High hopes on vets' school

City talk | Siu Sai-wo 27 Aug 2018

Recruitment of Diploma of Secondary Education students by the universities has ended. As applicant numbers have dropped, even some of the most popular programs have to employ various measures to maintain enrollment levels.

Regardless, the medical schools at both the University of Hong Kong and Chinese University continued to attract a large number of applicants, as medicine remains the most sought-after discipline.

Meanwhile, the City University received the good news that its vets' school, which has been operating for a few years now, might get government subsidy at last.

I wonder if the program will become one of the most popular ones if it is publicly funded.

CityU is having high expectations for its vets' school, especially president Guo Way, who has been trying hard to get public funding for it for many years.

Guo started to drive the establishment of this program shortly after he joined CityU in 2008, and enlisted the prestigious College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in the US as partner.

But the vets' school's development has not been exactly smooth, having its request for funding rejected more than once.

Guo had surmised that it was probably because some thought another university was more suitable for a vets' program, or that other institutions had wanted to do this earlier than CityU.

Guo saw a bright future in this discipline, especially as the source of many infectious diseases can be traced to animals, so he did not give up and went ahead and started a self-financed vets' program with the support of then-council chairman Herman Hu Shao-ming.

Though present students in the program do not get a subsidy, it is not difficult for them to obtain scholarships as there is community support.

And if a government subsidy is forthcoming, it would smooth the road of the vets' school's future development, lighten the university's financial burden and help the program take in more top students.

Siu Sai-wo is publisher of Sing Tao Daily

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