With over 30 years of experience in higher education, Dr Laura Lo is a visionary leader who has made remarkable contributions to education and youth development in Hong Kong and Mainland China. She was appointed Associate Vice President (Institutional Advancement) and Director of Institutional Advancement of PolyU in September 2023. Before rejoining PolyU, she worked as a member of management at a tertiary institution, focusing on mainland affairs and entrepreneurship. Prior to that, Dr Lo held a 26-year-long career at PolyU. With her wealth of experience and deep familiarity with PolyU, Dr Lo is uniquely equipped to drive institutional advancement at PolyU to the next level.

You have deep roots at PolyU, having previously served as Director of Chinese Mainland Affairs for many years. What inspired you to return to PolyU, and how has the University changed since you were last here?

"PolyU is vibrant and ready to grow even further" – this is the feeling I got from PolyU and what attracted me to come back. In the few years since I left PolyU in 2019, the University has, encouragingly, made new strides. For example, the opening of the Main Entrance and the University Square has made the campus a beautiful and vibrant place. In addition, PolyU's management team has a strong sense of unity and cohesion; although we are in different positions, we share common goals and work together with consensus and effectiveness. At the same time, I am glad to see many of my old colleagues and friends again, as well as many outstanding scholars joining PolyU, injecting new energy into the University. PolyU has undergone a period of change, steady development and is poised to further excel; I hope I can contribute to the University’s continued advancement.


As the Associate Vice President (Institutional Advancement) and Director of Institutional Advancement of PolyU, how do you plan to enhance institutional advancement and solicit donations for the University? What are the main goals you hope to fulfill during your tenure?

With a long history and solid foundation, PolyU has established strong ties with the business community. I hope that we can further consolidate our friendly ties with various sectors, so that they will continue to understand and care about the University's development, and thus provide more support for PolyU. As I had worked at PolyU for a long time, I am well aware of its development, which will help me greatly in explaining to supporters in various sectors the University's achievements in teaching and research.


We also need to expand our network of supporters, not only local but also Mainland benefactors; not only individuals but also organisations, and I hope that they will become a new force of support for PolyU. I also hope to work with my colleagues to promote a culture of philanthropy among alumni and encourage them to support the long-term development of their alma mater.


In addition, I have noticed that the new generation of philanthropists and supporting organisations not only donate to the University's endowed schemes, but also place more emphasis on “collaborate”, “co-develop”, “co-nurture” – joining hands with PolyU for projects and activities that have an impact and significance to the community. PolyU has many education and research projects that benefit the community, I hope to foster more win-win collaborations.


Given your extensive connections and in-depth knowledge of Mainland affairs, how would you further strengthen industrial partnerships and promote innovation and entrepreneurship?

Dr Lo serves as the Vice President of the Hong Kong Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology and a member of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of CPPCC,making dedicated efforts to education and youth development.

Dr Lo serves as the Vice President of the Hong Kong Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology and a member of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of CPPCC, making dedicated efforts to education and youth development.

I have been in close contact with the business sector and also led large-scale innovation and entrepreneurship projects, having nurtured more than 600 startups, and often matched Hong Kong startups with Mainland enterprises and venture capital experts. In addition, over the years, I have been involved in Mainland development work, such as assisting PolyU in setting up six bases in different parts of the Mainland, serving as a member of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) since 2021, and being the Vice President of the Hong Kong Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology. I have put forward a number of proposals to promote technological collaboration between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. All these will help promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

Outside of work, you have been actively involved in community service and have been volunteering with the Scout Association of Hong Kong since 1992, serving now as its Assistant Chief Commissioner (Mainland Affairs). What motivates you to serve the community?

Young people are the future of our society. I am passionate about nurturing young people and have learnt a lot from my work in scouting, for example, I have learnt how to communicate with young people, and being in contact with the younger generation makes me younger and more energetic! I have also learnt about organising large-scale activities, built up the spirit of perseverance and enhanced my leadership skills. For example, we helped volunteers derive a sense of achievement from their service, and when they were not doing a good job, we found ways to coach them rather than blaming them. These experiences can be applied to my daily work.


Based on your own life experience, what words of encouragement do you have for young people?

Do your best and have no regrets. Start off with a positive mindset, then move towards your goal step by step; there is no limit to what lies ahead. As long as you have tried your best, there is no need for any regrets; just accept whatever results you get with peace of mind.


How do you achieve work-life balance, and are there any hobbies that you particularly enjoy?

I love all my work and community service, and I enjoy being in nature, hiking, running marathons. Be it going to work, being a Scout or organising events, I take pleasure in doing them.