An extra $40 million will be spent on four practical courses at Hong Kong Polytechnic University by 2001, its President, Professor Poon Chung-kwong, said. The four fields are accounting, architecture, rehabilitation and clothes manufacturing and merchandising. Each will get $10 million, which will be taken from the budgets of other departments. Some of the money will be raised by cancelling next year's mathematics degree course. The extra funding will be spent on hiring staff and buying new equipment, Professor Poon said. He said the aim was to raise PolyU's profile in certain areas and make it a 'preferred university'. Some departments would face cuts in response to the changing needs of society, he said. 'It's a competitive world. When we wanted to allocate more resources in one area, we had to take away resources from other areas.' Professor Poon added that the institution was aiming to establish 'areas of excellence'. The abolition of the mathematics degree course is a move away from the academic arena towards courses with more practical applications. The university is hoping to produce 150 physiotherapists and 90 occupational therapists each year through its rehabilitation courses, double the present numbers. Professor Poon said PolyU needed to meet Hong Kong's need for professionals in order to become a 'truly metropolitan university'. 'We'll be the university which entwines with the city,' he said. Steering committees would be set up to discuss how to achieve the areas of excellence.