"The highlight of the discussion was the update from Sir Ivor and William on the many new developments taking place at Univ. It was certainly a proud feeling for all of us to know that Univ continues to innovate in many different areas.'
Kamni Bharwani (1997, PPE)
The Master and William Roth, Director of Development and Fellow, visited Singapore and Hong Kong in July. A Dinner for Old Members took place at the Shanghai Jade Restaurant, Hong Kong on 8th July. Kamni Bharwani (1997, PPE) has kindly provided the following report:
'On July 8th, 2016, Univ’s Hong Kong Old Members gathered to enjoy an intimate dinner and discussion with Master, Sir Ivor Crewe and Development Director and Fellow, William Roth at Shanghai Jade restaurant at One Exchange Square, Hong Kong.
Given the hot and humid conditions that are familiar during Hong Kong summers, the evening got off to an appropriately chilled start, with an informal cocktail hour and chit chat. This was followed by a Shanghainese banquet style dinner which included all the favourite delicacies from dumplings to duck. Sincere thanks to David Fu (1984, Engineering) for generously hosting the dinner and to Gigi Woo (1992, Law) for so graciously coordinating all the details.
With a diverse group of Old Members having read a range of subjects from Engineering to Law, and PPE to Biochemistry, the conversation was lively and included some of the topical issues in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom including parenting, property and politics. A special mention must go to our youngest attendee, a two-month old baby, the daughter of one of our Old Members, who was listening attentively to all the discussions, occasionally cooing in agreement.
The highlight of the discussion was the update from Sir Ivor and William on the many new developments taking place at Univ. The most visible is of course the refurbishment of the Goodhart buildings to include ‘hotel-style’ ensuite accommodation. Those of us with memories of queuing up for a shower at Goodhart on a cold winters morning were certainly feeling envious of the new batch of Univ students who will enjoy this! Other enhancements to College life were especially heartening, especially the focus on student support by offering onsite accommodation to final year students and the increasing focus on issues of mental health and counselling. Especially innovative was the College’s new initiative to increase the breadth of student admissions from disadvantaged backgrounds by creating extra undergraduate places and offering summer bridging programs to assist these students with the academic transition to Oxford life. From a long term financial management perspective, the news that the Univ endowment had been the first college to issue a bond was very encouraging. It was certainly a proud feeling for all of us to know that Univ continues to innovate in many different areas.
With the Brexit verdict just hot off the press, the group was eager to hear what the Master had to say about its implications for Oxford University. He shared that the decision was certainly a disappointing one for the University and outlined the areas that may be potentially impacted including, faculty, funding, and student applications from EU countries in the coming years.
The evening ended with the Master informing us that his next stop was to Mainland China, with a train ride across the border to Shenzhen planned for the next day.
We hope that the dynamic Asian region will continue to provide many opportunities for Univ to explore, and look forward to welcome Sir Ivor and William back to Hong Kong again soon.'