Inauguration of the Largest International Exchange Scholarship Scheme and Naming of Yasumoto International Academic Park at CUHK
The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) celebrated the inauguration of the Yasumoto International Exchange Scholarship Scheme and the naming of the Yasumoto International Academic Park on CUHK campus today (15 June 2007). Mr and Mrs Alex K. Yasumoto, Mr Shigekazu Sato, Consul-General of Japan in Hong Kong, Dr Edgar Cheng, Chairman of the Council of CUHK, and Prof. Lawrence J. Lau, Vice-Chancellor of CUHK, officiated at the inauguration and naming ceremony.
Mr Alex K. Yasumoto, founder of a very successful enterprise with major business operations in Hong Kong, holds dear his father’s favourite maxim: “Give to the community much of what the community has given to you”. He also shares the aspirations of CUHK to cultivate the global perspectives of its students, and promote exchange and collaboration among the young people of the world. The Chinese University is most honoured to have received a magnanimous donation of HK$100 million from Mr Alex K. Yasumoto in 2005, in support of the University’s international academic exchange activities.
Mr Yasumoto said he came to realize the true meaning of internationalization at the age of forty, and has since then valued it dearly. He described internationalization as the stepping stone to the understanding of cultures, but added, “Internationalization means not just understanding others but also accepting others. Internationalization means not just accepting others but also understanding oneself.” He encouraged young people, in particular Yasumoto Scholars, to acquire an international mindset and to learn to be global players.
Prof. Lawrence J. Lau, Vice-Chancellor of CUHK, reiterated the University’s gratitude to Mr Yasumoto for his exceptional generosity. He said that the fostering of the Yasumoto International Exchange scholarship Scheme and the establishment of the Yasumoto International Academic Park on campus will be a “permanent testimony to our belief in ‘Education without Borders’.”
Prof. Lau was particularly gratified to see that Mr Yasumoto shared the same vision as CUHK, saying “Today we witness how similar aspirations and mutual appreciation have led to a happy partnership between Mr Yasumoto and CUHK.”
Mr Sato said, “There is no doubt that international exchanges, which the scholarship scheme aims to implement, promote mutual understanding and foster closer economic, social and cultural ties. So we are very lucky to have such a generous philanthropist as Mr Yasumoto, as well as such an excellent academic partner as the Chinese University, working towards the shared goals of promoting cultural exchange and international co-operation.”
The Yasumoto International Exchange Scholarship Scheme is the largest exchange scholarship scheme ever established in CUHK, constituting close to half of all scholars going on overseas exchange this year. In 2006-07, 229 top students from CUHK, proudly known as Yasumoto Scholars, were sponsored by the scheme to study for a term or a year at prestigious universities in 25 countries and regions. It is expected that many more CUHK students will be able to benefit from this scheme.
The Yasumoto International Academic Park, targetted for completion in 2012, will be a significant landmark on the CUHK campus. Within the park will be environmentally friendly and state-of-the-art academic spaces such as lecture theatres, classrooms and offices, an International Cultural Exchange Centre complete with an Exhibition Gallery, and open spaces for student activities such as cultural festivals, shows and fairs, all embedded in a beautifully designed landscape. The park will serve as a forum where international and local students congregate, bond and share their dreams, aspirations and world vision.