University of Hong Kong

University of Hong Kong: An Informal History (2 vols)

Copyright Date: 1980
Pages: 208
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  • Book Info
    University of Hong Kong
    Book Description:

    The University of Hong Kong is one of Hong Kong’s largest single community enterprises. First incorporated as a self-governing body of scholars by the University Ordinance of 1911 its first faculties were formed from the Hong Kong College of Medicine founded in 1887. The growth and development of the University to its present internationally-recognized status is a continuing process, but the Council of the University has commissioned the writing and publication of this informal account as a sort of Festschrift for the first seventy years of its existence. After these years of vicissitude, including a complete break in its formal existence during the six years of 1942-47, it has emerged as one of the most influential single forces in the long process of creating an intellectual and cultural identity for the territory of Hong Kong.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-301-3
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Volume One
    • Front Matter
      (pp. i-iv)
    • Table of Contents
      (pp. v-vi)
    • Introduction
      (pp. vii-xii)

      The university of hong kong was first incorporated in Hong Kong as a self-governing body of scholars by the University Ordinance 1911, dated the 31st March 1911, a little over a year after its main founder and first Chancellor, Sir Frederick Lugard, laid the foundation stone of the Main Building. Its incorporation provided for the first of its faculties to be formed from the Hong Kong College of Medicine, founded in 1887. Its purpose was to be ‘the promotion of learning, arts, science, and research, the provision of higher education, the conferring of degrees, the development and the formation of...

    • Acknowledgments
      (pp. xiii-xiii)
    • 1 A Community Enterprise
      (pp. 1-6)

      The university of hong kong is now one of Hong Kong’s largest single community enterprises. Each year it passes into the working life of Hong Kong and elsewhere 1,200 young graduates in a wide range of academic and professional fields. Its student enrolment is over 5,500, including some 100 candidates for doctor’s degrees, and it accommodates almost 1,000 of them in its halls of residence. It employs over 500 teachers of high repute, and they and their students and services occupy over 40 buildings of sizes in a range from two to 150 thousand square feet of usable area, in...

    • 2 Revolution in China
      (pp. 7-16)

      Although the present educational role of the University is to supply versatile citizens and civil servants to Hong Kong and professional people of a high cultural and social awareness, it was originally founded in direct response to the explicit needs of China for modern technology and a clear understanding of the Western temperament, and has not entirely lost the flavour of its origins, in spite of the wide difference between its early object and its present directions.

      Its founding in 1911 by Sir Frederick Lugard and others, expressly to help in a Chinese renascence, was in some degree part of...

    • 3 The University Idea
      (pp. 17-33)

      Lugard took up Donald’s challenge at a prize-giving in St Stephen’s College on the 17th January 1908:

      I think that Hongkong should be the Oxford and Cambridge of the Far East ... I believe myself in the awakening of China and in the opportunities for reciprocal benefits which that awakening will give to us and I believe that we must either now take those opportunities or leave them to others to take. The Warden when distributing the prizes last year alluded to the liberality of the ideas which were evident in the Peking examinations that year. That showed that China...

    • 4 University in Embryo
      (pp. 34-47)

      At the second meeting of his General Committee held in October 1908 Lugard had developed at some length the considerations that moved him in his anxiety to see a University established in Hong Kong, and his ideas of what sort of University it should be. Over the two years in which the work of founding it progressed, he sought every opportunity to repeat them, modified in small particulars from time to time, in the form of appeals, despatches, letters, and memoranda to officials and organizations in Hong Kong, China, the East generally, and Britain, in fact wherever interest might be...

    • 5 Scholars by Examination
      (pp. 48-61)

      Sir charles eliot took his seat in the University Council for the first time in June 1912, at a meeting presided over by Claud Severn in the place of Lugard, whose formal letter resigning as Chairman was read. The profits of the Bazaar were noted at the meeting and a decision reached to make an offer of appointment as professor of civil and mechanical engineering to C. A. Middleton Smith, to occupy the first full-time Chair in the University.

      Eliot had been succeeded at Sheffield by H. A. L. Fisher, one of England’s foremost historians, and was himself a man...

    • 6 Postwar Confrontations
      (pp. 62-69)

      After eliot’s resignation, his successor was not appointed for over a year. Professor G. P. Jordan was Pro-Vice-Chancellor and up to that point in time had been running a successful medical practice in town, though the affairs of the University were making increasing demands upon his time. He agreed, reluctantly enough and probably under some pressure applied by his uncle the Treasurer, to turn his attention fully to the University and act as Vice-Chancellor during the period of Eliot’s absence in Siberia and thereafter until Sir William Brunyate arrived to assume the office. The University’s earliest graduate, Dr G. H....

