Page 7 - HKSYU Prospectus 2018-19
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University History

                 Brief History of the University

       Hong Kong Shue Yan College, the predecessor of Hong Kong Shue Yan University, was
founded in 1971. The idea of an independent liberal arts style college was first conceived by
Dr. Henry H. L. Hu, then a Legislative Councillor, and the late Dr. Chung Chi Yung, a
prominent educationist in response to their concern over the acute shortage of tertiary places
for local Form VI students aspiring for university education.

       In July 1971, a College Board was formed, a building was acquired on Sing Woo Road,
Happy Valley, and Shue Yan (romanized from the Chinese characters 樹仁, meaning the
cultivation of virtue) was chosen as its name. At the inauguration of the College on the 20th
September, 1971, the Hon. Wilfred S. B. Wong expressed the underpinning philosophy of
Shue Yan:

       “The aim of the establishment of Shue Yan College is not for profit but it is hoped to
provide the ideal education, i.e. the cultivation of virtue. Virtue applies when the ideal person
meets other persons. Therefore, to establish virtue one has to start from the person. One
wants to help every student to build character and develop a harmonious way of living with
others. In Chinese, the words 'kindness' and 'man' can be co-used. Furthermore, the aim of
education is not only the moulding of man of healthy mind and body, but also the creation of
Confucian superior men and philosophers who are needed to lead society in establishing a
rational social order based on humanism.”

       In order to gain formal recognition in Hong Kong for the qualifications held by its gradu-
ates, the College actively sought registration under the Post Secondary Colleges Ordinance
(Cap. 320). Throughout May and June 1975, a series of inspections and evaluations were
conducted, culminating in a visit by the Hon. Kenneth Topley, C.M.G., J.P., then Director of
Education, on 16th December 1975. As a result of the successful outcome of this process, the
College was officially approved to register under the Post Secondary Colleges Ordinance on
28th January 1976. From that time on, Shue Yan academic qualifications were recognized by
the Government as a qualification for appointment to the civil service.

       The College expanded rapidly and soon outgrew its premises on Sing Woo Road and in
1977 acquired a seven-storey building on Monmouth Path in Wanchai to accommodate its
growing student body and faculty, pending the completion of its permanent premises to be
built on a site granted by the Government in Braemar Hill, North Point.

       In the White Paper on the Development of Senior Secondary and Tertiary Education
published in October 1978, the Government proposed granting financial assistance to the then
three approved post-secondary colleges in Hong Kong, including Shue Yan, on condition that
the colleges restructure their 4-year programmes to accommodate a 2-2-1 system, i.e. a

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