Property tycoon gives $5m to Baptist University's visual arts academy

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 October, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 October, 2005, 12:00am

Property tycoon Lee Shau-kee has donated $5 million to Baptist University for the development and operation of the city's first visual arts academy.

Baptist University president Ng Ching-fai thanked the Henderson Land chairman for his support for education and the arts.

'The donation was made in recognition of HKBU's whole-person educational philosophy and the university's developments, particularly our newly launched Academy of Visual Arts,' he said.

The academy, which began its undergraduate programme last month, combines studio arts with theoretical and historical studies. It teaches painting, drawing and sculpture, ceramics and glasswork. Professor Ng said such talent was in high demand. The funding will help equip new premises for visual arts and communications undergraduates, which will be finished in 2008.

The developer said the yields from investing in education were higher than from property.

'The rate of return is higher when investing in education. Nurturing young talent has long-term and multiple benefits for our society ... people can make a profit from buying and leasing property, but the profit is short term and has no particular value to society,' he said.

The university recently received a $5 million donation from businessman Hari Harilela and his wife Padma. Two lecture theatres have been named after the benefactors.