The University of Hong Kong (HKU) and The University of British Columbia (UBC) celebrated the opening of the Simon K.Y. Lee HKU-UBC House on its Vancouver campus on Friday, October 8, 2010, Vancouver time. The living space was made possible by a $4-million donation to UBC for the development of an international student residence providing students from Hong Kong, and particularly from HKU, with the opportunity to study at UBC.
UBC President and Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope was joined at the opening by HKU President and Vice-Chancellor Lap-Chee Tsui, who is visiting UBC with a group of HKU students.
The two presidents renewed a 1991 mobility agreement that has so far enabled 200 students to travel between the two institutions for study, research and internships. In the 2010/11 academic year, seven students from HKU are at UBC studying commerce, science and law.
The Simon K.Y. Lee HKU-UBC House incorporates 100 residence spaces in Marine Drive Student Residences and includes the Simon K.Y. Lee Global Lounge and Resource Centre, and the Simon K.Y. Lee Hong Kong Ballroom.
The new facilities will strengthen the long-standing partnership between HKU and UBC and help generate joint academic and research opportunities. The creation of 100 residence spaces promotes cross-cultural learning between UBC students and students visiting from Hong Kong. The Simon K.Y. Lee Hong Kong Ballroom functions as a new home for the public to enjoy cultural events and activities related to Hong Kong, building greater cultural awareness and strengthening ties between Hong Kong and Vancouver.
UBC is a Canadian leader in student residence partnerships with foreign universities. The HKU-UBC House follows similar partnerships with Ritsumeikan University in Japan, Korea University in South Korea and Tec de Monterrey in Mexico.
“The Simon K.Y. Lee HKU-UBC House provides students with an informal setting that fosters learning opportunities and builds intercultural understanding,” said Professor Toope.
Secretary for Education of Hong Kong SAR Government Mr Michael M Y Suen sent his congratulations on the opening of the Simon K Y Lee HKU-UBC House. He expressed that, “the changing demands on higher education necessitate new collaborations between universities, governments and the business world. And, as an alumnus of The University of Hong Kong, I am particularly proud that our business community is taking the lead in helping forge ahead global partnerships in education.”
The $4-million gift for the facilities came from Hong Kong-based philanthropist Dr Simon K.Y. Lee and was announced in 2006. Dr Lee passed away earlier this year; his eldest son Mr Philip Lee (李嘉輝) and other members of the family attended the opening.
“My father supported partnerships between these two world-class institutions, hoping to lay the foundation for academic and research advancement,” said Mr Lee. “It is incredibly gratifying to see my father’s gift come to fruition.”
“The late Dr Simon K.Y. Lee saw the House’s potential as greater than its walls and I know he would be immensely pleased that the dialogue and cultural exchanges have already begun,” said Professor Tsui.
For the full version of the Message from the Secretary for Education Mr Michael M Y Suen, please click here.
For the full version of speech of Professor Lap-Chee Tsui, please click here.