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LCQ10: "Academic 2" of the City University of Hong Kong

     Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Man-kwong and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (March 21):


     In 2005, the Government applied to the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council (LegCo) for a loan of about $600 million for the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) to construct a new academic building (the new building), which can accommodate 6 000 students, on its main campus.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council if it knows:

(a) at present, the use and target groups of various floors of the new building, the respective types, subvention modes and numbers of student places of the courses conducted in the new building, as well as the vacancy position of various floors (including the number of floors which are still vacant); whether the authorities have monitored the utilisation of the new building upon its completion; whether conversion of floors, change of floor use or not using some floors and leaving them vacant by CityU are subject to the Government's approval;

(b) the current number of sub-degree students attending classes at the temporary campus of CityU at Telford Garden in Kowloon Bay; whether these students can attend classes and enjoy the facilities in the new building just like other CityU sub-degree students; if they can, when they can begin attending classes in the new building; if not, why they are not allowed to move into the new building to enjoy the reasonable and quality teaching environment and facilities; and

(c) whether CityU has reserved some floors of the new building for other uses (e.g. setting up a school of veterinary medicine); if it has, of the uses of the floors concerned, and whether the Government has assessed if CityU has contravened the conditions set by LegCo in approving the loan at that time; if such an assessment has been made, the outcome?



(a) In 2001, the Government obtained the approval of the Legislative Council (LegCo) for establishing a Start-up Loan Scheme (SLS) to extend loans to non-profit-making institutions offering locally-accredited self-financing post-secondary programmes for the development of college premises or improvement of teaching facilities.  In 2005, LegCo approved a loan of $599.5 million under the SLS to the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) for constructing on its Kowloon Tong campus a building with a capacity of 6 000 students.  The building is now known as "Academic 2" .

     Since Academic 2 was financed by the loan under SLS, it shall be used for running locally-accredited self-financing post-secondary programmes as required by the SLS.  Currently, Academic 2 is mainly used by about 4 400 students of the Community College of CityU (CCCU) and up to 1 600 students studying full-time self-financing degree programmes of CityU.  As long as Academic 2 is used for the intended purpose, it is up to CityU to decide on the use of individual floors (such as library, canteen or classroom, etc.) according to its needs.

     According to the information provided by CityU, Academic 2 has a total floor area of 20 900 square metres.  All floors are either in use or being fitted out, and none of them is left vacant.  Annex 1 sets out the use of each floor.

(b) At present, CCCU has about 6 000 students, of which some 1 600 attend classes at the Telford Annex campus in Kowloon Bay.  According to CityU, since its UGC-funded senior year undergraduate places will be gradually increased starting from the 2012/13 academic year (about 1 250 additional places will be provided by 2014/15), it has to control the total number of students at its Kowloon Tong campus to avoid overcrowding and to ensure a quality and safe learning environment for its students.  In this connection, CityU has arranged for about 4 400 CCCU students and up to 1 600 CityU students of full-time self-financing degree programmes currently attending classes at the Kowloon Tong campus to move into Academic 2 for classes.  Meanwhile, CityU has allocated nearly $35 million to improve the teaching environment and facilities of the Kowloon Bay Telford Annex campus and will continue to ensure a quality learning environment for the remaining some 1 600 students attending classes there.  In addition, CCCU students, whether attending classes at Kowloon Tong or Kowloon Bay, enjoy the same status as other CityU students and have access to all campus facilities - libraries, the Sports Complex, learning and IT resources, university services.

(c) As mentioned in part (a), all floors of Academic 2 are either in use or being fitted out, and none of them is left vacant or reserved for other uses.  Regarding the establishment of a school of veterinary science and the provision of degree programmes in veterinary science, CityU has stated that the use of Academic 2 does not include the provision of such programmes.  Under the current arrangement, if CityU wishes to make use of Academic 2 to set up a school of veterinary science or run programmes in that discipline, it must obtain the approval of the Education Bureau.

Ends/Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Issued at HKT 15:26


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