Professor Stephen Cheung Yan-leung
Joining the 19-year-old Institute this year has a special meaning for me. As President, I am partnering with my colleagues in crossing the threshold of 20, the defining year of transformation from continuous growth into maturity.
At the increasingly mature Institute, I am fortunate to be working with colleagues who are young at heart, energetic and devoted, holding fast to the belief that education is the answer to empowering minds and transforming people. In my capacity as Adviser to the 20th Anniversary Celebration Organising Committee, I find that their enthusiasm and belief are the driving force behind the mammoth project.
Academic activities will form the most important element in the year-long celebration. Lined up or being planned are distinguished leaders lecture series, seminars, regional and international forums and conferences. On these occasions, the Institute will become a convergence point for scholars, educators, government officials, researchers and opinion leaders. The best brains in the respective areas will be putting their heads together on the education agenda and in pertinent areas such as: leadership in education, learning in the 21st century, the vision and collaboration of universities of education in the Greater China region, music and culture, and the Chinese economy. The wide array of topics vividly mirrors the diversity of programmes at the Institute, ranging from Education to Humanities, Social Sciences and beyond. The backgrounds of the participants will reflect the extent of the Institute’s footprint and status within the local, regional and international education communities.
With two decades of history behind us, and fortified by our long tradition in teacher education, the Institute boasts a 140,000-strong alumni base. Most of our alumni are now playing active roles as leaders and teachers in schools. They are the Institute’s ambassadors in showcasing the quality of teacher education, and our partners in advancing educational development in Hong Kong. Other alumni have chosen professions and career paths related to education or where their knowledge and skills in education can be usefully applied. Still others have left Hong Kong to settle in different parts of the world.
Regardless of what they do or where they are, the Institute is keen to reconnect with them. In activities such as the gala concert, walkathon, homecoming day and the highlight event, our 20th Anniversary Gala Dinner, we look forward to seeing them and their family members returning home, rubbing shoulders with each other and with us. From these reconnected contacts, we will definitely gain more ideas about how we can benefit our alumni and the wider community.
Given the complexity and magnitude of the celebratory projects, they will involve an enormous amount of work. To this end, I would like express my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for the envisaged extra time and efforts contributed by our staff and students, alumni and friends, partners and supporters in making the 20th Anniversary a great success!