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No. 9 2 February 2004


Areas of excellence
The Centre for Marine Environmental Research and Innovative Technology (MERIT), will receive HK$45 million in funding in the next five years under the University Grants Committee's third round of Areas of Excellence (AoE) scheme. The Centre, a proposal led by Prof Rudolf Wu (BCH), will focus on creating innovative technologies for the early detection, assessment, prediction and control of damage to the marine environment. CityU will lead and coordinate an inter-institutional team of 24 scholars and some 75 research students in this area of work important to Hong Kong and its neighbouring region. MERIT is one of the two AoE projects announced by UGC on 26 January, selected from 41 submissions from the eight institutions, a process that started in 2002.


20th Anniversary logo & slogan
At the staff party on 28 January, the seventh day of the Year of the Monkey, Prof H K Chang, President, and Prof David Tong, Deputy President, unveiled the 20th anniversary logo (right) and slogan: "Celebrating 20 Years: University of a World City". The logo, a design by Ms Cheung Ho Ming, Instructor (EN) is a combination of the Chinese word "twenty" and CityU's logo.


AD Final Report
The Council, on 14 January, endorsed the recommendations in the Final Report submitted by the Working Group on Associate Degree Programmes, chaired by Mr S M Chung. An implementation stage is to begin soon. Meanwhile, recruitment for the Principal of the new College also is believed to be in the works. The incumbent, according to the advertisement that will appear both locally and overseas, is expected to provide academic and executive leadership to develop the College into an academically and financially successful hub for sub-degree education.


External liaison
Prof H K Chang
, President, and Dr Zhu Guobin, Director of the External Liaison and Cooperation Office, returned from a trip to Europe, where they visited the University of Paris IˇXPantheon Sorbonne, Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium and the Imperial College of London, signing a student exchange agreement and exploring selected areas of research cooperation between CityU and the European institutions.


Faculty giving
The staff giving campaign, "Turn One To Five", launched in late December 2003, is gaining momentum. By the latest count, on 29 January, more than 270 staff members have donated HK$1.1 million to the University, a step closer to the HK$2 million target envisioned by the President.


Agreement signing
The College of Higher Vocational Studies will sign on 9 February, an agreement with Coventry University, UK, to launch a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Business Information Technology programme.


The Centre for Electronic Packaging and Assemblies, Failure Analysis and Reliability Engineering (EPA Centre), led by Prof Y C Chan (EE), has been accredited by the Hong Kong Accreditation Service in the Ionic Analysis of Circuit Boards, Ion Chromatography Method. This is the first of its kind awarded to a testing laboratory in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta Region. The accredited testing process, traceable to the US National Institute of Science and Technology, is capable of measuring the level of anionic and cationic contaminants at parts per billion (ppb). This is crucial in monitoring the process quality in circuit board manufacturing.


Resource sharing
The Run Run Shaw Library has teamed up with its counterparts at Hong Kong University and Lingnan University to launch the Hong Kong Academic Library Link (HKALL). Students and staff of the three participating institutions can now search the combined collection of more than 3 million items, many of which are in Chinese, held in the three libraries. Eligible users can also make direct requests over the Internet for materials. The HKALL pilot scheme will run from now until October 2004, when an evaluation of its success will take place.


SARS monitoring
The Ad Hoc Group on Monitoring SARS established in 2003, led by Prof Y S Wong, VP (Admin), met recently to discuss precautionary measures to be taken to prevent the re-emergence of SARS on campus. The Group issued a reminder, urging students and staff to pay attention to personal and public hygiene, in particular when they travel out of Hong Kong during holidays. Heads of departments have also been notified of procedures to handle the possible outbreak of SARS and whom to contact concerning enquiries.


Dr Y C Chan, Assoc Prof (MS), has been appointed part-time member of the Central Policy Unit, HKSAR Government, for one year, effective 1 January 2004.


More Kudos 
Three digital technology artworks by staff and students of the School of Creative Media have been selected for inclusion in the Hong Kong Biennial Exhibition 2003, a major platform to foster artists and extend the horizon of Hong Kong art. The works included "Res Extensa" by Dr Hector Rodriguez, Assoc Prof, "Push" by Ms Linda Lai and Ms Theresa Mikuria, Asst Prof and Lecturer respectively, and "Pixel Space" by Mr Stephen Tsui Chi-wai, MPhil student. "Res Extensa" was also awarded the prize of excellence in the Exhibition.

Even more kudos
Prof Yang Tong (MA) has been given support until December 2006 by the Joint Research Fund for Hong Kong and Macao Young Scholars of the National Natural Science Foundation of China for his project.


"Modernization and Chinese and Western Cultures in the 20th Century," organized by the Centre for Cross-Cultural Studies, 2:30 - 5 pm, 14 & 15 February, Room R6143, Amenities Building.


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