Welcome to the thirteenth edition of CUHK in Focus.

It has been a busy month packed with events showcasing CUHK on the local and global stage. I was honoured to join faculty members, government officials and industry partners to officiate at the 2022 CUHK Conference on Financial Technology (FinTech) organised by the Faculty of Engineering on 3 November 2022.The Conference was part of the FinTech Education Series and a satellite event of the Hong Kong FinTech Week 2022.

FinTech plays an important part in shaping Hong Kong’s future economy and is a great example of how our city can connect the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area with the rest of the world. CUHK has much to be proud of in this area. We have world-class research capabilities in computer science and artificial intelligence (AI), and an innovative Business School which is at the forefront of industry engagement. This is a powerful recipe for developing solutions and playing a leadership role in what will be a fundamental area for Hong Kong’s economic transformation while enhancing the city’s status as a leading international financial centre.

Professor Rocky S. Tuan, CUHK Vice-Chancellor and President delivers a welcome speech at the 2022 CUHK Conference on Financial Technology.

AI for the Future

As a civic university, CUHK strives to create a lasting impact on the future in everything we do. AI and computer science have been consistently regarded as jewels in the crown among the University’s impressive array of prestigious subjects, ranked both number one in Hong Kong and global 3rd and 10th respectively by the recently announced U.S. News & World Report Best Global Universities Ranking 2023. Our Faculty of Education is also well recognised for its proud history of nurturing competent and passionate educators to help cultivate the next generation of excellence for Hong Kong. Leveraging our world-leading expertise in AI research and teaching, CUHK launched the Jockey Club AI for the Future Project in 2019 to equip younger generations in Hong Kong with the skills to thrive in tomorrow’s economy by integrating AI literacy into the local secondary school curriculum. The Project recently announced the official commencement of Phase 2, which will see it continue for four more years until 2026, extending the scope of service to 238 local secondary schools, almost half of the total number of secondary schools across the territory. This is an inspiring example of our research and education impacting the lives of thousands of people across society.

The CUHK Jockey Club AI for the Future Project received the Gold Award at The Hong Kong ICT Awards 2021: Smart People (Smart Education and Learning).

We live in an era where AI is not confined to only the world of science fiction or even a tour of Silicon Valley; AI permeates much of our daily lives. Market research forecasts that the global AI industry will grow at an annual rate of 33.6% from 2021 to 2028. We are standing on the brink of the AI-driven Fourth Industrial Revolution. I recently wrote about what AI means for society and how education can play a role, and you are welcome to read my piece here.

Asia Summit on Global Health

I was delighted to attend the Asia Summit on Global Health last week and spoke on the topic of ‘Adding health to ESG: how businesses can impact health equity’, outlining how organisations can improve the health of employees, using CUHK as an example. It was my great honour to deliver a session with Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Director of Institute of Health Equity of University College London, Co-Director of CUHK’s own Institute of Health Equity, and world-renowned social epidemiologist, at this meaningful occasion positioned as Asia’s thought-leadership event on health innovation and investment.

Reunion for good cause

Last week marked a memorable visit of our distinguished alumnus, Professor Sun Dong, JP, Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, to CUHK for a special interview focused on his time at CUHK and his ideas for the research and innovation agenda. Professor Sun pursued his doctoral studies in mechanical and automation engineering at CUHK in the 1990s. Professor Sun was one of the first groups of students selected by the mainland education authorities to pursue doctoral studies in Hong Kong – and he has made remarkable contributions to Hong Kong’s research system in a range of roles since he completed his studies. I was thrilled to exchange ideas with him on how local universities can contribute to our city’s development under the government’s emerging blueprint for innovation and technology.

Professor Tuan (right) welcomes Professor Sun Dong, JP, Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry back on campus.

These few weeks have seen Hong Kong return to the centre of the world stage by successfully hosting a number of international events. The further easing of pandemic restrictions has enabled us to reconnect with the world. As you read this, I will be in Bangkok attending and co-chairing the APEC University Leaders’ Forum 2022. The event gives a great opportunity for leaders of member universities of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) to exchange insights on preparing for (and hopefully preventing) the next pandemic and identifying the partnerships needed to deliver practical solutions to one of the most critical and urgent issues of our time. Taking place against the backdrop of APEC 2022, the Forum is a side event of the APEC CEO Summit, which I will also be joining to connect with industry and government representatives from countries and regions in the Asia Pacific to advocate for the role of universities in shaping a better future for people on all sides of the Pacific Rim.

I look forward to sharing my experiences from Bangkok and other interesting stories with you in our next edition.

Best wishes,

Professor Rocky S. Tuan
Vice-Chancellor and President
The Chinese University of Hong Kong