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Hong Kong Baptist University Founders' Day

Hong Kong Baptist University Founders' Day Reception

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

19 March 2007 (Monday)

Speech by Dr Alice Lam,
Chairman, University Grants Committee

Mr Wong, Prof Ng, Dr Fung, Distinguished Participants,

It is my great pleasure to speak to you on HKBU's Founders' Day Reception to mark the 51st anniversary of the University. Before founding the University of Virginia in 1819, Thomas Jefferson noted that "nothing has advanced the prosperity, the power, and the happiness of a nation more than education." The last half-century has reminded us how education can spread knowledge, skills and talent. The distinguished personalities who founded HKBU and led HKBU through the years understand that education is the essential foundation of a thriving and inventive society.

In this world where what you know means much more than where you live, we all have an interest to make sure Hong Kong's higher education system gives students the chance to succeed. Businesses are seeking employees from all over the world, not just because of cost considerations, but also because they need to find employees who are more skilled and more motivated. Companies are located where the brains and the talents are - whether that talent is in Hong Kong or elsewhere.

That's why education is everybody's issue. Education opens the doors of opportunity and is the basis for a better life, a brighter future, and a stronger society. Providing quality higher education demands the entire community's shared, steadfast commitment to build productive partnerships, to pool resources, and to access our unique areas of expertise. The investment we make today in doing so will reap mighty returns for this and future generations. Ours is a heavy responsibility. We must ensure that our education system remains top-notch, and that every student may harness the power of learning.

Hong Kong educators are working together to prepare a new generation of innovators, and HKBU is playing its full part. Our community is counting on our higher education institutions to equip students with the skills they need to succeed - skills not only in the narrow sense of technical know-how, but in the wider sense of their intellectual, professional, and moral development. Much of HKBU's success can be attributed to its heritage that synthesizes the best of the broad-based characteristics of a liberal education and those of academic and professional rigour.

And then of course there are the lofty visions of its founders and benefactors, the inspiring leadership of its successive Presidents and Vice-Chancellors, the dedication of its staff and students, and the loyalty of its alumni. Given the very strong team spirit, the drive, hard work, and professionalism of HKBU members, I am fully convinced that there will be greater cause for celebration with the advance of each decade. I wish the Hong Kong Baptist University all the best, in the year to come, and all the years that follow.

Thank you.

12 March 2007
UGC Secretariat