When the University of Hong Kong was founded a hundred years ago, the presiding Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Frederick Lugard claimed that it was founded for the benefit of China. In fact, Zhang Renjun, the Governor of Guangdong and Guangxi was one of the major donors of the University. However, when the University was formally opened in 1912, the Qing regime had already collapsed. It was replaced by a Republic whose first President was one of the first two graduates of the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese, often considered the forerunner of The University of Hong Kong. What were the motives behind Zhang’s generous donations? Who were the University’s Mainland students in the Pre-war decades? Has Lugard’s mission been achieved? Why did the University’s mission shift gradually from that of “for China” to that of “for Hong Kong” in the Post-war era? These, together with issues related to the University’s history and development over the past century, will be addressed.
Dr. Joseph Ting graduated from The University of Hong Kong in Chinese Literature and Chinese History in 1971 followed with a MPhil in 1979 and a PhD in 1989. He joined the Hong Kong Museum of Art in 1979 as Assistant Curator and was transferred to the Hong Kong Museum of History in 1988 as Curator. Dr. Ting was promoted to Chief Curator in 1995 and he held this position until his retirement in 2007. During this period, he was involved with the planning and completion of several new museums – the new Hong Kong Museum of History with its permanent exhibition, the “Hong Kong Story”, Museum of Coastal Defense, and the Sun Yat-sen Museum. At present, he is Honorary Advisor to numerous cultural institutions both in Hong Kong and China, including UMAG.