It is a great pleasure to be here today at this specially arranged ceremony. I would like to thank you all for coming.
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has a very special objective. Its predecessor, the Hong Kong Polytechnic, was founded in 1972. Over the past 10 years, PolyU has rapidly expanded under the guidance and encouragement of the University Council and President Poon. PolyU was granted university status in 1994. The most important objective in education is to meet society’s requirements for skilled and professional manpower who can apply their knowledge in practice. And that is exactly the stated mission of PolyU. Approximately 180,000 of PolyU’s graduates are now contributing members of our community. In addition, PolyU has also been successful in promoting the development of local industry and commerce by helping them meet the new paradigm of a new economy.
Recently, President Poon informed me of PolyU’s latest development plans to enhance the competitiveness of its students and of the school itself; to provide more well-rounded and better quality education; and to promote the growth of small to medium sized enterprises. To carry out their ambitious plans, however, fresh resources were required. I was very impressed by President Poon’s outstanding leadership abilities, and by the boundless energy exhibited by the students and teachers in their quest for excellence. I quickly decided to donate HK$100 million in the name of the Li Ka-shing Foundation to help PolyU achieve its aim of “Academic excellence in a professional context and dedicated partnerships with business and industry” and to practice its motto “To learn and to apply, for the benefit of mankind”.
I have lived in Hong Kong for 60 years and I consider Hong Kong as my home. Even though our Group has businesses all over the world, we are deeply rooted in Hong Kong. I have always been a keen supporter of education, medical care and other charitable causes. I am particularly concerned about education because it is not only the key to economic development but also to human progress. However, education development requires the dedicated energy and resources of government, corporate bodies and individuals. I love Hong Kong, and I sincerely hope I can contribute to the further development of education in Hong Kong so that everyone may realize their full potential. Thank you.