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Friday, May 27, 2016, 23:44

HKIEd officially becomes a university

By Li Xiange and Li Yinze
HKIEd officially becomes a university

Stephen Cheung Yan-leung (right), president of the Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK), and Pang Yiu-kai, council chairman of the newly upgraded university, officiate the ceremony of Hong Kong Institute of Education officially renamed the EdUHK on Friday. (Roy Liu/China Daily)

HONG KONG - The Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) was officially renamed the Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) on Friday.

The school has been upbeat about brighter prospects in virtually all areas from student enrolment, competitiveness of graduates, quality of the faculty, and opportunities for academic exchanges.

Those present at Friday’s celebration shared the understanding that the name changing involved a challenging, decade-long process. It owed its success to the joint efforts from past and present teachers and students.

John Lee Chi-kin, chair professor of Curriculum and Instruction, who joined the institute six years ago, welcomed the upgrade to university status. He believed renaming the school will bring more joint research projects with peer academic entities and other organization from Hong Kong and overseas.

“Education is the key to the development of Hong Kong. The whole of society will have higher expectations for us, and we are committed to making further achievements in the future,” Lee said.

Associate Professor from the Department of Chinese Language Studies Pamela Leung Pui-wan said it thrilled every member of the university - whose prestige will be enhanced locally and internationally.

Graduates will benefit a lot, added Leung. Having worked at the school for 20 years, she is aware that graduates in the past suffered from discrimination in job hunting because the name “institute” indicated the school was inferior to a university. Some even couldn't get interview opportunities because their CV showed they graduated from an “institute”.

Being associated with inferiority is unfair and frustrating to the graduates, said Leung.

Bob Adamson, chair professor of Curriculum at the university, said the new name will attract a wide diversity of students and more international academics to the school.

Adamson added the university will enjoy higher status on the mainland, too. He believed mainland parents will be more confident about sending their children to study at the university.

Students are also optimistic about the new name. Liu Liyang, an undergraduate from the mainland studying creative arts and culture, said it will be helpful if students like her go back to the mainland to look for jobs.

Xu Mengya, also an undergraduate student from the mainland, said the upgrade also means the quality of the faculty has reached a higher standard and the school offers a broader selection of disciplines. All these achievements will benefit students in the long run.

Local student Chan Chun-kit, in his second year study in primary education at the Social Science Department, said the school is well-established in the education field. Chan expected being recognized as a university will increase the esteem of other majors at the school.

The Executive Council approved the status upgrade of the school in January, followed by the Legislative Council’s approval of a bill granting it university status on May 19. EdUHK is the eighth publicly funded university in Hong Kong.

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