Lingnan pushes student exchange plan

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 November, 2011, 12:00am


Two-thirds of Lingnan University students will have studied outside Hong Kong by the time they graduate, under a bold step towards internationalism outlined by its president.

Professor Chan Yuk-shee said Lingnan planned to significantly increase its students' access to foreign exchange programmes, putting it at the forefront of local universities that are following this policy.

The plan follows its announcement last year that half of its 2,600 students will spend at least one term abroad starting next year.

'Now our plan is to increase that to two-thirds of all students,' Chan said. 'We really want to have this education model for students in Lingnan. This will be very good for our development.'

In contrast, just a fifth of Chinese University's more than 10,000 students study overseas on single-semester or full-year exchange programmes. At the University of Hong Kong, about 10 per cent of its 11,000-strong undergraduate student body get to do so.

Separately, Chan welcomed a bid by the American Jesuits to set up a liberal arts university in 2014. 'It will be good to have another liberal arts college, and it would be even better to have more in Asia so as to build a critical mass of them,' he said.

Recent reports said the Jesuits' proposal to house 3,000 students on a 16-hectare Fanling site might not be acceptable to the government, which wants a larger university with 8,000 students.

'A higher [student] number will still be viable, but not for liberal arts. If you put 8,000 students on that piece of land, you can't have that [liberal arts] environment,' Chan said.