Sir Gordon Wu on CityU

Peter Ho

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Sir Gordon Wu, the incoming Council Chairman, was "impressed" with the achievements of CityU, he told a gathering of senior staff on his first official visit to the University this morning.

The value-added education that CityU gives its students, training them for the real world, left a particularly strong impression on Sir Gordon. He believes the University is on the right track in preparing students to serve the community. He said, using a soccer metaphor, that although CityU may not get star students like David Beckham, "you are turning them into good players." He made the remark after he learned that CityU graduates ranked very high in several categories of work attributes in a 2002 Education and Manpower Bureau survey of employers.

In his remarks to the Management Board, he said he would like to see more students have an opportunity to receive some basic legal training, or accountancy training. "Employers, not only in Hong Kong, but also in mainland China and the entire region, would find it useful if graduates had a basic understanding of the legal system, for example." CityU's School of Law is one of only two in Hong Kong.

Among the challenges the University will face in the next decade, he reckons, will be the switch to a four-year curriculum, an increase

in student population, cuts in public funding, shortage of space, and the offering of self-financing associate degrees. "But challenges also pose opportunities," he told the gathering of Management Board members. "I promise I'll do my best," he pledged to help the University meet its funding challenges and the need for additional space in the coming years.

Accompanied by Professor H K Chang, President, and Professor David Tong, Deputy President, Sir Gordon spent the first part of the morning meeting with members of the Management Board and faculty and school deans. He listened to presentations on the achievements of the University in teaching and research, future challenges and plans, and how an increase in student numbers will affect the campus. The switch to a four-year curriculum and an expansion of articulation places into degree programmes for associate degree holders mean a larger space will be needed to accommodate them.

Sir Gordon also visited the School of Creative Media and the Wireless Communications Laboratory, and met with representatives of the LawSchool and the College in the second part of the day's programme. "I hope you continue the good work you have been doing," he told senior managers, "and give the biggest bang for the buck" in public funding.

His first job as the Council Chairman is to understand the University—the purpose of this first campus familiarization tour. Before lunch, Sir Gordon walked through the University Concourse and the Student Canteen and got a taste of the new ambiance. He also visited the student hostels in the afternoon and met with some students. After lunch, Sir Gordon met with College representatives and gave them strong support and encouragement for their future work.

Sir Gordon was appointed by the Government to replace the outgoing Chairman Mr Norman Leung, with effect on 1 January. As Chairman of Hopewell Holdings Inc, and a successful businessman and entrepreneur known for his ingenious ideas in local and regional infrastructural projects, he is a civil engineer by vocation. Sir Gordon received his education in Princeton and was Chairman of Council of Polytechnic University from 1997 until he came over to CityU a little more than one month ago.

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