Alumni visit HKU for anniversary, eye plan for centenary

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 March, 2006, 12:00am

Some of the University of Hong Kong's most successful and prominent graduates gathered at the university's main campus to mark its 95th anniversary yesterday.

Casino mogul Stanley Ho Hung-sun, Permanent Secretary for Education and Manpower Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun and ex-financial secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung were among the alumni who joined students and other guests.

Vice-chancellor Tsui Lap-chee took the opportunity to call for feedback on the university's plans, unveiled last month, for a $2.5 billion expansion. Four architectural models of concepts for the 'Centennial Campus' were on display at the ceremony. The buildings are scheduled for completion in time for the university's 100th anniversary in 2011.

'The Centennial Campus is just a work in progress and we welcome your views and input to make sure all of us have something to celebrate in five years' time,' Professor Tsui told the 30-strong gathering.

The university plans to increase its undergraduate population to 14,000 - a jump of more than 50 per cent - by 2012, in part because of the switch to four-year degree courses.

Deputy vice-chancellor Richard Wong Yue-chim said: 'We are somewhat pressed for time, as this needs to be in place before 2011.'Ms Law said the university's growth was 'very important for Hong Kong, especially in relation to the new '3+3+4' academic structure'. However, she said she was disappointed there was only a slim information brochure to accompany the models.

Mr Ho said he would consider making a donation towards the development. Last year, Mr Ho pledged $500 million to HKU as a matching grant to any other funds the university was able to raise over the next five years, up to a maximum of $100 million a year.

'I have all along been supporting my university. Hong Kong University was my education. If not for it, I would not have what I have today,' said Mr Ho who was a science student at the university from 1939 to 1941.

Mr Leung said the university had 'a good plan', but he felt the expansion should be more ambitious. 'The new campus is still going to be too small. It is very cramped,' he said.

The first students were admitted to HKU in 1912.