The Liberal Art University in Hong Kong
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5 May 2017

President Leonard K ChengDear Lingnanians,

In my last Letter to Lingnanians in December 2016, I shared with you that the University has adopted a new tagline “Liberal Arts Education‧Transformation For life” to highlight our brand essence, that is, with our unique liberal arts education, distinguished by an interdisciplinary curriculum, small classes, stimulating residential life, and rich international exposure, we transform students into global citizens and help them adapt to new realities by acquiring the necessary skills and attitudes that prepare them to become future leaders.

Brand Campaign

To promote Lingnan’s strengths and achievements, we launched a brand campaign in March this year. Through alumni stories, we show to the public how liberal arts education of Lingnan has shaped the lives of our graduates.  One may not have imagined that an arts student has eventually chosen to pursue a legal profession; a business student has devoted her career to international volunteer service; and a social sciences student has become a cartoonist.  You will also be amazed to know that some of our alumni have developed interesting careers in wedding planning, photography and online trading.  From their remarkable achievements and unique life journeys, we see not only how their Lingnan educational experience has successfully transformed themselves, but also how they continue to transform others and the world they live in.  I sincerely invite you to go to our brand campaign’s designated website (http://www.ln.edu.hk/transformation-for-life/index.html) to learn more about the relevant stories.

50th Anniversary

The University will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its Re-establishment in Hong Kong (嶺南大學香港復校50周年) starting from mid-September 2017 continuing into October 2018.  During the year-long period, an array of celebration activities, including a kick-off ceremony, a celebration banquet, a series of distinguished lectures by business and community leaders, a conference for the Alliance of Asian Liberal Arts Universities, and a finale concert, will be organised. We would also like to take this opportunity to strengthen our brand and promote Lingnan University locally and internationally.  In this regard, a 50th Anniversary Logo has been designed and approved.

LU 50th Logo

 

Academic Development

As a liberal arts university, Lingnan regards good communication skills as an essential attribute of its graduates, and language ability is one of the key aspects to which we attach great importance.  In response to a recommendation of the Quality Audit Report released by the Quality Assurance Council (QAC) last year concerning the introduction of an English competency test for students at entry and exit points, the Senate, at its January meeting, deliberated and decided that the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) be adopted as an assessment tool, and that an overall band score of 6.5 be set as the university-wide English language minimum graduation requirement for implementation from the 2017-18 intake.  All students, except for those of specific Majors with a higher or lower score requirement, are required to meet the threshold before graduation.  The thresholds for the specific majors have been considered and decided by the Senate, at its April meeting, as below:-

i)     7.0 in IELTS for BA in Contemporary English Studies and BA in Translation programmes; and

ii)    6.0 in IELTS for BA in Chinese, and BA in Chinese Literature, History and Philosophy programmes.

The University is committed to providing the necessary resources and learning support to assist students in preparing for IELTS.  This is a positive response to the QAC recommendation that reflects our ongoing commitment to equipping students with essential skills to meet future challenges.

Research

With a view to enhancing our research excellence, the University has identified and adopted the following strategic research themes to ride on our established expertise and strengths in interdisciplinary research:

  • Economic and International Development
  • Comparative Social Policy and Governance, and Social Justice
  • Business Ethics, Entrepreneurship and Corporate Sustainability
  • Interdisciplinary Humanities
  • Transcultural Studies
  • Art, Performance and the Contemporary World
  • Smart City and Urban Innovation​

To assist the University in preparing for the next Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) which is likely to take place in 2020, the University has been planning for a Mock RAE to be held in due course; details will be confirmed and announced later.

Student Initiatives

Nurturing students’ whole person development is always Lingnan’s top priority; we are committed to taking new initiatives to achieve this goal.  Recently, the University has joined the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) launched by former US President Bill Clinton in 2007 to engage young leaders on university campuses around the world.  By joining the CGIU, Lingnan students will have opportunities to develop creative action plans to address challenges in our communities or around the world, and if selected, can attend its annual meeting which is a great opportunity to meet with innovative student leaders to exchange ideas, build networks and even receive seed funding for their action plans.  In addition, in June this year our Student Services Centre and the Transport Institute of the University of Manitoba’s Asper School of Business will co-organise an 8-day study tour to Canada, which will provide an invaluable opportunity of cross-cultural learning for Lingnan students to experience the business environment and culture of the country.  All these are exciting opportunities for students to expand their horizons, international exposure and interpersonal network.

The University also strives to create an inclusive and supportive environment where individual diversity is acknowledged and respected.  To promote mutual support and understanding among students, we maintain a student ambassador scheme in which participating students are offered training on problems and issues faced by students with special educational needs (SEN) as well as relevant communication skills. These ambassadors will then become companions of SEN students and work out solutions for them together with the University administration.

Another similar initiative is the launch of a new Peer Counsellor Scheme during ‘Wellness April 2017’, a programme organised to enhance mental health awareness among students and improve psychological wellbeing of the Lingnan community.  Under the Scheme, ten students are trained to promote mental health awareness and a caring culture, as well as to identify students who have needs for counseling and support.  With their mission in mind, the Peer Counsellors recently volunteered to initiate a Refreshing Corner before the examination period, so that students can support and encourage each other and ease the stress they face through coffee chats and other activities.

These student-centred, multi-pronged initiatives are fine examples of how next generation  leaders are being nurtured at Lingnan.  I deeply believe that Lingnan will continue to groom outstanding young talents, who will follow the footprints of their predecessors featured in our brand campaign, and perpetuate the core values upheld by their alma mater.

 

Leonard K Cheng
President