Prof. Poon Chung-kwong, President Emeritus of PolyU, shared his inspiring insights with hundreds of young people at the Jockey Club Auditorium in mid-September on how to pursue knowledge and build effective self-cultivation practices in our rapidly changing world.


Prof. Poon said that while university education focuses on the promotion of student knowledge and professional qualities, the cultivation of morals and values are equally crucial to whole-person education.


“Whether a person's knowledge will do good or harm to society is determined by their moral cultivation,” Prof. Poon said.


“A person with knowledge but no self-cultivation is likely to harm the world and themselves, while a person with cultivation but no knowledge will find it difficult to cope with rapid societal change, and is thus incapable of helping others. The ultimate goal of education is to nurture both students’ knowledge and self-cultivation, which is the basis for promoting harmonious social development,” he said.


Based on his extensive experience, Prof. Poon discussed the methods and practices of exploring knowledge, and examined the three dimensions in realising self-cultivation, namely moral persistence, attitude towards others and problem-solving skills.


Prof. Jin-Guang Teng, President of PolyU, praised Prof. Poon for his devotion to the cause of education and advocacy of the integration of knowledge and morals in education to serve society.


“With years of experience, reflection and practice, Prof. Poon has unique and profound insights into how young people can grasp knowledge and self-cultivation. The valuable insights shared by Prof. Poon today will definitely benefit PolyU students, staff, alumni and other audiences,” Prof. Teng said.


The public lecture is among the signature events to mark the 85th Anniversary of PolyU. Mr Eric Chan Kwok-ki, Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, also attended Prof. Poon’s public lecture.


“During the 18 years of his leadership, Prof. Poon successfully steered the then Hong Kong Polytechnic to become The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 1994, laying a solid foundation for the development of teaching and research as well as achieving international recognition for PolyU,” Mr Chan said.


“Over the years, PolyU has nurtured talents with both knowledge and self-cultivation in different fields and professions for the benefit of Hong Kong, the Nation and the world,” he added.