainland's more generous research grants.

On Monday, the university and the Shenzhen authorities signed a memorandum of understanding for the planning of the 2,000-bed Binhai Hospital. It will be Shenzhen's biggest public hospital and a second teaching hospital for HKU.

Leong said the hospital, which would open in 2011, would be a showcase for health care reform on the mainland.

"It will be a win-win-win situation for Hong Kong, Shenzhen and the whole country," he said. "Our staff can see private cases there, and will be subject to the same monitoring as if they are in Hong Kong."

Leong said Queen Mary Hospital, the university's teaching hospital in Pok Fu Lam, was too small and the variety of patient cases too narrow to teach medical students.

After graduating from HKU in 1962, Leong taught in the department of surgery from 1964 to 1978.

He has pledged to hold regular meetings involving staff, students and his council members.

From 2012, the university will provide four-year undergraduate programmes, following reforms to the academic structure for secondary education and higher education.

An extra 200 teaching staff will be needed for the increasing number of students.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 08:22 PM   #29
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January 12, 2010
Government Press Release
HKU hostel redevelopment backed

The Land & Development Advisory Committee has endorsed a University of Hong Kong proposal to convert or redevelop a former school building in Kennedy Town into a post-graduate hostel.

At its meeting today, committee members said the project will address the shortage of student hostel places.

The Development Opportunities Office has advised redevelopment is the best way forward as the proposed conversion approach will require demolishing a considerable portion of the existing building.

The committee also supported the proposed relocation of the Hong Kong Red Cross Headquarters from Harcourt Road, Admiralty, to Hoi Ting Road in West Kowloon to enable the organisation to continue its full range of community services.

It backed another project submitted by China Resources Property which will involve implementing city improvements works in Wan Chai North, taking the opportunity from the company's retrofitting and redevelopment of the China Resources Centre. Members said the project will improve vehicular and pedestrian flow in the area. They also supported the company's proposed upgrades to the Harbour Road Garden at its expense.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 10:40 AM   #30
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A new start for HKU, 100 years after first foundation stone laid
17 March 2010
South China Morning Post

One hundred years to the day since the then governor, Sir Frederick Lugard, laid the first stone of what is now the University of Hong Kong's main building, a ceremony was held yesterday to lay the foundation stone for its new campus.

Officiating at the ceremony marking the start of work on the centennial campus, chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen praised the tremendous contribution the university had made to the city's development.

"Throughout the years, the university has remained an institution that embodies freedom, diversity and integrity. It has nurtured more than 130,000 graduates, many of whom have become leaders in their various fields," he said. "It has engaged in pioneering research that has put Hong Kong on the world map."

The campus adjoining the university's existing campus in Pok Fu Lam is being built to cope with the university's expansion as it prepares for the advent of four-year undergraduate degree courses in 2012 - the standard course now lasts three years. Work is expected to be finished in 2012.

Vice-chancellor Professor Tsui Lap-chee said the university was working hard to raise the money needed to complete the campus.

"The government has given us HK$2 billion for the construction {hellip} but we are still short of HK$1 billion {hellip} The construction of the centennial campus is very important to the development of the university," he said.

At the end of the ceremony, Professor Christopher Mody, of the University of Calgary in Canada, the great-great-grandson of Sir Hormusjee Mody - the Indian businessman who donated HK$150,000 towards the construction of the university a century ago - presented a gilt jade-encrusted trowel to Tsang.

Professor Mody said he was thrilled that his ancestor's contribution had helped produce a world-class university.

The professor, who is in Hong Kong for the first time, said: "It's great to see in person what my great-great-grandfather did in Hong Kong."

He said he would visit Mody Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, named after his generous relative.

Four former university vice-chancellors, including Rayson Huang, who served from 1972 to 1986, attended the ceremony.

Huang said it was a dream come true to see the university blossom into the top-notch institution it is today.

"When I was a student here from 1938 to 1941, the site where the centennial campus will stand was just deserted ground," he said.
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Old August 6th, 2010, 07:31 PM   #31
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Colleges set aside mainland projects
26 July 2010
SCMP

Ambitious plans for Hong Kong universities to expand into the massive mainland education market have been delayed or shelved as local administrators grapple with the challenge of raising funds and maintaining academic standards.

The University of Hong Kong announced in December that it would set up an extension campus in Shenzhen but the proposal appears to have been set aside since Professor Richard Wong, a key figure behind it, resigned as deputy vice-chancellor.

