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EdUHK to Confer Honorary Doctorates on Distinguished Individuals

EdUHK to Confer Honorary Doctorates on Distinguished Individuals

EdUHK to Confer Honorary Doctorates on Distinguished Individuals

The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) will confer its honorary doctorates on five distinguished individuals at the Congregation on 17 November 2017 (Friday) (in alphabetical order):


  • Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, GBS, JP
  • Dr Rita Fan-Hsu Lai-tai, GBM, GBS, JP
  • Professor Andy Hargreaves
  • Dr Thomas Leung Kwok-fai, BBS, JP
  • Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh

Officiating at the ceremony will be EdUHK’s Council Chairman Professor Frederick Ma Si-hang. The five recipients have made significant contributions in their respective fields in advancing education and contributing to social progress.

Since Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh cannot attend the Congregation in Hong Kong, a presentation ceremony was held today (29 August) in Thailand where he is staying. During the ceremony, Professor John Lee Chi-kin, Vice President (Academic) of EdUHK presented to Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh the honorary degree certificate and academic gown on behalf of the University.

The followings are the biographical notes of the five recipients:

Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, GBS, JP
~ Doctor of Education, honoris causa


 From 2008 to 2012, Professor Anthony Cheung was President of The Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd), the predecessor of EdUHK. Under his outstanding leadership, the Institute not only made remarkable progress in learning and teaching, but also significantly enhanced its research and scholarship capacity by appointing renowned scholars to newly created Chair Professor positions and establishing the Graduate School.


During his tenure, Professor Cheung also successfully secured the support of the University Grants Committee and the Education Bureau for expanding research and teaching programmes into discipline areas complementary to education. In particular, the “Education-plus” vision, which he initiated and promoted, provided a clear direction for HKIEd to grow and thrive on its transformation path, as evidenced by its rise in international university subject rankings and impressive research performance over the years. His contributions had laid a solid foundation for the Institute’s successful retitling in May 2016.


Professor Cheung graduated from The University of Hong Kong in 1974 with a Bachelor degree in Sociology and Economics. He later obtained a MSc in Public Sector Management from the University of Aston, the UK, and PhD in Government from the London School of Economics and Political Science, the UK. Last year, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science by Aston University.


Professor Cheung joined the civil service in the 1970s. In 1986, he commenced his academic career in the Department of Public and Social Administration of City University of Hong Kong (then City Polytechnic of Hong Kong), where he subsequently became Professor and Head of Department.


Professor Cheung’s research focused on governance and public administration, producing over 100 journal articles and book chapters, as well as several authored or edited books. He co-founded the Asian Association of Public Administration in 2010 and had been its president.  


Professor Cheung has been active in community and public service, having held major positions including: Non-Official Member of the Executive Council (2005-2012); Chairman of the Consumer Council (2007-2012); Member of the Legislative Council and Chairman of its Education Panel (1995-1997).   


Professor Cheung was Secretary for Transport and Housing and Chairman of the Housing Authority from July 2012 to June 2017.

Dr Rita Fan-Hsu Lai-tai, GBM, GBS, JP
~ Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa


 Dr Rita Fan was the first President of the Legislative Council after Hong Kong’s reunification with China. She was also the first woman to hold the position and has been the longest-serving incumbent, making her a household name among the Hong Kong people.


After graduating from St. Stephen's Girls' College, Dr Fan obtained a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Social Sciences degree from The University of Hong Kong. She started as a careers counsellor at the University and joined the Hong Kong Polytechnic (predecessor of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University) in the 1970s, where she later became an Associate Director.


In the late 1980s, Dr Fan served as Chairman of the Board of Education and from 1990 to 1992 Chairman of the Education Commission. Her profound contribution to education is best illustrated through the publication of the Education Commission’s Number 5 report, which led to the recommendation of the amalgamation of the former four Colleges of Education and the Institute of Language in Education, as well as the birth of HKIEd in 1994.


Dr Fan was first appointed as a member of Legislative Council in 1983 by Sir Edward Youde, the then Governor of Hong Kong, before becoming a member of the Executive Council in 1989. In the 1990s, she was a member of the Preliminary Working Committee for the Hong Kong SAR and then the Preparatory Committee for the HKSAR. In 1997, Dr Fan was elected President of the Provisional Legislative Council. Currently, she is a member of the Standing Committee of the Twelfth National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China.


Among her roles outside the political field, Dr Fan is Patron of the Hong Kong Transplant Sports Association and Honorary President of the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation. In recognition of her contribution to public service, Dr Fan has been awarded honorary doctorates from the China University of Political Science and Law, City University of Hong Kong, The University of Hong Kong and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She was also awarded a Gold Bauhinia Star and a Grand Bauhinia Medal.

Professor Andy Hargreaves
~ Doctor of Education, honoris causa


Professor Andy Hargreaves is a leading authority in the fields of teacher development and educational change. He is the Brennan Chair in Education at the Lynch School of Education in Boston College, Distinguished Visiting Professor at The University of Hong Kong, President of the International Congress of School Effectiveness and Improvement, Founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Professional Capital and Community, and Adviser in Education to both the Premier of Ontario and the First Minister of Scotland. He was also the Co-founder and Co-director of the International Centre for Educational Change at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. He has taught in primary schools and lectured in several English universities, including Oxford, and has been awarded visiting professorships in the US, Canada, the UK and Sweden, among others.


