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  • Dec 28, 2014
  • Updated: 5:34am
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EDUCATION

Hong Kong universities 'face bigger challenge from mainland campuses'

HKUST vice chancellor warns city could lose its place as first choice for the best students and should seek greater support from businesses

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 October, 2013, 3:49pm

Hong Kong universities have been warned to prepare for stiffer challenges from elite mainland institutions that have more money and bigger pools of talent.

While attention has focused recently on how the city's position as China's primary financial centre may be under threat from Shanghai, a leading academic said it was also in danger of losing its standing as top choice for the nation's brightest students.

The vice chancellor of the University of Science and Technology, Tony Chan Fan-cheong, said the likes of Peking University and Tsinghua University were working hard to raise their standards.

"They have global ambition and great students. That's the long-term competition we're up against. We have to keep running to stay in place."

His warning comes ahead of the release tomorrow of a new global ranking of universities by Times Higher Education.

Chan said Hong Kong's universities cannot compete with the mainland on money or talent. "These I think they have in abundance. But how to use them efficiently and in a proper way so that you don't corrupt your core values? That is another question."

Chan, giving his first interview since renewing a contract that will run until 2019, said Hong Kong must play to its unique strengths: free flow of information and a robust rule of law.

"Here you can get any information. You can access Facebook, Google, Twitter or weibo. Everything is available," he said.

Hong Kong's universities constantly rank among the best in Asia and have become the preferred choice of the mainland's best students.

At the same time, they have been criticised for not working closely enough with the business and commercial sectors. A survey in August by Times Higher Education ranked the city's universities behind those in Korea, Singapore, China and even Turkey in terms of collaborating with business in research efforts.

Chan said local universities should strive for more support from business communities.

"I often envy our counterparts in Korea, because they have scholarships and labs sponsored by companies like Samsung and LG, and when their students graduate, they can get into these companies."

Chan noted that many mainland-based companies, such as Lenovo or Huawei, were setting up labs in Hong Kong.

He said the city must seize these opportunities.

"The government has a role to play in this," said Chan. "It needs to offer [more] initiatives and incentives. We have all the right ingredients. We just need a leader with a vision."

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Beaker
You have lack of any analytical abilities, nor do you have much grace. Telling the truth about someone/something/country, is that bad mouthing or just reporting the truth? My question to you is why, unless your rice bowl is tied to it, are you defending such systems? As you have no grace, and may possibly be part of the Commie mechanism, nobody actually benefits from your grace. As for China's peaceful developmental endeavors, I point you to the next discussion, China building nuclear power plants. Go over there and I show how it is going to end. Remember high speed rails built with tofujia? Well, prat, imagine nuclear powerplants built the same way. They guy who "cost down" the 2nd and 3rd plants after the proveout with Westinghouse oversight on the first plant will be in AU or Canada when it blows, taking out errh, Shanghai, Jiejiang, or GZ, Shenzhen, HK. How much will that cost? smug SOB you are. I know what these kinds of people did with braking systems on cars, knowingly killing people to collect their 300 rmb/car kickback. See you over there, nuclear reactors. Go boy.
Beaker
"Silicon Valley
Two of my in-laws now retiring were the first generation computer engineers there
A niece not yet 24, has become senior development computer engineer
within two years after Stanford (B&MS)
Her brother (UM, Ann Arbor) after 8 year in Mid West
doing software development is now hr in the Bay Area
often flying between Seattle and Boston to offer jobs of min 80k each"
What are YOUR accomplishments? Don't tell me about the accomplishments of your relatives. I'm sure they are great people. But I think you are a **** who cannot support your imbecile statements. Maybe your relatives agree with me.
Beaker
And WTF are you? I have no idea why SCMP would disappear these posts, other than maybe they think you are not honest. I have no pull with them. Besides, their editor is one of you Commies.
mercedes2233
If you have different conclusions, say so. Just because you don't agree doesn't mean you should attack Beaker. Let's see if your version of 'facts' will convince us differently.
And incidentally, the format you write in is irritating and doesn't help your case. And I have not heard about Cambridge graduates speaking worse than 'Chinganesh' and so don't know what you are talking about.
mercedes2233
Thank you. Glad to have some real information. So HK has nothing to fear from competing with mainland China universities.
EHI
It is true that my patience for this idiotic paper is running thin, whoever manages it needs a slap in the face to wake him/herself up. It is either in a position of intending to disseminate misinformation, or it is a outmoded paper that cannot seem to come to terms with reality thus resorting to the comfort of omitting facts just to fool itself into thinking that it still has anything relevant to say.
Hong Kong would be better off to forget "competing" with Beijing in regard to education for the simple reason that Beijing, for many centuries, has been the place with enough means and experience to nurture the intelligentsia, something that the students in Hong Kong can try to work with and learn from through exchanges and ties. This explains why Stanford has a research center in Beijing and not Hong Kong (by the way, the campus is truly a beautiful piece of art):
• fsi.stanford.edu/news/stanford_research_center_opens_at_peking_university_20120321/
• scpku.stanford.edu/
What universities in Hong Kong can do is to strengthen their liberal arts, science and cultural programs if they are to move with the times to the next stage of development to build a robust creative class to benefit the city and its people.
mercedes2233
Rubbish. Professors don't need to give exam questions in advance to students for good performance reviews. By that time, they are already at the top of their professions. So you obviously don't know what you are talking about, nor the staff hierarchy. I challenge you to name and prove such incidents. Otherwise, please withdraw this unfounded accusation. There are a number of factors justifying promotions and salary increases, and student performance is NOT one of them, so your claim is ridiculous and libelous.
whymak
pslhk:
From the late 80s on with only a brief interruption during the Tiananmen incident, many US firms have been jockeying for market positions in China. The most common avenue then seemed to be joint ventures with Chinese SOEs. Many ethnic Chinese managers from US multinational firms got unexpected promotions along a China fast track because of their bilingual ability.
Unfortunately, some of these lucky few have worse attitude than expat managers in China. The reader below is obviously one of those. His condescending comments toward China and Chinese are overwhelming. Of course, there is a slight possibility that he is white expat but I rather doubt that. Overall, expats are much more reasonable and objective folks than self-hate bananas.
Other than ingrained cultural practices, I have no beef with my fellow white managers and colleagues, with many of whom among my good friends. The West-is-best ideological yellow people who thump their nose at their own kind are China's worst enemies.
pslhk
Beaker, you should thank whymak
for the kindly lesson he offered you
and thank me for withholding from public disclosure
your two comments which scmp found too indecent and withdrew
Whether you're proud enough of your country to admit where you're from
cause no further disgrace to your people
whymak
Beaker,
May I ask if you own a PhD degree in physics, math or engineering before you spill more beans of ignorance? Do you know what a stress tensor is?
By the way you phrased your question to the engineer, I have to assume you are mathematically illiterate. So let me try to straighten you out with no mathematics.
An external pressure will create deformation in a material. Deformation is described mathematically by a symmetry tensor with 6 independent components. The deformation may not be isotropic. Moreover, one could consider deformation as a response to stress, which is quantified as another symmetry tensor. Of course an inverse exists between stress and strain. All these relationships are not necessarily isotropic or linear.
In a good school, undergraduates in theoretical mechanics and applied math deal with these quantities like eating cereal for breakfast. So what is the "stress" you're talking about? Even if the tensor has been diagonalized, it is still a 3-direction eigenvector.
Your inability to differentiate between the 3 diagonal and 3 off diagonal components and just call it stress shows that you are much less than a low level test engineer, let alone a group leader in engineering design.
Verstehen Sie, Dumpkopf?

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