A HKU spokeswoman said she did not know who was in charge of the project and there had been no official report on it.

HKU vice-chancellor Professor Tsui Lap-chee said earlier this year that the Shenzhen government had allocated the university 100 hectares of land to build a campus within five years. "The HKU campus in Hong Kong is only 52 hectares, so it's a really big piece of land," Tsui said at the university's spring reception.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong in February signed a memorandum of understanding with Shenzhen's municipal government to set up a campus in the city that will be run with a local partner.

A Chinese University spokeswoman said little progress has been made since it signed the pact.

"It will take time as we have to raise funds separately for the Shenzhen project and guarantee the operation there would not be subsidised by our Sha Tin campus," the university's communications and public relations manager, Chan Tsz-ling, said. "We also need to ensure the quality of the staff and the curricula in Shenzhen must be on a par with that in Sha Tin."

In November, Polytechnic University agreed with the Dongguan municipal government to set up a working group and conduct a feasibility study on education, research and training. PolyU has been searching for a mainland institution with which to set up a jointly run university in Dongguan but the university would only say that "management is still studying this issue".

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology also joined the race to the mainland, setting up a graduate school in Nansha , Guangzhou, as a trial project.

The loss of momentum is no surprise to Professor Edmund Kwok Siu-tong, who pioneered cross-border education in setting up the United International College (UIC) in Zhuhai . "Hong Kong people don't know how to start a university to provide higher education on the mainland," he said. "It is as though we are walking on a tightrope - a single wrong step and we'll fall."

Founded by Hong Kong Baptist University and Beijing Normal University in Zhuhai in 2005, UIC was the first full-scale co-operation in higher education between the mainland and Hong Kong. According to the agreement between the two universities, the mainland partner contributed just over 80 hectares of land - a tiny corner of its 2,023-hectare Zhuhai campus - to the college. Baptist University provided funding and personnel to set up the institution.

PolyU, Chinese University and HKUST all visited UIC to learn from its experience. UIC's student population has risen to nearly 4,000 this year from 270 in the first enrolment in 2005. UIC is becoming an alternative for mainland students turned down by top-notch local universities who are unable to study abroad.

Driving UIC's rapid expansion is its English-teaching programme and degrees awarded by Baptist University. "It's [the expansion] a miracle in itself," Kwok said. "In Hong Kong, all universities have to do to attract students is organise a few open days on campus. But on the mainland, we have to do national recruitment - do you know how much resources that takes?"

UIC may be expanding at a fast pace, but it is still struggling to emerge from heavy financial losses over the past four financial years. It booked operating losses of 4.8 million yuan (HK$5.49 million) in 2008-09, 3.3 million yuan in 2007-08, 800,000 yuan in 2006-07 and 4.9 million yuan in 2005-06.

Baptist University had expected the college to become financially self-sustaining when it reaches full capacity in 2011-12. But Kwok would not give a projected date for when the college might break even.

"Baptist University agreed to invest not more than HK$150 million on UIC and we need to return that money every year from our operational income," Kwok said.

Kwok noted that a secondary school in Hong Kong would cost more than HK$100 million to set up, and Shantou University just spent 300 million yuan to build its new library.

Even though the cost of construction on the mainland was much cheaper than in Hong Kong, it was still very difficult to build a university from scratch, Kwok said.

A spokesman for Baptist University refused to disclose how much UIC had to return every year. "The university council approved an investment ceiling of HK$150 million in non-University Grants Committee funds to establish UIC. Baptist University does expect the investment to be paid back over the 30-year period of collaboration. The repayment will take various forms and would vary according to the financial situation of UIC and its future development plans."

A person close to the issue said UIC was required to give 8 per cent of its annual income to Baptist University as a loan repayment, and an additional 15 per cent to Beijing Normal University - 5 per cent as a branding fee and 10 per cent in rent for allowing students to use facilities at the university's Zhuhai campus.

In addition, 50 to 60 per cent of the university's income goes to staff salaries and the rest was used for general administration, the person said.

As a result, the college has been in the red for the past few years even though it has raised school fees from about 38,000 yuan a year to around 50,000 yuan - six to seven times the amount charged by well-established local universities.

"The two funding entities should not calculate their return from UIC as if it were a commercial project," Kwok said.

UIC has just one teaching block, which also houses administrative staff and a general office.

Students share hostels, canteens and even a library with those from Beijing Normal University.

