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Let us Reflect and Move Forward

Dear colleagues,

Eight weeks ago on 21 March, the Education Bureau (EDB) announced that Hong Kong Metropolitan University (HKMU) had become Hong Kong's first University of Applied Sciences (UAS). A series of related works and collaborative projects are now underway, but we cannot move forward without the unity and tremendous support of the entire University.

Founded 35 years ago as The Open Learning Institute of Hong Kong, HKMU has grown into the vibrant, all-round, comprehensive university it is today, with education, research and serving society its three core strands.

The University formulated its Strategic Plan 2024–2028 under the keynote “Extending the Horizon”, which encompasses six strategic themes and 54 commitments. These include our plans to expand our portfolio of academic programmes, enhance student support, build an outstanding team to strengthen learning, teaching, research and knowledge transfer, and foster international engagement, partnerships and collaboration, all to ensure the long-term sustainable development of HKMU.

As the only self-accrediting self-financing university in Hong Kong, we have always made use of our flexibility to respond quickly to market trends and industry needs by offering high-quality professional programmes. As a result, HKMU enjoys the largest share of the self-financing tertiary education market in terms of student enrolment numbers.

The Government has adopted the strategy of fostering industry-institution collaboration and diversified development to promote vocational and professional education and training. This means providing students with diverse learning and employment opportunities to nurture more professionals with applied skills, which is in line with the vision and mission of HKMU. In early 2024, the University applied to the EDB to become the first University of Applied Sciences (UAS) in Hong Kong and was so designated. HKMU will offer applied degree programmes that combine theory and practice to nurture talent with both applied skills and knowledge who contribute to society, while raising the status of vocational and professional education and training.

The University is strengthening its connections with industry to offer more applied degree programmes. We have already begun to offer one such academic programme to train commercial pilots in partnership with the Hong Kong International Aviation Academy. This marked our first major collaboration with industry as a UAS, with more collaborative projects to come.

As a founding member of the Alliance of Universities of Applied Sciences, we look forward to more self-financing universities joining the Alliance and working with the Government to enhance public understanding of UASs and applied degree programmes and to promote the development of UASs in Hong Kong. By providing various articulation opportunities for further studies and career paths, UASs will enable young people with diverse talents to succeed in different fields.

With the rapid development of the University, there is an urgent need to construct a new campus to accommodate the increased demand for teaching and research. The University plans to build a new academic complex close to the current campuses in Ho Man Tin. It will be positioned as the HKMU Hub for Community Health and Wellness and incorporate community, elderly and environmentally friendly elements, as well as public spaces to encourage connections and interaction with the community. The new building is expected to be completed and ready for opening in 2028.

With many of our initiatives off to a flying start and looking forward to the future, we are setting our eyes on becoming an influential player in the international higher-education arena. The University will continue to work with all sectors of the community in a concerted effort to promote social progress and contribute to Hong Kong as well as to the nation.

Finally, I cordially invite you to join us for further exchanges at our annual Town Hall Meeting next Friday (24 May).

Paul LAM Kwan-sing