Efficiently managing the pandemic has been a never-ceasing task for our University over the past year. However, alongside our efforts to deliver the best possible learning opportunities to students in the face of tight restrictions on group gatherings and international travel, much else was going on. In fact, one could argue that this past year has proved to be one of the most fundamentally transformative in the University's history.

We began the year as The Open University of Hong Kong, and at the end of it (31 August) were on the eve of taking on a new name — Hong Kong Metropolitan University (HKMU). This apparently small but immensely significant change was in fact a major undertaking. The process involved collecting possible new titles, shortlisting the best, and finally narrowing down the options to just one. After much discussion, the new title was announced in December 2020, followed by the development of a new University logo which was finalized in June. Final approval from the Legislative Council was obtained in July, setting the stage for the official name change on 1 September. The new name signals an expanded role for the University and better reflects its present-day reality as well as its aspirations for the future.



We began the year with two major campus sites, and ended it with three — the third a significant addition to the University's teaching space. The eagerly-awaited Jockey Club Institute of Healthcare (IOH) came into operation in late 2020 and had its official opening ceremony in January. The IOH represents the University's focused and pragmatic response to Hong Kong's rising need for health professionals, especially as our population ages. Personally speaking, I was delighted to be present at the opening, having previously been in attendance in 2008 when the first campus expansion, the Campus Phase Two Building, was opened, and again at the inauguration of the Jockey Club Campus in 2014. This kind of steady expansion of space and facilities speaks eloquently of the University's forward momentum and ambition for growth. We have done very well indeed over recent years, with an increasing student population, an ever-larger array of programme offerings, greater Government recognition, and strong support from the community.


We began the year under the experienced guidance of Prof. Yuk-Shan Wong, and ended it under a new President, one with his own clear vision of where the University will head in the coming years. Prof. Paul Lam Kwan-sing, who took up the role in April, brings enormous experience in university development and leadership to the job, coupled with a strong teaching and research background. He has already begun to implement initiatives that will see HKMU fully embrace the implications of its 'Metropolitan' title. As well as welcoming Prof. Lam to the University, I would like to recognize how ably the ground was prepared for him by the sterling efforts of Prof. Wong over his two terms as President. He has indeed left an enduring legacy.


A new name, a new campus, and a new President — I am sure there are few Hong Kong educational institutions that have undergone such major positive changes over the last year as ours. But rest assured that while we are certainly moving with the times, there will be no compromising on our historical commitment to 'Education for All'.

The University has everything it needs in place to face the next few years with confidence and positive anticipation. Our direction going forward has been clearly charted, and there is a strong spirit of unity and collaboration among staff and students alike that will, I am sure, guarantee excellent results. Our plans to expand into the Greater Bay Area through the planned HKMU (Zhaoqing) are another example of the transformation I have been talking about. The changes we have undertaken in this past year are significant ones, but they are only the beginning of what is shaping up to be a very exciting future.

Charles Lee Yeh-kwong
September 2021