Professor John LEONG Chi-yan, SBS, OBE, JP

President of OUHK, 2003–2014

In 1989, through a Government initiative, a public institute of higher education, the Open Learning Institute of Hong Kong (OLI), was born. It offered open and distance education as its mode of education. Its success led to the offspring “The Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK)” established by statute in May 1997.

This public university had a handicap, because it was financially independent of public funding. Nevertheless, it became extremely successful in recruiting distance learning students, but with gradual decline in numbers around 2001. The senior management, supported by the University Council, convinced the staff to turn a new page, by additionally offering face-to-face, full time degree programmes, starting around 2002. The University now has significant numbers of students of both streams, and in fact has gone on to use multi-mode learning and teaching techniques.

At 30 years of age, it can pride itself as a shining example of how a self-financing public university can overcome many obstacles, to provide opportunity to the many able secondary school students who aspire to higher education in Hong Kong.

I feel very privileged to have contributed to its success over a ten year and four month period.