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Speech by Prof. Thomas Wong Kwok Shing, Acting President


First of all, welcome to the Fourth Graduation Ceremony!

Some time ago, I overheard a conversation between a little boy and his grandma. The boy asked, “Is the heaven higher than the Space?” The grandma paused and laughed. Then she said, “We can’t see the heaven. Therefore, it must be higher than the Space.” The boy appeared very puzzled and said, “But Mom told me we don’t know the boundary of the Space!” Then the conversation ended with absolute silence.

To the little boy, everything is a physical object and has dimensions. We should not be surprised by his question. Children by and large are genuine and keen to learn. They are driven by their curiosity. They often attempt to relate one thing to another. We must give very precise answers to their questions. They learn by experiencing.

By experiencing, I mean thinking, knowing, learning, perceiving, feeling, speaking and doing. Originally, the mind and nature of children are crystal clear and bright. It is through experiencing that they begin to change. Similar to other children, the little boy above will be going to schools, playing with his friends and growing up in his family. All these experiences will produce cumulative change in some parts of the children’s mind and nature but not all. In other words, the process of cumulative change combines elements of continuity with elements of change. Many parts of the children’s mind and nature are preserved for extended periods while new parts are added and other parts are either replaced or transformed. I am sure you would agree with me that the experience of the little boy is not a single or isolated incidence. As time goes by, the children’s mind and nature would be tarnished or covered by countless disruptive thoughts and obstructive ideas.

It is exactly for this reason that Hong Kong Nang Yan College of Higher Education continues to offer education opportunity to young people in Hong Kong. The College motto, ‘Understand the Mind and See the Nature’ precisely describes what we believe, think and do. It is the guiding principle for our programme development as well as for student learning. We determine to provide opportunities for students to experience thinking, knowing, learning, perceiving, feeling, speaking and doing so as to recover their crystal mind and nature.

A school will not flourish without the support of its alumni. Although Hong Kong Nang Yan College of Higher Education is young, education provided by The Hong Kong Buddhist Sangha Association is not. It is over 50 years. We have a sizable group of alumni and some of them are keen to get connected with the College. We commit ourselves to strengthen the interaction between alumni and College. We will invite them to participate in College activities such as participation in committees, mentoring and coaching students and fund raising. Rome wasn’t built in a day. It is never too late to start something that we are passionate about. I would therefore take this opportunity to invite our graduates who are present here today or in absentia to respond positively to this initiative. Together we will make Hong Kong Nang Yan College of Higher Education a great learning hub.

Every end has a new beginning. I congratulate you all for having successfully completed your study. Many of you have already turned your page to a new chapter. What’s in front of you is not only challenging, but mysterious. We did not give you the crystal ball to see the future. We gave you back your force, that is, your mind and nature instead.

I wish you all the very best in your new chapter!



  Prof. Thomas Wong Kwok Shing, Acting President


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