Close Community Connections

The University sees itself as an integral part of the wider society it serves. It is natural, therefore, that many of its activities and initiatives are community focused, and involve forging close connections with civic groups and community organizations, as well as notable individuals and businesses.
The process is a two-way one, with collaborations not only opening up new learning opportunities for students but also giving the University the chance to reach out and serve the community in many practical ways.

Generous Government and community support

The University welcomed external financial support from a number of sources over the past year, including many generous donations and benefactions from corporations and individuals. An important source of financial support to more than 1,300 of its students were the HK$13 million-plus in scholarships and bursaries handed out at the 2020–21 Scholarship and Bursary Awards Presentation — a sum demonstrating the very strong level of support towards the University and its students from the community. Both the amount distributed and the number of recipients were record highs, helped partly by the addition this year of eight new scholarships and bursaries: the CowEasy Reward Prize, the David Chan Bursary, the DC Foundation Bursary, the 'For Our Future' Scholarship, the HSBC Greater Bay Area (Hong Kong) Scholarship, the Lu's Foundation Bursary, the President Yuk-Shan Wong Scholarship for Outstanding Research Postgraduate Students, and the S K Yee Medical Foundation Bursaries.

The University's research profile and momentum were also boosted by significant grants made under the Research Matching Grant Scheme, under which funds raised by an institution are matched by contributions from the Government. Since the launch of the scheme to the end of August 2021, the University has itself generated HK$54.12 million in donations (calculated as both cash and in-kind contributions), and these have been matched by HK$31.79 million from the Government — representing a very substantial boost to the University's research funds. In-kind donations have been just as important as cash ones; some of the most significant in the year were HK$15.58 million worth of cloud-based systems, management platforms, software and equipment pledged by Schneider Electric (Hong Kong) Limited, HK$6 million of interactive VR systems donated by Motive Force Technology Limited, and HK$4 million of rental sponsorship from Hong Yip Service Company Limited. Other similar in-kind benefactions included multi-million dollar donations of testing services, reports and raw data by Intertek Testing Services Hong Kong Limited and CMA Industrial Development Foundation Limited, and a valuable set of virtual training equipment by Sportopia Limited.

Various other major cash donations pushed up the University's funding sources considerably. A generous gift of HK$20 million from Honorary Fellow and alumna Ms Katie Shu Sui-pui has been used to set up the Katie Shu Sui Pui Endowment Fund, which will be used to supply seven different funds supporting the development of both staff and students at the University. Another Honorary Fellow, Dr Thomas H C Cheung, donated HK$1 million to set up the Thomas H C Cheung Foundation Bursary, which will support local full-time students suffering financial hardship.

One way that the University is able to recognize its benefactors and donors is by naming facilities after them. Several places gained new names in the year to acknowledge the donors who provided valuable funding. For instance, the lecture theatre in LiPACE's Kwai Hing Campus was renamed the Lam Kin Chung Lecture Theatre in recognition of the HK$2.5 million donation made jointly by Honorary Fellow Dr Lam Kin-chung and Dr Ho Hau-wong. A unit at the new Jockey Club Institute of Healthcare (IOH) was dubbed the Siu Ming & Tsang Fung Kwan Nursing Skills Education Unit, commemorating the parents of supportive Court member Dr Gerald Siu Chi-shing, who donated over HK$8 million to support the construction of the IOH and the University's development. Another tribute to parents came with the naming of the conference hall in the IOH as the Mok Yu Yan Conference Hall, after the father of the late Ms Mok Sau-king whose estate executrixes made a HK$30 million donation to the University for its IOH project.


New partnerships, new horizons

The University engaged in several important new partnerships in the year, opening up new horizons for staff and students. The Lee Shau Kee School of Business and Administration branched out in two new directions, signing MOUs with Spanish football giant LaLiga and with the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI). The LaLiga collaboration will help the School enhance its sports training and education, giving students opportunities to join valuable study tours, seminars and networking events, while the HKSI MOU will see eligible full-time elite athletes able to enrol in undergraduate business programmes. Meanwhile, a new partnership with the Heep Hong Society has led to the establishment at the Jockey Club Institute of Healthcare of a Child Development Centre, offering services to children with special educational needs (SEN) and training to students taking programmes related to SEN education at the School of Education and Languages. At the School of Arts and Social Sciences, a new collaboration established with the Unity Academic Alliance is giving its creative arts students new resources in the areas of real-time 3D, AR, VR, gaming, and other areas in which Unity specializes. Finally, LiPACE concluded several important academic partnerships during the year. An MOU with Shaanxi Polytechnic Institute brought the two parties opportunities for academic exchanges, including co-organizing conferences. Another one was signed with two Finnish higher education partners, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences and Edunation, and will provide its students with a path for studying in Finland and engaging in exchange visits, summer camps and similar activities. The last one was an agreement with Ocean Park Hong Kong, which promised students of its Higher Diploma in Resort and Theme Park Management programme opportunities to learn and be placed in the theme park.

