Kent and HKBU celebrate partnership with first joint graduation ceremony

Gary Hughes

Ten years after Kent and Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) signed a dual award agreement, both institutions held their first joint graduation ceremony on 11 November.

Until now students have graduated at ceremonies either in Canterbury Cathedral or at one of HKBU’s five campuses in the territory.

The joint ceremony at the Ho Sin Hang Campus was presided over by HKBU Vice-President (Research and Development) Professor Rick Wong. Kent’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education, Professor April McMahon, conferred degrees on students from the MSc Operational Research & Business Statistics programme and MSc Mathematical Finance/Finance (Financial Markets) programme.

The first of these programmes is part-delivered via ‘flying faculty’ (Kent academic staff who travel out to Hong Kong for intensive blocks of teaching) in addition to the teaching provided by academic staff at HKBU. For the second programme, students complete the first part at Kent before transferring to HKBU.

Professor McMahon provided the closing address, during which she referred to the longstanding relationship between Kent and Hong Kong, and the ambitions for the relationship between the two universities. She also reminded the graduates that ‘our universities are not simply here to equip you with qualifications – but also to ensure that you have the knowledge, skills and understanding that will enhance employability, and allow our graduates to play a full part in society’.

Also attending the ceremony were: Dr Anthony Manning, Kent’s Dean for Internationalisation; Professor Martin Meyer, Head of Kent Business School; Professor Zhang Jianhua, Dean of Science of HKBU; Professor Chris Wong, Associate Dean of Science of HKBU; Professor Michael Ng, Head and Chair Professor of the Department of Mathematics of HKBU; Dr Yau Chin-ko, Programme Director of the MSc programmes; Professor Richard Whitman, Head of Kent’s School of Politics and International Relations; and Dr Louise Naylor, Director of Kent’s Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching; Professor Gordon Ng, Director of Student Affairs of HKBU; and Mr Peter Li, Director of International Office of HKBU.

Later that evening, Kent’s Hong Kong alumni community welcomed its new members and their families during a celebratory event in Kowloon. Joining the celebration were: Professor Eddy Fong, Chairman of the University’s Hong Kong Alumni Association; donors to Kent’s Hong Kong Scholarship; representatives from the British Council and the European Union External Action Service; and partners from Hong Kong University, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, City University of Hong Kong and The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Delegates from a number of international schools in the territory also attended.

Earlier this year, Kent and Hong Kong Baptist University renewed what has been a very successful dual award programme.