    • 7 The New Learning and Coming of Age
      (pp. 70-87)

      In the meantime, changes and confrontations were also occurring in China. The death in 1917 of President Yuan Shih-kai, at the head of a Republic in a country uneasily united, was the overture to a new period of disruption in which warlordism overtook China. It also brought an intellectual revolution whose aim was to make the final break with the forms of China’s past; its roots were in the new patterns of education which had discarded the traditional syllabuses and examinations; its creed was the total acceptance of the Western forms of scientific method, expressed in a whole arsenal of...

    • 8 Strains of War
      (pp. 88-97)

      In control of Manchuria from 1933, Japan intensified its effort to increase its influence in China and establish what it saw as a protectorate. On the pretext of a chance exchange of shots between a Chinese garrison at the Marco Polo Bridge near Peking and a Japanese force engaged in manoeuvres in July 1937, the Japanese marched into Peking and war broke out.

      Then began an exodus of people and officials in flight before the Japanese advance west and north. In November they took flight from Shanghai, in December from Nanking. The Chinese high command moved west, first to Hankow...

    • 9 The Links Break
      (pp. 98-105)

      After the cease fire, the Vice-Chancellor contrived to persuade the Japanese to declare the University estate a temporary internment area for those foreign members of his staff who were not in the armed forces, and this arrangement lasted until the end of January 1942, when they were moved to Stanley to join the rest of the enemy aliens. It gave them a short but useful breathing space, time to make and carry out decisions which eased the lives of all the students in final year and of many others. It gave Sloss an opportunity to generate morale among his staff,...

    • 10 A New Start
      (pp. 106-119)

      On the 6th August 1945 the Americans dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima; two days later Russia entered the Far Eastern war against Japan and the Americans dropped another bomb on Nagasaki. After the interval of shock and the counting of dead and dying, the Japanese capitulated on the 14th August. The University began reassembling immediately, from internment and prisoner-of-war camps, and from China.

      Duncan Sloss made for Pokfulam forthwith to take preliminary stock of the situation. However prepared he was for the sight, his impression must have been one of desolation as he toured the looted buildings, except certainly...

    • 11 Policy Making: The Keswick and Jennings-Logan Reports
      (pp. 120-130)

      The keswick committee faced problems no less intractable than those of the aspiring student in Hong Kong and spent forty-five meetings during nine months to reach conclusions. There were no trends for its guidance. The secondary system had been hastily reassembled from its prewar remains, and in the vernacular sector these were the results of temporary measures. Upon these and upon the confusion which the refugees had brought with them, some sort of edifice of higher studies had to be built to satisfy the needs of students who had hitherto satisfied them in Mainland universities, and it was the Committee’s...

    • 12 Golden Jubilee and Expansion
      (pp. 131-144)

      Both the raising of the University’s entrance qualifications from 1954 and the halt to uncontrolled expansion with the imposition in 1955 of entry quotas in all faculties, with the object of stabilizing the enrolment at about 1,000 students by 1958, had their inevitable effect on the pressures being felt by the post-secondary colleges. Many of the schools’ pupils who, in the previous situation in which entry numbers were largely uncontrolled, would have qualified for admission to the longer pass-degree curricula, but did not wish to face the new risk of continuing in school in order to fail the Advanced Level...

    • 13 Consolidation
      (pp. 145-155)

      The arrival in October of the new Vice-Chancellor brought to a close two hurtful years which had seen no fewer than three predecessors in the office. While waiting for his retirement Sir Lindsay Ride had been stricken down by sickness and had loosened his grasp of the reins, reluctant to make new commitments on his successor’s behalf. The void he created had been filled unofficially and to an uncertain degree by a committee of Deans and Registrar, who in this protean guise promoted the University’s undertakings adeptly enough, but only by appearing to a nervous staff as suspiciously like a...

    • 14 Reform
      (pp. 156-168)

      It is difficult not to postulate that the Government’s new attitude to the needs of the university student was linked to certain other events in Hong Kong at that time.

      Rioting had followed demonstrations mounted against a proposal announced early in April 1966 to impose a small rise in cross-harbour ferry fares; this turned out to be an overture to more troubled times ahead, in which Hong Kong was put through one of its severest tests. In China a new ‘Cultural Revolution’ had been launched in 1965, in which the children and youths organized their vast cohorts into a mass...

    • 15 Modernization
      (pp. 169-175)

      By may 1972 the University was able to announce that it had secured the services of Dr Rayson Huang Li-sung as ninth Vice-Chancellor, a distinguished and experienced university teacher and administrator who had been Dean of Science in the University of Malaya, where he had occupied the Chair of Chemistry and acted for an extended period as its Vice-Chancellor. He was later invited to Singapore as Vice-Chancellor of Nanyang University to carry out the reforms in that University recommended by a commission he had previously headed. He was, moreover, of a Hong Kong family and a graduate of the Universities...

    • Select Bibliography
      (pp. 177-182)
  2. Index to Volumes I and II
    (pp. 183-193)
  3. Volume Two