The territory's universities must step up efforts to raise money as the strings on the public purse are pulled tighter and tighter. That was the message from an American expert during a visit to Hong Kong. Peter Buchanan, president of the Washington-based Council for Advancement and Support of Education said universities should concentrate on three sources of money - past students, philanthropy and fund-raising. 'The basic message is the same: 'Sorry folks, there isn't any money for you. You'll have to get your own',' he told a forum on fund-raising in the territory. There were increasing demands on government money from sectors other than education, including welfare, health and the elderly, he said. His organisation boasts the membership of nearly 3,000 tertiary institutions, independent schools and educational associations in 30 countries. Mr Buchanan, a former vice-president of development at Columbia University was, between 1982 and 1987, responsible for raising US$600 million (HK$4.6 billion) for education. 'Money and students are the measures of success of any advancement programme,' he said. All three fund-raising sources needed to be better exploited by Hong Kong institutions, according to Mr Buchanan, who was invited to the territory by the Hong Kong American Centre's advice centre on fund-raising and philanthropy. Suzy Moser, a consultant with the centre, which is at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said relations between colleges in the territory and their former students were generally weak. Most universities traditionally relied on a few wealthy donors, she said. Mr Buchanan said his Hong Kong trip was 'exploratory', adding his organisation was interested in looking further at Asia. There was a flourishing and generous philanthropic community in the territory, he said. Mr Buchanan told representatives of 10 of Hong Kong's tertiary institutions that they should develop good relations with the media, to highlight the value of education and influence public policy. Past students were important for their skills and knowledge as well as their money, and universities should also develop relations with businesses. 'It's great that he's here giving us ideas on how to raise funds, and getting together is positive,' Baptist University's director of university relations, Angela Leung, said. 'But all that he proposes may not be possible in Hong Kong, so we will have to pick and choose what is useful and applicable locally.' Hong Kong American Centre director Jack Deeny said representatives could use its library, where it was putting together a list of grant-makers and what they require from grant-seekers.