Speech at Reception in Norway
Speech by Mr Michael M Y SUEN, GBS, JP
Secretary for Education
on 8 May 2008
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to be here in
The Nordic Literature Research Institute is a good example. It was established in 2006 at
In September 2007, the first group of Chinese students undertook studies in Norwegian language and culture at
In Hong Kong, we have the
Our international schools are important in enhancing Hong Kong’s status as an international city for business, finance and trade in Asia because they take care of the education needs of the expatriates who provide the expertise needed in all these businesses.
For those of you who may not be familiar with
Last year marked the 10th anniversary of our reunification with the Mainland of China. We have entered the second decade as a Special Administrative Region, with confidence and optimism.
The unique “One Country, Two Systems” formula for our reunification is working well. As promised, Hong Kong people continue to run
These days we have a dual role to play as both a city in
Business people are attracted to
About 3,890 overseas enterprises have established their Regional Headquarters or Regional Offices in
These companies contribute a deep and broad pool of expertise that has helped to furnish the city with a world-class financial services sector, highly developed telecommunications infrastructure and all the home comforts you would expect from an international city.
It is not bad for a city the size of Hong Kong, with a population of seven million in an area of about 1,100 square kilometres, which is roughly two and a half times the size of
I have covered some of our main competitive advantages. Now I will talk about our greatest asset, our people.
To stay ahead of the competition, it is vital that we constantly upgrade our human capital and nurture our youngsters through good education and programmes designed for life-long learning.
I am impressed by
To help our students rise to the challenge in the outside world, we work hard to equip them with a high quality education. We initiated a comprehensive education reform programme some 10 years ago to achieve this.
I am pleased to say that our efforts, and the hard work of our teachers are bearing fruit.
Our universities also enjoy a high international profile. Three of our universities placed in the top 60 of the Times Higher Education Supplement 2007. They host some of
Overall, these results are encouraging, but we can and will do better.
Building on our strengths, we will continue to equip our youngsters with a broad-based knowledge and high adaptability skills, as well as promote independent thinking and creativity.
We are also working hard to ensure that no one is left behind. From the coming academic year starting in September we will extend our nine-year free education to 12 years through public sector primary and secondary schools.
We will also soon implement a new academic structure for the senior secondary and undergraduate levels. This will enable us to provide a more diversified curriculum to our students, promoting their whole-person development.
The applied research these institutions provide will help the business community to come to grips with, and harness the very latest developments in science and technology.
Earlier I touched on the importance of our international school sector. More than 50 international schools operate in
Together, our international schools offer a wide variety of curricula including German-Swiss, French, Australian, Singaporean, Korean and Chinese, and of course, Norwegian. Many of the schools also offer International Baccalaureate programmes.
To help meet the strong demand for international school places, we are making more land available to build new schools or to expand existing ones.
We welcome students from every corner of the world. Indeed, we aim to become a regional centre for education in
We will double the quota for non-local students, and relax employment and immigration restrictions to provide non-local students with the greatest flexibility possible in developing their career in
They will be able to take up certain part-time jobs during their studies. After they graduate, overseas students will be given plenty of time to find a suitable job in the city if they wish to do so.
Another way of providing support to degrees or above is through scholarships. We are setting aside 80 million Euros to establish a Government Scholarship Fund for local and non-local students. We are confident that these measures will help attract energetic and high quality students to our community and enhance the learning experience in
Ladies and gentlemen, I hope I have given you a general picture of what we are doing to raise the quality of education in
We cannot progress in isolation. Above all, I hope my visit to
This academic year, more than 7,200 non-local students will study in our University Grants Committee funded programs. Five of these students are from
Student exchange is another area where we can strengthen our links. We already have arrangements with four institutions in
I hope we can strengthen this mutual co-operation so that more of our students can experience different cultures, expand their knowledge and make new friends.
I thank you once again for your hospitality and I hope you will be able to pay us a visit in