Amid wide-ranging social and economic change, the community has begun to expect a better class of university graduate. Today's graduates are not only expected to have academic and professional knowledge but also knowledge beyond their selected disciplines. Q: How do you see the education mix changing over the next few years? A: We recognise undergraduate teaching and research are the two most important things that we do, so we have a strategy of 'walking on two legs', one leg is undergraduate teaching, one leg is research and graduate education. But each of these legs may change a little bit, both of which will impact on the community. Q: Is this going to impact on your target market - the students? A: We now view ourselves as providing a full spectrum of education for the community, ranging from PhDs, master's degrees, bachelor degrees, and soon what we will call associate degrees. We also have a division of the university which offers continuing education. We want to provide education opportunities for everyone between the ages of 16 and 60. Q: How is this going to change the way you teach? A: No longer is the emphasis on vocational or professional skills. Instead it's on providing the students with the necessary tools and skills to engage in life-long learning. The major idea is to develop the person in full - whole person education will be the cornerstone in all the education programmes we offer. Q: You have shifted the research agenda towards a more commercial model, why? A: The Chief Executive's Commission on Innovation and Technology said Hong Kong sorely needs mid- stream research. Coincidentally we foresaw this three or four years ago and are now in a very commanding position. Our goal is not to let go or loosen our fundamental research, but to add this mid-stream element. In the past seven or eight years we have done well in academic research of the traditional kind - discovery. That will remain the cornerstone of our activities. Q: How does the relationship work? A: Mid-stream research means to take that fundamental knowledge one more step and see if it can be applied to industrial use. In some cases our job is to make the prototype and then it's up to the industrial concern to miniaturise it, design it and come up with the manufacturing process. Q: Is the make-up of the student body changing? A: During that rapid expansion which coincided with the economic expansion - the bubble economy - students often lost sight of what education really means. Now with the plateau of education facilities and opportunities at the end of the rapid expansion period, plus the Asian financial crisis, students are better motivated and we have a higher selectivity of student numbers. They are more appreciative of the opportunity of education. Q: Are there any important cultural issues? A: Ten years ago students had to struggle with identity issues: wheth er they would emigrate, and perhaps fear of whether 'one country, two systems' would become a reality. Now Hong Kong is a part of China, students are clearer on their own cultural and national identity, and clearer on where they will stay and develop their careers. Very few now want to emigrate. Q: What inspired the development of the School of Creative Media? A: The idea came 2.5 years ago when I was visiting Los Angeles. I was giving a speech at a conference and I met a founder of a company doing computer animation with great success. I thought maybe we could do something like that. My colleagues have rallied around this idea, so much so that we now have a programme that has the highest se lectivity of any programme in Hong Kong. We only took in 36 students but 420 indicated first choice for that programme. The School of Creative Media gives us a special character, and is also the focus of attention at the moment by the community, so I am very pleased. Q: Change is coming at an accelerating rate in all sectors of society. How do you prepare for this trend? A: This is precisely why we emphasise the whole person development. You can no longer prepare anyone for a 40-year career. It's not predictable or stable anymore. All you can do is develop a person's creativity and desire to learn. We don't aim to develop a person with precise skills for a certain job, because that job may not exist in 10 years after graduating. Q: Is CityU on the cutting edge of this new education approach? A: In terms of the 'new age' education theory, I think we are the pioneer. I was dean of engineering in the United States between 1994 and 1996 at the University of Pittsburgh. During those two years I went to many education conferences and soaked up the latest education concepts and theories. And I came here and started to think what I could do for CityU and that is why the strategy plan I wrote in 1996 was very leading edge - I had personal immersion in the new thinking that was emerging at the time. Q: Is the tech-boom going to change education? A: As technology continues to change we must learn to adapt, but not lose sight of our approach to education.