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No. 42 20 June 2005


Shenzhen outpost proposed
The Council approved at its meeting on 20 June 2005 that the University would acquire a 6,000-square meter site in the Shenzhen Virtual University Science Park (SVUSP) to establish the Shenzhen Outpost, CityU's permanent base for its applied research, teaching and incubation activities on the mainland. The University established the Shenzhen Research Institute and three applied research centres: the Biotech Research Centre, the Environmental Mangrove Research Centre and the Industrial Technology Research Centre, in the Shenzhen Virtual University in 2000 and has since developed a strong linkage to the technological developments in Shenzhen.

The establishment of the Shenzhen Outpost will enable the University to advance further in fulfilling its role to promote application-oriented tertiary, professional education and applied research through expansion and consolidation of these activities on the mainland. In addition to relocating the three applied research centres to the Shenzhen Outpost, two more research centres, namely Information Technology Research Centre and Applied Mathematics Research Centre, will be set up. The SVUSP is a science park project approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Education. It aims to provide an environment conducive for universities and research institutes to carry out research and development; to conduct manpower training and to incubate hi-tech start-up companies in Shenzhen. The tenants of the Park, including most of the top mainland universities, are supposed to carry out primarily research and development work. Special consideration is now given to universities in Hong Kong to set up an "Incubation-Education-Research" base to carry out these activities concurrently.


Creation of a new department in FHS
The Senate approved at its meeting on 24 May 2005 the creation of a new Department of Asian and International Studies (AIS) in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FHS) with effect from 1 July 2006. The mission of the new department is to produce high quality graduates who are knowledgeable about contemporary developments and changes in the societies of East and Southeast Asia, and the wider world.

The setting up of the new department proactively responds to the internationalization agenda of the University Grants Committee. The proposal received the support of all four departments in FHS to enhance both the Faculty and the University's profile in Asian and international studies on the global stage. Subsequent to the creation of the new department, the existing BSocSc (Hons) Applied Sociology (East and Southeast Asia) programme will be divided into two separate programmes, provisionally entitled BSocSc (Hons) Applied Sociology and BSocSc (Hons) East and Southeast Asian Studies. The former will be located in the Department of Applied Social Studies (SS) and the latter in AIS.


Reorganization of the IT Department
The Senate approved at its meeting on 24 May 2005 the discontinuation of the Department of Computer Engineering and Information Technology (IT) with effect from 1 September 2005. IT staff will be redeployed and functions be relocated to the Department of Computer Science (CS) and the Department of Electronic Engineering (EE). The reorganization will bring sound academic and resource utilization. Students, staff and alumni in IT, EE and CS have been consulted.


Distinguished Fellow Scheme
In order to fortify the links that have been established between Faculties/Departments with members of the industry and the community to enhance scholarship and student learning, and to give recognition to non-academics who have made significant contributions to the work of the Faculty/Department, the Senate has approved a Distinguished Fellow Scheme to complement the existing honorary appointments system for Honorary Professor, Honorary Lecturer and Honorary Research Fellow.

The title of Distinguished Fellow will be conferred on a suitable person who can make a significant contribution to the mission of the University and the work of the Faculty/School or Department. The appointment shall be approved by the Senate on the recommendation of Faculty/School Boards for a period of five years and may be renewed. The Senate is normally not expected to make more than five appointments of Distinguished Fellow per year.


Senior staff appointment
Professor Sritawat Kitipornchai
, currenlty Professor (Chair) of the Department of Building and Construction (BC), has been appointed Head of BC for a term of office from 1 July 2005 to 31 July 2008.


International and Non-local Students Office
The Office started to operate from 16 June under the auspices of Student Development Services. Ms Helen Lam, Senior Student Development Officer, is the officer-in-charge. The office will work closely with academic departments and supporting offices to provide one-stop services for inbound international/non-local students and outbound exchange students. An Advisory Committee on the Policies and Developments of International and Non-local Students and a coordinating working group involving the supporting offices concerned will be formed in the near future.


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