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7 November 2015

British Council Dinner in London
President's Speech

I would like to take this opportunity to thank firstly to the British Council and Prof Rebecca Hughes for hosting this delightful dinner and our distinguished guests for spending your precious Saturday evening with us.

Our friendship with the British Council is a special one. Throughout my time at HKUST, there have been numerous occasions where we are able to share new ideas and knowledge, work together on areas of common interest as well as events such as this evening where we catch up like old friends.

It has always been a privilege for Eden and I to speak at the British Council’s “Going Global” for the past few years, where we are able to contribute our views to the global dialogue on international higher and further education, and discuss with leading forces around the world on collaborative solutions. I understand next year’s conference will be in Cape Town and again, I am sure it would be as successful if not more successful than the previous. In addition to taking Eden and I across the world to London and Dubai through “Going Global”, we have also had the honor to meet with the most distinguished visitors in our home town, Hong Kong, when British Council play host to important events or official visits.

Tonight is our first evening in the UK for this trip. On our flight over to London, I thought of the waves of students that travel to the UK to pursue higher and further education. UK has a long history of welcoming students from Hong Kong and in more recent years, there have also been increasing movements from UK to Hong Kong. It is always very encouraging to see that the connections between Hong Kong and UK remain strong on many fronts, and indeed the scholarships and financial support opportunities provided by the British Council for outstanding students and young professionals is one of the many ways in which we continue to strengthen a relationship of trust between Hong Kong and the UK.

As President Xi Jinping said during his state visit to the UK only two weeks ago, the UK and China are becoming more “interdependent” and “a community of shared interests” where the two countries will enter “a golden era of an enduring inclusive win/win China – UK relationship, and jointly create an even brighter future for our relations”. With Hong Kong under the One Country Two System, I believe that exciting times lie ahead for HKUST as we continue to do what we do best – capitalize on our core strengths to grasp new opportunities – and it is my wish that we can forge even stronger ties with the British Council and explore new opportunities with friends here today.

I wish you all great success in your future endeavors! Thank you.


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