Everyone deserves to graduate

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 June, 2009, 12:00am

Name Dr Henry Hu Hung-lick

Occupation Founder and president of Shue Yan University

Star sign Capricorn

On my playlist Classical music and Shaoxing Opera

Hobbies Hiking

The man

I didn't come from a wealthy family, so I couldn't start primary school until I was nine. But I was passionate about studying. When I graduated from secondary school, I was the top student in Hangzhou . I went on to study diplomatic law at the University of Political Science in Chongqing .

My ambition was to be a diplomat, so I took the higher civil service examination in order to work in government.

I scored the best results and was sent to the former Soviet Union to carry out diplomatic duties.

But not long after I started my career, the Kuomintang government was overthrown, so I moved with my wife to Britain and later France to study law.

I qualified as a barrister in Britain in 1954, and decided to return to my motherland.

At that time, political conditions on the mainland were unstable, so I moved to Hong Kong and started practising as a barrister.

I was also involved in politics. I was elected four times as an urban councillor, and was a one-time member of the Legislative Council. I left politics in the early 1980s because I was getting old and wasn't able to handle so many duties.

In 1971, my wife and I sold our property in Happy Valley to set up Shue Yan College.

At the time, there were only two universities in Hong Kong. I wanted more young people to be able to receive tertiary education.

In 2006, after 35 years, the college was finally recognised as a university.


The establishment of Shue Yan University allowed more students to pursue tertiary education. The school's concept is to offer students who don't do too well in their A-levels a chance to graduate from university. I believe education makes a country prosperous, and I want the school to continue to be a great place to learn.

When it opened, the campus was only the size of a secondary school. But now the complex features an academic building, a library and a dormitory, and there are plans to build a research complex in the near future. The university will continue to develop and train talented youngsters so they can contribute to society.

Vision for the future

At 89, I am an old man. I hope to retire soon and hand the school over to my sons, who I think have done a better job than I have.

Meanwhile, I have to help the university acquire land for the research complex. The complex is extremely important to the school's future and I want that to be done. Then I will step down.