THE City University of Hong Kong will proceed with upgrading facilities to match its new status while awaiting University Grants Committee (UGC) approval on a 20,000-square-metre campus. Just two months after attaining university status, two development projects are already under way and two other self-financed projects are awaiting approval from the Lands Department. The construction of a $116 million Centre for Academic Exchange was recently confirmed after $48.36 million was donated by the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club, the shortfall coming from individual donors. The centre, which will allow the university to initiate exchange programmes with overseas universities after completion by the middle of next year, comprises five residential blocks for visiting lecturers, senior staff such as department heads and deans, and exchange students. It also will include facilities for the Continuing Education Centre. Another senior staff quarters being built will provide 54 accommodation units for staff and families by the end of 1995. Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheng Yiu-chung told Campus Post the proposal for the construction of Phase III of the campus was submitted to the UGC six months ago and, if approved, would cost the committee at least 'several billions'. 'The UGC actually owes us the expansion [of the new campus] as the total area allocated to a university under the UGC's supervision corresponds with the number of undergraduates the university has, and the percentage of undergraduates we have has increased from 35 per to 65 per cent, indicating that more space should be allocated to the university,' Professor Cheng said. It was hoped the new campus would be finished by 1999. Professor Cheng said a dormitory for local students had been included in the proposal, to develop a sense of belonging among students. 'The old argument for funding student residences only for the Hong Kong University, Chinese University and University of Science and Technology is that they are situated on the outskirts of the city,' he said. 'But with the rapid development of local transportation, they are not as isolated as they used to be. 'Thus I see no point why the UGC shouldn't grant us space for a student dormitory,' he said. The university intends to provide accommodation for at least 10 per cent of students who live a long way from the site. At the recent first graduation ceremony attended by Chief Secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang, Professor Cheng said the university did not have to depend totally on UGC funding, which could take time. 'But we can't wait to escalate the university to a higher level of academic development and seeking our own donations seems to be a logical way out,' Professor Cheng said. Unlike the Baptist University's Fo Tan staff quarters, which is some distance from its campus, all of the recent developments at the City University are next to the campus in Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong. One of the two proposals pending approval from the Land Department is a residence hall comprising 37 units for postgraduates of the Mongkok-based university.