Professor Hargreaves graduated from the University of Leeds with a PhD in Sociology. His research interests include Comparative and International Education, the Social Context of Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, Whole-Person Education, Teacher Learning, and Educational Change. He has made foundational, theoretical and empirical contributions to the understanding of teaching and teacher development – including the emotions of teaching, and the importance of sustainable and uplifting leadership. Professor Hargreaves has received numerous outstanding book and academic awards, including the 2010 Contribution to the Field Award from Learning Forward, and received an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University, Sweden in 2010.


Professor Hargreaves has authored or edited over 30 books and has also been recognised by outstanding writing awards in the US, including the 2015 Grawemeyer Award in Education for Professional Capital (with Michael Fullan), and awards from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the American Educational Research Association, the American Libraries Association, and the International Leadership Association. He was honoured with the 2016 Horace Mann Award in the US and the Robert Owen Award in Scotland for service to public education. In 2015, Boston College bestowed upon him its Excellence in Teaching with Technology Award. The same year, he was ranked by Education Week among the top 10 scholars with the most influence on the US education policy debate.

Dr Thomas Leung Kwok-fai, BBS, JP
~ Doctor of Education, honoris causa


 Dr Thomas Leung was the Council Chairman of HKIEd (the predecessor of EdUHK) from 2003 to 2009. He served on HKIEd’s Council since its establishment in 1994 as a member and from 1994-2002 as Deputy Chairman.


Prior to his formal appointment to the Council of HKIEd in 1994, Dr Leung was a member of the Provisional Council of HKIEd, contributing his expertise and experiences to the setting up of a brand-new teacher education institution.


Under Dr Leung’s leadership, HKIEd formulated its Development Blueprint in mid-2007, which formed the basis of the Institute’s quest for university status. He also chaired the Search Committee for the President in 2007, which recommended to the Council in 2008 the appointment of Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung as the new President.


Dr Leung holds a PhD in Business Administration from the University of Illinois. From 1988 to 1994, he was the Chief Executive, Asia, for Hay Group, one of the world’s leading management consulting firms. Dr Leung is an expert in business strategy, organisation and leadership development, and has been appointed to significant positions in many public organisations and committees by the government. Among many others, from 1992 to 1994, Dr Leung served on the Central Policy Unit of the Hong Kong government and was a Member of the Public Service Commission, the Independent Commission on Remuneration for Members of the Executive Council and the Legislative Council of the HKSAR, and the Barristers’ Disciplinary Tribunal Panel. In 2001, he was a Member of Higher Education Review Steering Committee, commissioned by Education and Manpower Bureau. He was also the Council Member of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Hong Kong Baptist University.


Dr Leung has over 35 years of experience in management consultancy and a distinguished career in advising governments, major Asian conglomerates and multinationals. In 1995, he founded Vision In Business Consulting Ltd., a consultancy company where he conducted extensive projects for many large organisations in Hong Kong and the Asia region, including MTRC, OOCL, Sun Microsystems and Mitsubishi Corporation. His main focus now is in helping organisations develop future leaders, from young potentials to future CEOs.

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh
~ Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa


A leading Buddhist monk, spiritual leader and peace activist, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is deeply respected across religions and admired throughout the world for his powerful teachings and thought-provoking writings on mindfulness, meditation and peace. For more than seven decades, Master Nhat Hanh has dedicated his life to work on inner transformation for the benefit of individuals and society, and is a pioneer in bringing Buddhism to the West.


 In 1960s, Master Nhat Hanh founded the “Engaged Buddhism” movement to help victims and advocate for peace and compassion during the Vietnam War. Regarded by Martin Luther King as “An Apostle of Peace and Non-violence”, he was nominated by Dr King for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967.


 Master Nhat Hanh has published over 100 titles on meditation, mindfulness, engaged Buddhism and other topics. In addition to developing mindfulness training and conducting Buddhist teachings at various universities, Master Nhat Hanh served as a lecturer and researcher in Buddhism at the University of Sorbonne, Paris, in the 1970s.


 In 1975, Master Nhat Hanh established the Sweet Potato community near Paris, and in 1982, it moved to a much larger site in the southwest of France, which soon became known as “Plum Village”, now the West’s largest and most active Buddhist monastery.


 In 2003 and 2011, Master Nhat Hanh was invited to speak to the US Congress, and in 2012 to the House of Lords in the UK and the Irish Parliament. Days of Mindfulness for educators, staff members and students were held on the campus of HKIEd in 2007, 2010 and 2013. Since 2007, the Plum Village Mindfulness Practice Centre and now Plum Village Mindfulness Academy, has partnered with EdUHK’s Centre for Religious and Spirituality Education to launch a Day of Mindfulness on a regular basis, providing help to individuals of all religious backgrounds.


 Master Nhat Hanh received honorary doctorates from Long Island University in 2001, the University of Massachusetts in 2010, and The University of Hong Kong in 2014, among others. In 2015, he received the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award.