Professor Judy Tsui cautiously concedes that it can sometimes be difficult to fit everything in, but then she is juggling more responsibilities than most people would dare even contemplate.
As vice-president for international and executive education, and director of the graduate school of business at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), Tsui is one of the city’s foremost academics, organising and teaching elite courses, while also shaping policy. and plans for expansion.
Besides that, she sits on government committees related to grants, broadcasting and economic co-operation, acts as visiting professor at several mainland universities, is a non-executive director for CLP Power Holdings and China Vanke, and helps edit the Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics.
“At the end of the day, “I’m happy working so hard,” says Tsui, who first qualified as an accountant before switching to teach at the then-new Hang Seng School of Commerce in the early 1980s. “There are pressures and the travelling can certainly take a toll, but I feel I’m able to make a difference sharing what I’ve learned as an academic and hope my three children have also learned my work ethic.”
When things seem particularly hectic, Tsui is apt to recall her own mother’s oft-repeated advice. Essentially, that was to realise you never lose out by doing more. You only gain through involvement in different areas and enterprises and should not be too short-term or calculating in your approach.
It is an outlook and mentality she tries fervently to instil in students, whatever their level, background or choice of course. Her firm belief is that motivation and enthusiasm to learn can take anyone a long way in life. And what still gives her a real sense of pride and fulfilment are the stories of alumni who have taken the chances that education offers, transformed themselves, and gone on to build successful professional careers. “I want students to have that hunger to learn, not a complacent attitude,” she says. “We exist in a dynamic world where you must have an open mind and be able to process information into knowledge. Our young people must continue to be bi-literate and tri-lingual, but I also want them to exercise individual judgement judgment.” and not