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Higher Education News from the Collegiate Way

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The Chinese University of Hong Kong and its Colleges

— Last month I reported on the establishment of two new residential colleges at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. CUHK has long had a residential college system, and these new colleges join two others established last year as part of an overall expansion plan for the institution. By way of background, an extract from last year’s announcement of the founding of Morningside College and S.H. Ho College is appended below. These two colleges are home to 900 student members, and their development shows that CUHK has a very strong understanding of the residential college model. May these colleges flourish for generations to come, and may they serve as examples for future developments at other universities in Asia.

CUHK to Establish Two New Colleges in 2006: Morningside College and S.H. Ho College

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) announces that its Council approved on 23 May 2006 the acceptance of donations totaling HK$270 million (approximately US$35 million) for the establishment of two new colleges — Morningside College and S. H. Ho College.

The university system in Hong Kong will change from three years to four years in 2012. As a result, the University will see its undergraduate enrolment increase by about 3,000. CUHK has seized this opportunity to reaffirmed its commitment to its college system, which is unique in Hong Kong. To cater for the extra undergraduates, more colleges will have to be established in addition to the existing four. The University took the view that relatively small colleges would be more conducive to intimate interaction among students and staff, the provision of pastoral care and an environment for whole-person education.

The University is grateful to the benefactors; they share the University’s vision and have offered donations to establish two new colleges:

• The Morningside Foundation and Morningside Education Foundation have pledged a donation of HK$100 million (approximately US$13 million) for the establishment of Morningside College, which will cater for 300 students on a fully residential and communal dining basis.

• The S. H. Ho Foundation has pledged HK$170 million (approximately US$22 million) for the establishment of S.H. Ho College, which will cater for 600 students on a fully residential and communal dining basis.

Mission of the Colleges

The mission of Morningside College and S. H. Ho College is to foster an intimate and collegial community where students and academic staff learn, share and grow intellectually; to provide an environment for congenial college life and learning for students; to provide pastoral care and whole-person education including general education for students; to broaden and to internationalize the students’ perspective through formal and non-formal education programs provided by the College. In particular, Morningside College will seek to cultivate among students a commitment to serve the community of Hong Kong, China and the world; while S.H. Ho College will strive to cultivate among its students a commitment to personal responsibility and integrity which will lay the foundation for making contributions to society and to an enriching life in the future.

Prof. Lawrence J. Lau, the Vice-Chancellor/President, said ‘The Chinese University of Hong Kong takes great pride in its college system, which with its intimate environment for interaction and learning has contributed in very significant ways to the quality of the students through general education and informal learning. The University is very pleased that its vision to create such a supportive environment for young people to learn and grow together has won the enthusiastic and generous endorsement of benefactors. I am very encouraged by the overwhelming support, and wish to express the University’s gratitude to The Morningside Foundation and Morningside Education Foundation, and The S. H. Ho Foundation for their munificent donations.’

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© Robert J. O’Hara 2000–2014