From the time of its establishment as Lingnan College until its renaming as Lingnan University, and as its founding organisation and ultimate operator, LEO provided the institution with the necessary resources for continuous improvement.
Lingnan College first obtained the recognition as a registered post-secondary institution in Hong Kong in 1978. The College was highly commended in 1987 for its academic standards in a thorough institutional review conducted by the United Kingdom Council for National Academic Awards. Subvention from the Government therefore increased from the following year, with plan presented for having Lingnan College to become a member of the former University and Polytechnic Grants Committee (now University Grants Committee) with the capability to offer degree programs.
Hong Kong Council of Academic Accreditation conducted another review in 1991, affirming Lingnan College to officially become a degree-conferring institution in Hong Kong. Lingnan College Ordinance was officially enacted in July 1992. On 8th September 1998, the College attained self-accreditation status and was retitled as Lingnan University on 30 July 1999.