Kwok said the problems were rooted in a lack of planning from the very beginning. "UIC doesn't have money and land," he said. "The original concept was to buy services from Beijing Normal University, but that is not the way to run a university.

"Students can use Beijing Normal University's library, but it mostly has Chinese books - which are not very useful for our English curriculum - so we ended up having to build our own."

But To Yiu-ming, an assistant professor at Baptist University, said UIC's set-up and operation had been unfeasible from day one.

"From an investment point of view, it will take ages before Baptist University can get its return back. It can't pump any more money into UIC, as people will worry about Hong Kong taxpayers' money being channelled to Zhuhai. But from an educational point of view, there should not be a financial ceiling on providing higher education."

As well as funding issues, Kwok said many mainland parents intervened in their children's education, which also created problems. He said there should be a proper administrative and examination system to prevent manipulation of grades or improper exchanges between teachers and parents.

He said he and his colleagues from Hong Kong had complete autonomy to run UIC without government intervention.

But he refused to talk about the role of Communist Party members within its administration.

On campus, television news broadcasts from Hong Kong are periodically interrupted by the government. A UIC graduate said that he and his classmates had used special software to get around "the Great Firewall", which blocks most websites deemed sensitive by Beijing.

"We have to find our own ways to use the internet for research, since Beijing won't loosen its censorship within the campus because it is run by a Hong Kong university," he said. "But our teachers are able to talk about sensitive topics in class - so at least we don't have to study the thinking of Mao Zedong ."

But one HKU professor was worried about academic freedom on the mainland. "As most Hong Kong universities rush to enter China, have any of them thought about how to secure freedom of speech?"
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Old October 10th, 2010, 07:04 PM   #32
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Hostel approved for historic terrace
8 October 2010
South China Morning Post

The University of Hong Kong's plan to set up a student hostel on a historic terrace in Kennedy Town has won the blessing of development advisers. The proposal to convert the former premises of Hon Wah Middle School in Ching Lin Terrace, where three graded historic buildings also stand, would help maintain the heritage feeling of the neighbourhood, the Land and Development Advisory Committee has concluded.

It would also provide much-needed accommodation for students in a more environmentally friendly way compared to redevelopment, the committee added after a meeting yesterday.

The university, which bought the former school for HK$60 million, decided to convert the existing building instead of redeveloping it to keep the low-rise landscape intact.

The plan was initially opposed by the Buildings Department, which said the premises, built as a school, were not suitable for residential use. It suggested the university knock down the block and build a new hostel.

But this was opposed by the Antiquities Advisory Board, which said the construction work could harm the structures of the historic buildings next door.

A new building would also impair the quiet neighbourhood and compromise the ambience of the terrace, typical of an old Hong Kong streetscape.

The revised scheme involves opening up the existing block with a ground-level courtyard to match the building codes. The school lines up with grade-one Lo Pan Temple, a two-storey tenement and a Taoist temple, both grade-three heritage sites, with other low-rise residential buildings.

Hon Wah Middle School, with an emphasis on patriotism education, has produced many graduates who are also HKU alumni. It has been moved to Hong Kong Island east and renamed Hon Wah College.

The committee did not support a proposal presented by the Utahloy Education Foundation to build an international boarding school at Pak Lap, Sai Kung, because part of the proposed site falls within Sai Kung East Country Park, and was given protective zoning last week.

The committee considered that the school development was not compatible with the environment, and expressed concern about damage to rural land with high conservation and landscape value.
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Old November 4th, 2010, 12:11 PM   #33
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HKU students may attend classes in Shenzhen
2 November 2010
SCMP

Some students at the University of Hong Kong may need to go to Shenzhen for their classes in 2013.

The university is not the first in Hong Kong to build campuses on the mainland, but is the only one to have plans to use the campus as an integrated part of the Hong Kong facilities.

Unlike Hong Kong Baptist University, which uses its mainland campus as a separate school, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology's mainland grounds which are used solely for postgraduate programmes, HKU's Shenzhen campus will also host some undergraduate classes.

Local and international students will have to travel to Shenzhen for their classes if needed, Professor Roland Chin Tai-hong, deputy vice-chancellor and provost of the university, said yesterday.

The campus extension is still in the planning process and no building contracts have been signed for the 100-hectare site.

Chin said the School of Engineering is likely to be one of the first faculties to be moved, because "the studies involve some experiments that need a lot of space".

