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Press Release 

  The OUHK Honours Four Distinguished Persons 23/09/2002

The Open University of Hong Kong will confer honorary doctorates on Prof. Otto Peters, Dr. Fong Yun-wah, Ms. Josephine Siao Fong-fong and Dr. Victor Fung Kwok-king at its 11th Congregation on 11 December 2002.

Prof. Otto Peters will receive the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa . An eminent German scholar , he has underpinned the theoretical foundation for distance education with solid research findings. He points out that teaching and learning are highly industrialized in distance learning, where teaching materials can be mass produced, and used by a large number of students, thus increase learning opportunities substantially.

Prof. Peters was born and educated in Berlin. After the Second World War, he studied for his first degree at Free University while working as a teacher. A few years after his graduation in 1960, he was appointed as Secretary to the Educational Centre of Berlin and subsequently became deputy director of its department for the methodology of teaching. He later joined the University of Tubingen and took charge of the division of Comparative Distance Education. He earned a doctor's degree from the same university in 1972. Two years later, he was appointed as Founding Rector of the FernUniversitat in Hagen and led its development for nearly ten years. He is now professor emeritus of the University.

Prof. Peters has received honorary doctoral degrees from the Open University of the United Kingdom, Deakin University of Australia and the Empire State College of New York. He had served as Vice-President of the International Council for Open and Distance Education for eight years.

Dr. Fong Yun-wah, Chairman and Managing Director of Hip Shing Hong Group of companies, will be conferred the degree of Doctor of Social Science, honoris causa .

Dr. Fong is a prominent businessman and philanthropist in the local community. For half a century, he has set aside annually portions of his business profits and made donations through the Fong Shu Fook Tong Foundation and the Fong's Family Foundation. He has supported more than 140 educational projects in Hong Kong and Mainland China, ranging from university facilities to primary schools in remote border areas. Dr. Fong is also concerned about social welfare and health and had served as Chairman of Po Leung Kuk, Principal Director of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, Vice Patron of Hong Kong Childhealth Foundation and Trustee of the Wildlife Fund for Nature.

Dr. Fong's generosity and devotion in education and people development has won him much respect and recognition worldwide. He is an honorary citizen of a number of cities in China, the United States and Canada. In recognition of his remarkable contribution to education, technology, welfare and charities, the Chinese Academy of Sciences has named an asteroid after him. He was named one of the ten Champions for Charities in China in 1997 and presented the Award for Outstanding Contribution in Education by the Peking University in 1998. The Hong Kong SAR government also conferred a Silver Bauhinia Medal on him in 2000.

Ms. Josephine Siao Fong-fong will receive the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa . Since her debut in film at the age of six, Ms. Siao has starred in more than 200 movies. With her multi-talents and exceptional performance, she is held in great esteem and affection by the Hong Kong audience. In her screen career which has spanned nearly five decades, Ms. Siao strives for perfection and has won numerous acting awards. She achieved international recognition with the film "Summer Snow" (1995) which won her the best actress awards in Berlin Film Festival and Golden Horse Film Festival. 

Behind the spotlight, Ms. Siao is an aspiring learner. In 1970s, she walked away from her promising career to pursue education in the United States. In three years' time, she completed a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communications and Asian Studies at Seton University. Later in the 90's, after obtaining a Master's degree in child psychology from Regis University, she began working as a counsellor/psychologist at the Queen Mary Hospital.

Ms. Siao has started the End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation with the aim of protecting children from sexual abuse and raising public awareness of the problem. She has taken up the post of Chairman and dedicated herself to fund-raising and public education activities. Ms. Siao had also rendered voluntary service to the Hong Kong Association of the Deaf and the Centre for Child Development of the Hong Kong Baptist University.

Dr. Victor Fung Kwok-king, Chairman of Li & Fung Group of Companies, will receive the degree of Doctor of Business Administration, honoris causa

Dr. Fung was educated in the United States. He obtained his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Doctorate in Business Economics from Harvard University. Following his education, he joined Citibank in New York and later taught at the Harvard Business School for four years. In 1976, Dr. Fung returned to Hong Kong to join his family-owned business Li & Fung Ltd., a Chinese export-trading company, and has successfully transformed it into a Hong Kong-based multinational trading and distribution company with an extensive network of offices in more than 40 countries and an annual turnover of over US$5 billion.

Dr. Fung offers his wealth of business experience and global perspective to public service and has made remarkable contributions to the economic development of Hong Kong. When he was Chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, a post he held for nine years since 1991, he was lauded as one of the most successful trade ambassadors for Hong Kong. He was appointed Chairman of the Airport Authority Hong Kong in 1999. Under his leadership, Hong Kong International Airport has made excellent progress and has been named the World's Best Airport for two consecutive years. He was also named Businessman of the Year in 1995 and Hong Kong Leader of the Year in 1998.

Dr. Fung is currently the Hong Kong Representative on the APEC Business Advisory Council and Chairman of the Council of the University of Hong Kong.

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