Reaching out to the community

The University continued its multiple outreach initiatives with the community throughout the year. Its Tin Ka Ping Centre of Chinese Culture (TKPCCC) continued work on the Chinese Etiquette Animation Project, which is using animation to promote traditional Chinese rites and rituals to young people, created by staff and students from the Department of Creative Arts. The TKPCCC also worked with the High Achievers Foundation on a project called the 'Story of Chinese Paper Craft', with sponsorship from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office. Elsewhere, members of the Department of Creative Arts worked with non-profit organization Hulu Culture to create artworks for an exhibition titled 'Delicious Journey', part of the Heritage x Arts x Design Walk Plus project funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Community Project Grant. The University also jointly organized a Chinese history and culture competition for primary and secondary school students, the award presentation of which was attended by HKSAR Chief Executive Mrs Carrie Lam. At Farmfest Hong Kong 2021, which promotes sustainable and local farming practices, lecturers and students from the Lee Shau Kee School of Business and Administration played valuable supporting and promotional roles. Their social media campaign was so successful that it won Farmfest Hong Kong a Silver award in the 'public health, safety, awareness (including charity)' sector of the Digital Media Awards 2021.

It was a busy year for the University's community outreach initiatives in the field of healthcare and elderly services. A total of 275 students, alumni and staff members from the School of Nursing and Health Studies (N&HS) assisted in the Government's COVID-19 Universal Community Testing Programme by collecting specimens at various testing centres. Both N&HS and LiPACE also took part for the second year running in the Jockey Club Age Friendly City Partnership Scheme, a scheme that brings together the government, businesses, academia, and civic groups to share best practices for building an age-friendly city. N&HS continued to run the Home Health Watch (HHW) Volunteer Training Programme, while LiPACE provided courses and activities for senior learners under the Elder Academy. Although many activities under the HHW programme had to be suspended in the year due to the pandemic, organizers were still able to film and upload a series of educational videos on ways of helping the most vulnerable groups in the pandemic. The University's contributions to creating an age-friendly city were also recognized when N&HS won a Hong Kong Council of Social Service award in the Age-Friendly City Appreciation Scheme, specifically for a set of exercises that students had designed and promoted for the home-bound elderly.

By participating in a series of in-house service-learning programmes organized by the Student Affairs Office (SAO) and the School of Arts and Social Sciences (A&SS), students were able to place their talents at the service of various communities while gaining valuable work and life experiences. Before the Mid-Autumn Festival, over 40 volunteer students took part in a 'Memory Box' programme that involved interviewing elderly people, creating individual photo boxes to document their stories, and delivering these gifts to them. In another project that enabled students to show their care for the elderly, 20 students were recruited to take wedding photos of five senior married couples. Elsewhere, near the University's campuses, a Kowloon City Dress-up Programme involved 40 students in street painting in the Ma Tau Wai Road Playground, while another 10 students participated in the Historical Journey of Kowloon City Programme, training to act as ambassadors and also filming and hosting a virtual live tour. To promote deaf awareness and sign language, 14 students were given training to produce a video introducing the University in sign language. Finally, drawing on its substantial experience in organizing these community projects with A&SS, the SAO brought together a group of students from different Schools for the first time to create educational videos on financial management targeting primary school students.

A supportive University spirit

Recognizing that the pandemic has reshaped the way our society operates, the Alumni Affairs Unit (AAU) launched a year-long 'Restart 2021' campaign specifically aimed at helping the University's alumni cope with changes in the world around them. Among other activities, the AAU invited several successful graduates to share career tips with fellow alumni in an online talk series titled 'New Perspective for Career Development', with alumna DJ Ms CPui Lo as host. The series was started off by former actress Ms Vindy Chan Wai-yee, who has proved herself a successful career changer. This was followed by Mr Keith Lee Hon-choi, who drew on his experience of working up the management ladder to his current position of Sales and Operations Director at Circle K. Finally, digital marketing guru Ms Daisy Chow spoke about how to develop engaging online marketing strategies.

Honouring academic and community leaders

Two sets of ceremonies held from September to November 2020 presented Honorary Doctorates and Honorary Fellowships for 2019 and for 2020 respectively, since the 2019 events had been postponed due to the pandemic. At the ceremony held in September, Honorary Fellowships were bestowed on distinguished Chinese dialectologist Prof. Chang Song-hing, renowned Sinologist Prof. Michael Lackner, Deputy Commissioner of Police Ms Edwina Lau Chi-wai, and computer security expert Mr Jason Wu Shang-hong. Separately, renowned medical scientist Prof. Dennis Lo Yuk-ming, charismatic entrepreneur Dr the Honourable Allan Zeman, and accomplished accountant Dr Silas Yang Siu-shun received Honorary Doctorates from the University in October.

Later in October, the recipients of the 2020 Honorary Fellowship were longstanding engineering industry veteran Mr Paul Chong Kin-lit, Cantonese opera maestro Mr Choo Heng-cheong, and distinguished economist Dr David Wong Yau-kar. They were followed by the recipients of the 2020 Honorary Doctorates in November, namely trade and commerce leader Dr Jonathan Choi Koon-shum, accountant and community leader Mrs Nellie Fong Wong Kut-man, orthopaedic specialist and ex-Secretary for Food and Health Dr Ko Wing-man, and AI and robotics expert Prof. Xu Yangsheng.