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      1. The Liberal Art University in Hong Kong
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        17 September 2019

        President Leonard K Cheng

        Dear Lingnanians,

         

        Welcome to the 2019/20 academic year! On behalf of the University, I would like to extend my special welcome to those who are new to Lingnan. You are now Lingnanians, and I hope you will have a wonderful experience at this unique institution.?

         

        As you all know, Hong Kong has been facing unprecedented challenges and difficulties since last June. Lingnan, as part of the society, has been affected by the continuing social unrest in multiple ways. Many stakeholders, including students, staff and alumni, have expressed their concerns over issues affecting the University that were triggered by the recent events, and I can assure you that with the support of our Council, I will do my utmost to address those concerns and defend the reputation of the University. During this unsettling time, I would call upon all of us in the University community to remain calm and rational under all circumstances. Amid escalating tensions and conflicts in the society, more than ever we need to treasure Lingnan as “… a community of learning and discovery with collegial students and scholar-teachers who respect each other, keep an open mind, embrace diversity, appreciate different views, uphold academic freedom and freedom of expression, and accept responsibility for their words and deeds” (for the new Lingnanians, this is one of the University’s four Core Values). The University “… encourages students to pursue independent and critical thinking, creativity and innovation, excellent communication skills including a high level of literacy, social responsibility, personal virtue, cultural accomplishment and a passion for lifelong learning” (another of our Core Values). As I have reiterated on various occasions, the University fully respects the right of its staff and students to express their views in a peaceful, rational and respectful manner, which is the most fundamental and important. Let us work together to play a part in rebuilding Hong Kong as a civilized and peaceful society.

         

        As Lingnanians, we know that striving for academic excellence is at the heart of all of our endeavours. As revealed by the University Accountability Agreements announced by the University Grants Committee (UGC) in June 2019, the University received the highest score in the area of “undergraduate satisfaction with the quality and value which they have gained from their teaching and learning experience”, and the second best score in “undergraduate satisfaction with their overall learning environment”. I am so proud of this accomplishment that reaffirms our commitment to excellence. As we pull our efforts in preparation for the upcoming UGC visit in October, I count on all of you to further demonstrate the distinctive qualities of our Lingnan education and showcase our other achievements in research, knowledge transfer and community engagement.

         

        I am also pleased to share that our new Strategic Plan 2019-25 has been formulated and will soon be released. The new plan comprises six strategic areas, namely enhancing undergraduate teaching and learning; expanding postgraduate education; driving research excellence and knowledge transfer; advancing residential education and promoting student training in leadership and entrepreneurship; strengthening institutional advancement; and accelerating campus development. It was the result of a thorough consultation with a wide range of stakeholders who shared their views on the University’s future development. With the wholehearted support and dedication of all Lingnanians, I am confident that we will be able to implement the plan successfully.

         

        Additional highlights on some of the most remarkable developments/achievements of the University over the past few months include the following aspects. Our three new undergraduate programmes, namely LEO Dr David P. Chan Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Data Science, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Global Liberal Arts, and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Animation and Digital Arts, have been successfully launched this academic year. To expand the provision of quality postgraduate education, the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) has been established to strengthen the central support for postgraduate programmes as well as to monitor and assure the quality of these programmes. In the results of the 2019/20 research funding exercise announced in June which covered the General Research Fund (GRF), Early Career Scheme (ECS) and Humanities & Social Sciences Prestigious Fellowship Scheme, we have 18 GRF/ECS projects funded at a total amount of $7.6 million, which represents a 69% increase over the total sum of funds received last year.?

         

        Our students have continued to achieve success in academic studies and inter-university competitions. For instance, in July 2019, four of our second-year students were awarded “The Hong Kong Jockey Club Scholarships – Undergraduate Scholarship”, which offers full scholarships to outstanding students with strong leadership qualities, academic ability, commendable character and commitment to service. Driven by determination, perseverance and strong team spirit, our sports teams achieved outstanding results in different tournaments in past few months, such as the Jackie Cup Challenge Cup Hong Kong Universities Rowing Championship 2019, Jordan Brand Invitational 2019 and 2019年第六屆海峽兩岸暨港澳大學生運動交流賽.

         

        In keeping with my commitment to fostering dialogues and sharing of ideas, we will continue to organise Student and Staff Forums this academic year as in the past. The first Student Forum is scheduled to take place on 18 September 2019 while the first Staff Forum is expected to be held in November. By listening to, and working with each other, I am confident that our collegial community of learning and discovery can bring the University to the next level of excellence.

         

        Wishing you all a very successful academic year!

         

        With best wishes,
        Leonard K Cheng
        President


        赌钱老千