Tycoons still digging deep to help universities

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

Tycoons have made donations to two universities as the wave of private funding for higher education continues, with Baptist University receiving a total of $10 million in the last week.

Yesterday it announced that Henderson Land developer Dr Lee Shau Kee had donated $5 million for the university's development including its newly opened Visual Arts Academy. This followed a donation of $5 million from businessman Dr Hari Harilela and his wife Padma.

Dr Harilela is chairman of the Harilela Group, which runs a range of hotel, real estate investment and import and export businesses. The university plans to use the cash to apply for government support under the second matching grant scheme. On Thursday the university named two lecture theatres after the couple.

The Open University of Hong Kong, meanwhile, received a $2 million donation from Dr Wong Bing-lai, chairman of Pokfulam Development, towards a new $1.7 million extension at its Ho Man Tin campus for extra full-time students. The university plans to treble its number of full-time students within three years from about 500. Professor John Leong Chi-yan, president of OUHK, said the number of new students had reached 917 this year, more than triple last year's figure.

'As our campus capacity, including the Homantin Plaza Learning Centre which came into use last month, is stretched to its limits, the Campus Phase Two project must go full-steam ahead.'