"There are a lot of engineering activities going on in the mainland, so, naturally, part of the school will be moved there," he said.

The university will also look at the needs of each faculty and decide which ones can be moved, meaning not all the students will have to travel to Shenzhen.

Part of the Faculty of Medicine will be moved which may give students a chance to practise in Binhai Hospital in Shenzhen. The hospital is going to be managed by the university and the Shenzhen government.

Asked whether he is worried about losing academic freedom in the mainland campus, Chin said he would respect the laws in Shenzhen. "If Falun Gong is not allowed there, then our students should not practise it in Shenzhen," he said.

Coaches will be available to transport the students between the two campuses on a journey that lasts about an hour.

Jason Ho Chun-yin, a final-year student at the School of Engineering, said he did not mind travelling to Shenzhen for his classes as long as the school arranges the transport.

Lam Ki-yin, chairman of the Engineering Society, said he had not heard about moving the school to Shenzhen. "It will be a waste of time to travel from one campus to another. Students will also have to adapt to the cultural differences in Shenzhen, which may in turn slow down their learning," he said.
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Old December 21st, 2010, 06:14 AM   #34
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School race to loop heats up
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
The Standard

Folks at the University of Hong Kong are surely occupied by its centennial celebrations that will last until 2012.

They should rejoice, since this will not only be a major milestone in the history of the prestigious university, but also mark its achievement in recent years that has made it Asia's best.

Its no surprise that Hong Kong people, including HKU alumni, is aiming higher for the institutions second century. Can it conquer the world after Asia?

Why not even though this may be a long shot as long as people on the management team are able to seize whatever opportunities that become available.

For instance, the global financial crisis that dried up education funding in the West is giving rise to new opportunities for SAR universities to hire first-class professors whom theyd been unable to lure in the past.

A top scholar told me yesterday his peers here are doing exactly this. By coincidence, the shift to a four-year degree program in Hong Kong has created demand for about 1,000 more teaching staff at all universities here. In this sense, the timing of the global financial crisis couldnt have been better.

Isnt it logical that with the arrival of more first-class professors, we should see a more vibrant, intellectual environment at our institutes of higher learning?

Yet there is another opportunity arising. Didnt Hong Kong and Shenzhen recently announce a joint venture to develop the Lok Ma Chau loop into a new base for research and development, with a pocket of land slightly larger than HKU in the loop reserved for higher learning?

The government projects about 24,000 students will study at up to four institutes to be set up there.

So far, several local universities, including HKU, Baptist University, Chinese University and Polytechnic University, have expressed interest in setting up schools in the border loop.

Baptist even floated the idea of swapping its Kowloon Tong campus for the entire pocket. HKU has submitted a preliminary proposal to occupy most of the area with science and engineering facilities, while CUHK thinks the site would be ideal for continued education or associate degree programs.

It wont surprise me if there is heated competition for the site. But should the limited piece of land be divided into equal lots to satisfy the demands? Or should it be used by only one or two institutes for expansion? Those are tricky questions because there are pros and cons to consider.

Dividing the site into equal lots will make the pieces too small for ambitious planning, while allocating the entire lot to only one institute would invite cries of favoritism.

Maybe the best is for officials not to occupy themselves with rigid criteria before they study the proposals. Starting with rigid criteria risks blinding one from worthwhile suggestions. Instead, each proposed business model should be examined in detail and on its own merits.

Im sure universities will forward innovative packages to take advantage of opportunities springing up at the border. Because of this, I have confidence in the future of our higher education that has to be visionary.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 11:53 AM   #35
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Hong Kong’s universities decide bigger is better
31 January 2011
International Herald Tribune

Universities in Hong Kong are counting down toward one of the most significant transformations ever attempted in the territory’s higher education sector, and the logistics are daunting: thousands of extra students, hundreds of new lecturers, realms of new curricula to write and hours of additional courses to fill.

The universities must find space, in what is already one of the world’s most densely populated cities, to accommodate all of the new classrooms, laboratories, staff offices and dormitories that will be required.

At a time when universities in many Western countries are pinching budgets, Hong Kong’s are gearing up for a massive expansion of the undergraduate population: Starting in the 2012 academic year, all Hong Kong undergraduate degrees will be extended from three years to four.

The changes mean that students will spend one less year in high school before embarking on a revamped four-year undergraduate curriculum.

‘‘It’s unprecedented for an entire university system to move from a three-year program to a four-year program,’’ said Gerard Postiglione, a professor of education at the University of Hong Kong.

