Exco to decide Shue Yan university status next week

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 December, 2006, 12:00am

Executive councillors will next week decide whether to rename Shue Yan College a university, as Hong Kong Institute of Education is struggling to gain the title.

Leung Tin-wai, head of Shue Yan's department of journalism and communication, confirmed Exco was due to discuss the retitling issue on Tuesday.

He said he was optimistic councillors would approve the application because the college had already gained self-accrediting status in June, adding that he hoped Shue Yan could be officially renamed a university next month.

Shue Yan was granted self-accrediting status by the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation in June. To be officially renamed a university, the college will need the green light from Exco.

Paul Morris, president of HKIEd, which was awarded self-accrediting status in 2004 but has been denied the title of university, said it was 'extremely unfortunate' that the institute's request for university status had been rejected. The denial had damaged the teaching profession, he said.

'In the HKIEd's case the university title stands on its own grounds,' he said.

Professor Morris declined to compare the teacher training institute directly with Shue Yan, saying only that it would be good for Shue Yan to get the title because it would help it develop further.

Prisca Kwok Wai-yin, president of the students' union at Shue Yan, said she hoped the college would soon be upgraded.

She said Secretary for Education and Manpower Arthur Li Kwok-cheung told student representatives of Shue Yan and the Hong Kong Federation of Students that the college would be renamed this month at the earliest.

'The renaming of the college will be an important recognition for students,' Ms Kwok said.

Set up in 1971, Shue Yan will become the first private university in Hong Kong upon the approval of its application. The college moved into its HK$100 million Braemar Hill campus in 1995.

Its library complex was completed at a cost of HK$150 million.