Sir David Akers-Jones

The staff, students and alumni of the University of Kent would like to express their deepest condolences at the recent passing of Sir David Akers-Jones, one of Kent’s most prestigious and important alumni.

During his long career, Sir David Akers-Jones served in many important posts in the Government of Hong Kong. He was the Chief Secretary of Hong Kong from 1985 to 1987, and was also Acting Governor of Hong Kong.

In the years leading up to the return of sovereignty from the UK to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1997, Akers-Jones was appointed as an Advisor on Hong Kong Issues to the Government of the PRC from 1993 to 1997.

Sir David started his studies at the University of Kent in 1966, the year following the University’s inauguration. In recognition of his outstanding achievements, Sir David received an honorary Doctor of Civil Law from the University in 1987, and continued to play a very active role in the Hong Kong Alumni Association.

Sir David’s support of the University was both longstanding and far-reaching and included the foundation of the Sir David Akers-Jones Hong Kong and China Fund in 2010, designed to support students wishing to study at one of Kent’s partner institutions, or to undertake a work placement, in Hong Kong or mainland China.

We feel immensely proud to have had the opportunity to benefit from Sir David’s broad experience, wisdom and generosity over the last 6 decades and we remain committed to continuing to support the important work in internationalisation between the UK, China and Hong which Sir David was so invested in.

Comments from current and former staff, students and alumni of the University further acknowledge the influence that Sir David’s support of the University has had:

“Sir David has made an immense contribution to the University of Kent over the years and we are extremely grateful for his enduring support of our internationalisation and Engagement activities.”
David Nightingale
Deputy Vice Chancellor Engagement
University of Kent

“I first met Sir David in 1966 at the University of Kent when I was an undergraduate during which time Sir David was sponsored by the Hong Kong Government to undertake a post graduate study on local government reform.

Upon his return, Sir David continued to serve the Hong Kong Government and its people with a wide spectrum of duties.  His love of Hong Kong was well demonstrated by his decision to choose Hong Kong as his permanent home.

We are honoured to have Sir David serving as the Honorary Advisor to the University of Kent Alumni in Hong Kong.  His wisdom and mentorship have benefited many Kent graduates who had chosen to pursue their career in Hong Kong.

Sir David will long be remembered as a true friend of Hong Kong.  We are most proud to have known him and his inspiration will be sadly missed.”
Founding Member and former President of the University of Kent Alumni (HK) Association
Honorary Doctor of Civil Law (Kent 1997)

“I remember with great fondness the conversations I enjoyed with Sir David in Hong Kong when I was Pro Vice Chancellor External at the University of Kent. A public servant of the highest calibre and a loyal friend to Hong Kong over many decades, he was a mentor and benefactor to many young people and a great champion of the University. He will be sadly missed.”
Professor Alexandra Hughes
Deputy Vice Chancellor Global Engagement
University of Westminster

“Sir David was one of the University’s first students and a long-standing supporter and friend of Kent. Sir David’s wise counsel and his commitment to the University was hugely appreciated by staff, students and alumni alike and he will be greatly missed by all of us who had the pleasure of working with him.”
Fiona Jones
Director of Recruitment & Admissions, Faculty of Humanities

“I was very sad to hear the news of the passing of Sir David Akers-Jones. I really appreciate the opportunity to be able to receive the scholarship provided by Sir David, which has undeniably supported me throughout my studies in Hong Kong.”
Nikolay Vorobyev
University of Kent student and Sir David Akers-Jones scholarship recipient

By Dr Anthony Manning: Dean for Internationalisation