Universities say the extra year will give them the opportunity to provide students with a more rounded, liberal education, akin to the U.S. approach.

Education experts, who have widely welcomed the changes, say the move reflects Hong Kong’s ambitions to produce innovative graduates who are well-equipped to secure the city’s place in the global economy.

Previously, most students completed seven years of high school before applying to college. Under the new system, known as 3+3+4, all students will complete three years of both junior and senior high school and at about the age of 18 be eligible to pursue a four-year university degree.

But during the transition period universities will have to deal with a ‘‘double cohort’’ of students. About 30,000 new students will flood into the universities in September 2012, as the first students taught under the six-year high school curriculum embark on four-year degrees, while the last group of students to complete seven years of high school start the final batch of three-year degrees.

The government also plans to give more students who have completed associate degrees or diplomas the opportunity to complete an undergraduate degree. The number of places available for these students to join the third year of an undergraduate program will double to 4,000 by the 2014 academic year.

The government has earmarked several sites that it plans to make available for development by private colleges and the privately financed arms of public institutions, but universities are already constructing new classrooms, laboratories and dormitories.

The University of Hong Kong, which celebrates its centenary this year, is building a new campus that will increase its space by 20 percent. The government is financing about half of the development and the university is raising money for the remainder.

‘‘We want to build for the future, not just 2012,’’ said the deputy vice-chancellor, Roland Chin.

Construction is under way at campuses across Hong Kong, but concerns remain that there may not be enough space or facilities by 2012.

Students are also concerned about the shortage of dormitory rooms in Hong Kong, where rents are among the highest in Asia and land is sparse. The shortage deprives local students of the chance to live on campus and is a barrier to attracting more international students.

Hoiki Ho, acting general secretary of the University of Hong Kong Students’ Union, said more dormitory spaces were needed because it was often difficult to find affordable housing close to the university.

Mr. Chin said the University of Hong Kong hoped to offer 1,800 new dormitory spaces by 2012, on top of the existing 4,700, but he acknowledged that that would still not satisfy demand.

‘‘We are working with the government to find land so that we can build more dormitories,’’ he said.

And with some of the larger universities looking to hire up to 200 new staff members each, a global search for academics is in full swing.

Existing staff have welcomed the move to four-year degrees, but some are concerned about staffing during the transition period, said K.C. Cheung, chairman of the Academic Staff Association of the University of Hong Kong.

Mr. Cheung said that while universities were hiring for the long-term increase of 15,000 students some staff members were concerned that they may be required to take on more teaching responsibilities during the transition.

Infrastructure issues aside, administrators and academics said they believed that the most important challenge will be deciding how best to fill students’ additional year on campus.

‘‘This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revamp the curriculum,’’ said Kenneth Young, a deputy chancellor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. ‘‘Ultimately, one of the most important things is to use this opportunity to change the way education is delivered from a very traditional, didactic mode to a much more student-directed mode.’’

Each university has the freedom to decide its own curriculum, but the overall trend is toward a more multidisciplinary approach in which students will be required to take more general education subjects. At the University of Hong Kong, for example, students will be required to take six common core courses that cover globalization, China, science and technology and the humanities, plus English and Chinese courses.

‘‘We’ve taken this opportunity to review the entire undergraduate curriculum and ask ourselves what do we need to do so that we produce graduates who will be able to meet the challenges posed by globalization,’’ said Amy Tsui, pro vice-chancellor and vice president for teaching and learning.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology will adopt a similar approach, with students required to take core subjects in arts and humanities, social analysis, science and technology, quantitative reasoning, English and Chinese communication, and a healthy-lifestyle course.

Walter Yuen, vice president for academic development at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said universities were working with high schools to gain a better understanding of how they could help students move smoothly into higher education.

‘‘I think it’s reasonable to expect that in some aspects they will lack academic knowledge compared to the previous years because they have one less year,’’ he said.

Despite the many challenges, Simon Marginson, a professor at the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne, said he believed Hong Kong was making the right changes.

‘‘It’s now very well placed to be a player at the world level,’’ he said.
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Old February 27th, 2011, 02:22 AM   #36
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 09:22 AM   #37
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^ Anyone know what's being built down there?
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:29 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
^ Anyone know what's being built down there?
The Centennial Campus.

RTHK 世紀藍圖: 新世紀校園
http://programme.rthk.org.hk/rthk/tv...6568&m=episode

"Mastering a Mountain," Civil Engineering, pp70-77, December 2010.






