Council Chairman's

In many respects this has been a year of new beginnings. Standout events included the completion and official opening in January of our new Jockey Club Institute of Healthcare, the inauguration of a new President in April, and the adoption of a new title and logo for our University. These are only highlights, however, of a year of advances, recalibrations and innovations.

Our search for a new name was a response to an increasing sense that our time-honoured 'Open University' title was no longer serving us as well as it could. Not only was it deflecting attention from our delivery of full-time degree programmes to school-leavers, but in some cases it was hampering our graduates in their career ambitions. It is true to say, then, that our selection of a new title and new logo in the past year has been part of a larger self-examination of who we are as a university, and what we are looking to be — both for our students, and for the city and society of which we are a part.


'Hong Kong Metropolitan University' was chosen partly because the word 'metropolitan' has powerful connotations of diversity, dynamic energy, interconnectedness and flexibility. These are qualities that aptly characterize how we see our university developing, and also represent goals to aspire to. Similarly, the new 'MU' logo and its colour scheme speak of the close connections between M for 'me' — each individual student — and U for 'you', meaning larger social groups including student peers, teachers, alumni and mentors, and the community at large.

The vibrant green and blue of the new colour scheme represent a breath of fresh air, but they also refer back to the heritage colours of our old OUHK logo. It is important that we do not forget that connection, because one part of our traditional mission remains as strong as ever: our commitment to 'Education for All'. While our full-time students now outnumber our distance learners, we remain the one and only university in Hong Kong that offers both modes of education. Indeed, we are working harder than ever before to provide high quality university education opportunities to large numbers of distance learning students from many different backgrounds and circumstances.

One of our major goals is to draw on the latest and best available knowledge, skills and technology to address the ongoing needs of our society. All our academic and professional programmes, full-time and part-time, are designed to nurture talented individuals who can contribute to this outcome, which is a major focus of our learning and teaching efforts. Indeed I would say that HKMU is a unique institution in Hong Kong in terms of the many ways it is pragmatically addressing the most pressing social and environmental needs of the day — in areas such as healthcare for the ageing, housing policy and wetland protection, among others.

In the country's recently published 14th Five-Year Plan, much attention was given to the development of the Greater Bay Area (GBA) of which Hong Kong is such an important part. Our planned mainland campus of HKMU (Zhaoqing) will enable us to contribute directly to the GBA vision.


As a self-financing university, we are especially reliant on the generosity and goodwill of private and institutional donors. I am grateful that this year we have benefitted from some exceptional donations, including some very significant funding from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.

The global pandemic has of course continued to have an impact on our efforts over the past year. I would like to thank the University's management team and devoted staff for the hard work they have put into keeping teaching standards high and continuing to adapt in difficult times. Prof. Yuk-Shan Wong was at the helm of the University until his retirement in March 2021, and he has made inspiring and remarkable contributions during his tenure as President. My thanks also go out to our new President Prof. Paul Lam Kwan-sing, who has stepped so smoothly into his new role and immediately set about to realize his vision for the University's future.


Personally, I am most grateful for the hard work and consistent support provided to me, and to the University, by the members of the Council and the Court. Their work in governing and advising the University throughout the year has been essential in ensuring our smooth forward momentum in unsettled times.

I am hopeful that in the coming year, the COVID-19 threat will finally be brought under control and once again we will be able to pour all our energies fully into our core educational mission. With dynamic leadership, a clear vision of what we want the University to become, and a diverse and committed student body, I believe HKMU is ready to make great strides forward towards a bright horizon.

Michael Wong Yick-kam
Chairman of the Council
September 2021