HKU Convocation


Spring Issue, 2017

Convocation Secretariat

c/o Development and Alumni Affairs Office
G/F Hung Hing Ying Building
The University of Hong Kong
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Chairman’s Column

WE ARE ON OUR WAY – 23 December 2015

My Very Dear Fellow Convocation Members,

That was how our President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Mathieson ended his speech to the Court on 17 December 2015 during which he outlined a strategy for the University over the next decade to be “Asian’s global university” which would involve everyone – staff, students, alumni and friends – to work together to achieve the vision. Specifically, he said, “We are on our way: please join us!”

It was not unlike the captain of a ship calling all hands on deck or the commander in chief of a nation calling his people to brave the times for the inevitable. It was against the background of a challenging past 12 months during which the University in general and the University Council in particular faced intense public and media scrutiny of the decision-making process.

I agree with him and would like to join him to urge all of you to make our University Asian’s global university.

A lot has happened over the last year. Indeed, a lot has happened in the last three months since I wrote in this space; and the Convocation Standing Committee (SC) had found itself having to organize a second Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) in less than three months. Nevertheless, as I had said in my last Column – Issue 5 dated 30 September – our University is OK.

Once again, the SC had reflected, immediately after the voting results were available, the results and views expressed at the second EGM to the Council which had in turn replied that they would discuss the matter at their scheduled meeting next week.

But even before the EGM was convened, the writings were on the wall. We have said in November that we are deeply concerned that the Constitution and Rules for requisitioning an EGM which were adopted decades ago could be subject to abuse and that we are now taking urgent steps to review the provisions therein with a view to making proposals to amend them at a future General Meeting.

At the second EGM, of the more than 165,000 Convocation Members, 4,454 registered voters voted. I had said on the record afterwards that it is for the individual to interpret how representative the voting results are.

Indeed, for the Convocation to continue to be relevant and useful to the University, we need a mechanism to reflect the majority and mainstream views and concerns of the membership speedily, scientifically, reasonably accurately and with accountability.  We need such a mechanism badly. We are on our way, and we urge you to join us, just as what Professor Peter Mathieson has appealed to all to make the University become Asian’s global university.

On this optimistic note, I wish all of you and your families a Happy Christmas and a prosperous, wonderful and mindful 2016; and I hope to talk to you again soon.

Chairman's Column
Press Statement

HKU Convocation Contact Update