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Old June 10th, 2012, 10:00 AM   #39
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22 Apr 2012
Press Release
Arts Farewell to the Main Building: A New Chapter in Our History


The Hon. Mrs Anson Chan shares her memories in Loke Yew Hall during the Arts Farewell to the Main Building event

The Faculty of Arts will not only be celebrating its Centenary in 2012 but will also be leaving its home for nearly a hundred years and moving to its new building in the Centennial Campus. To mark this new chapter in its history, the Faculty held an Arts Farewell to the Main Building event on Sunday, April 22, that brought together Arts staff, students, and alumni, in a celebration of their time in this iconic building at the heart of the University.

The event, which was held in Loke Yew Hall, included Opening Remarks by the former Chief Secretary for Administration Anson Chan; poem readings by Agnes Lam and Leung Ping Kwan; the presentation of the student Video Competition Prize by University Artists Mabel Cheung and Alex Law; a performance of Haydn's Farewell Symphony by the Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra; and a percussion parade around the Main Building led by University Artist Lung Heung-wing.

Speaking during the event, the Dean of Arts, Professor Kam Louie, explained the reasons behind the move: "With our Schools and Centres increasing their programme offerings in preparation for the new four-year curriculum and the admission of a double cohort of First Year students in 2012, we were facing serious space and technical constraints."

The new Centennial Campus building will allow all existing Arts departments to come under one roof and will also house much needed physical facilities, such as special storage for historical and multimedia materials, as well as innovative venues for performances and exhibitions.

He added, "We are excited about these changes which we believe will further enhance the student learning experience and allow us to maintain our position as one of the finest humanities faculties in the region and internationally. However, we didn't want to leave our one hundred year old home without a proper goodbye. Of course, the Main Building will remain a symbol not just of the Faculty but of the University as a whole for all to enjoy."

In addition to the official ceremony at 1:30 pm in Loke Yew Hall, there were activities highlighting the Faculty's diversity taking place simultaneously throughout the Main Building, including a calligraphy demonstration by Professor C.Y. Sin, cultural performances, and a creative writing café.

For media enquiries, please contact Ms Trinni Choy (Assistant Director (Media), Communications and Public Affairs Office) tel: 2859 2606 email: [email protected] ; or Ms Melanie Wan (Manager (Media), Communications and Public Affairs Office) tel: 2859 2600 email: [email protected] .

For further details of the event, please visit: http://arts.hku.hk/april22/

Background information on the Main Building: http://arts.hku.hk/download/MainBuildingfsEnglish.pdf

Photos of the Main Building are available from: http://www3.hku.hk/photos/index.php/...%2CMain+Campus
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Old September 7th, 2012, 03:36 PM   #40
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Students locked out in cancer chemical alert
The Standard
Thursday, September 06, 2012

Hong Kong University is being urged to provide allowances - such as transport subsidies - to students who were told at the last minute they could not move into dormitories.

About 1,000 students, none of whom are from Hong Kong, were to have moved into two new blocks on Lung Wah Street in Kennedy Town yesterday.

However, they were told around midnight on Tuesday that the level of formaldehyde at the site is too high.

The cancer-causing chemical is commonly found in construction materials.

The students, mostly mainlanders, now have to stay in hotels in Sai Ying Pun and Shek Tong Tsui.

Of the remainder, some are in other student hostels, while even more have moved into a youth hostel in faraway Chai Wan.

"Although expert advice suggests that good ventilation will significantly lower the risk, as a precautionary measure, the university has decided that students will not be housed in the residential colleges for the time being," said Roland Chin Tai-hong, HKU provost and deputy vice chancellor.

Students' union president Dan Chan Koon-hong said he understands why the opening of the new hostels has been delayed, but slammed the university for not informing members earlier.

Chan said it is hard to find temporary accommodation for 1,000 students, and he fears more than 100 will be unlucky.

He urged the university to provide financial assistance.

A university spokeswoman said about 200 students were scheduled to move into the dormitories yesterday but only about 100 nonlocals registered.

She expects students to take up residency in about a week, as air quality at the site appears to have improved.

She said the university is providing shuttle bus services for students who have moved to Chai Wan, but cannot offer subsidies.

"It is difficult to estimate the total cost incurred by implementing the contingency accommodation plan," she said, adding that University Grants Committee funds will not be used.
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