Arthur Li

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Li.
The Honourable
Arthur Li Kwok-cheung
Arthur Li Kwok-cheung (left)
Vice-Chancellor of Chinese University of Hong Kong
In office
Chancellor Lord Patten of Barnes
Tung Chee-hwa
Preceded by Charles Kao
Succeeded by Ambrose King
Secretary for Education and Manpower
In office
Preceded by Fanny Law
Succeeded by Michael Suen
Personal details
Born (1945-06-27) 27 June 1945 (age 70)
Spouse(s) Diana Chester; 2 children
Relations Pui-choy Li (great grandfather)
Fook-shui Li (father)
Tze-ha Wu (mother)
David Li (brother)
Athena Li (granddaughter)
Arthur Li
Traditional Chinese 李國章
Simplified Chinese 李国章

Arthur Li Kwok-cheung GBS JP (born 27 June 1945) is a member of the Executive Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and was Secretary for Education and Manpower from August 2002 to June 2007. He is the grandson of the co-founder of the Bank of East Asia, Li Koon-chun, and brother of its current chairman, David Li.

Life and career[edit]

An alumnus of St. Paul's Co-educational College[citation needed] and a classmate of Professor Lawrence J. Lau, Li received his medical training at the University of Cambridge. He was subsequently trained at Middlesex Hospital Medical School and Harvard Medical School, before returning to Hong Kong to become the founding chairman of the Department of Surgery and Dean of Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.[citation needed]

Li's tenure as Secretary for Education and Manpower was marked by an era of education reforms that included the School-Based Management Policy. Since 2000, the Education and Manpower Bureau has implemented a number of mandates, including having teachers spend more time with students outside the classroom, adding exams for subjects such as English and history, and ordering that teachers take benchmark assessments to prove their language abilities. Li ostensibly retired from public service in 2007.

In the role, he caused controversy by proposing mergers first between Chinese University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and later between Chinese University and the Hong Kong Institute of Education.[1]

Li's appointment by CY Leung to the governing board of the University of Hong Kong in 2015 met with strong criticism from staff, a poll shows most of them have little to no confidence in him will uphold academic freedom,[2][3] and his generally hostile attitude[4] and criticism toward university staff only exacerbated the problem further.[5] [6]

Six months later, when it became known that Li was likely to take over the chairmanship of the Council upon the expiry of the term of Edward Leong on 6 November, there was further strong opposition, with 87 percent of members of HKU Academic Staff Association and almost three-quarters of members of the Professional Teachers Union opposed,[1] due to his stance during the University of Hong Kong pro-vice-chancellor selection controversy.


His leadership style has seen him being referred to as "King Arthur" or even "the Tsar".[7]

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Diana Chester, a registered nurse and graduate of New Hall College, Cambridge University who died in 2013. He has two sons.


Before his appointment, Li was Vice-Chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), as well as:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b University of Hong Kong alumni vow action to stop ex-minister Arthur Li taking over as chairman of ruling council, SCMP, 25 Oct 2015
  2. ^ Arthur Li made a HKU council member, RTHK, 21 March 2015
  3. ^ Most HKU staff have no confidence in Arthur Li, poll shows, EJ Insight, 23 April 2015
  4. ^ "昨晚政府刊憲委任一向仇視港大的李國章做校委會主席,引起港大校友和師生不滿。" 多名校委不滿李國章入主港大 陳祖為批政府一意孤行[1]
  5. ^ "Li had weeks earlier blamed the drop in international ranking of local universities on "academics who would rather appear in talk shows than do their job of teaching" Most HKU staff have no confidence in Arthur Li, poll shows, EJ Insight, 23 April 2015
  6. ^ For example, upon appointment he promptly criticised HKU professors for having "become intellectually incompetent".HKU Professors Insulted, South China Morning Post, 6 April 2015
  7. ^ "'King' Arthur Li tipped as Hong Kong's next chief executive". South China Morning Post. 22 February 2015. 

External links[edit]

Quotations related to Arthur Li at Wikiquote

Political offices
Preceded by
Matthew Cheung
as Director of Education
Secretary for Education and Manpower
Succeeded by
Michael Suen
as Secretary for Education
Preceded by
Fanny Law
Academic offices
Preceded by
Charles K. Kao
Vice-Chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong
Succeeded by
Ambrose King
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Raymond Tam
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs
Hong Kong order of precedence
Non-official member of the Executive Council
Succeeded by
Andrew Liao
Non-official member of the Executive Council