Sunday Examiner - Saturday, 6 October 2012

Hong Kong (UCAN): Plans by the Society of Jesus to open a liberal arts university in Hong Kong have come up against challenges recently.

The university has been slated to open in 2014, but seven other institutions have tendered for the proposed campus site. In addition, the original plan called for places for 3,000 students, but the government requirement is for 8,000.

Father Michael McFarland, outgoing president of Holy Cross College in Massachusetts, the United States of America, told a gathering of alumni and celebrities during a luncheon on October 6 that the new university would provide students with a holistic approach to their studies, instill critical thinking skills and train future leaders.

In addition to humanities, sciences and social sciences, “religious studies will be a required subject for all students, though this will not be limited to Catholic knowledge,” he said.

The project needs $400 million to get started and fund raising has been ongoing over the last six months, according to a representative from the Jesuits.

They will approach alumni from two Jesuit-run high schools in Hong Kong, as well as local and overseas funding agencies and foundations, to raise the necessary funds.