Welcome to the fourteenth edition of CUHK in Focus.
In memory of Former President Jiang Zemin
The past few days saw our community come together to express our deep condolences to the nation for the loss of Former President of the People’s Republic of China Jiang Zemin, who passed away in Shanghai on 30 November 2022. University members mourned in silence during the memorial service, solemnly held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing and broadcast live across the territory yesterday morning, as a mark of respect to the late President for his enduring contributions to the nation. His outstanding leadership through challenging times brought about comprehensive reforms and the successful implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle, which will be long remembered by the people of Hong Kong.
Fostering global partnerships
My last message was sent to you while I was in Bangkok attending the APEC University Leaders’ Forum, a high profile meeting of the Asia-Pacific’s higher education leaders with collaborators from government and industry to discuss pandemic preparedness and prevention. As a side event of the APEC CEO Summit, the Forum explored opportunities for collaboration across the region in biomedical sciences, discussed the social and cultural determinants of health, and considered the implications of the rampant “infodemic” which too often got in the way of the planet’s collective action against COVID-19.
Universities have an important role to play across all these areas. Our collective experience over the past three years has enabled us to see the importance of partnerships with governments, industry, academia, NGOs and the community working together to offer practical solutions.
I was also recently privileged to participate in the Annual International Forum on Higher Education organised by the China Association of Higher Education in Wuhan from 25 to 27 November 2022. I had the chance to meet virtually with a range of mainland and international higher education leaders to discuss key issues of global education in the post-pandemic world, and to speak specifically about the missions and responsibilities of universities in the new era. CUHK has a proud track record of international education and advancing an ambitious partnership agenda in the mainland.
Graduation season is always one of the most important times of the year. When I think about the CUHK story, our Congregations are often the first things that come to mind. At our 91st Congregation held on 24 November 2022, a total of 531 doctoral degrees, 7,066 master’s degrees and 5,190 bachelor’s degrees were conferred. As I mentioned in my speech, it is my sincerest hope that all CUHK graduates will make good use of what they have learned here and the extraordinary connections they have made, to create positive and lasting impact on society. My best wishes to all graduates in their new adventures ahead!
I would also like to congratulate the five outstanding individuals who were conferred an honorary doctoral degree at the Congregation. The University proudly acknowledged Mr Reinaldo M. Cordeiro (aka Uncle Ray), Professor Hao Ping, Ms Irene Lee Yun-lien, Professor Sir Michael Marmot and Professor Joseph Sung Jao-yiu with the highest honour in recognition of their significant contributions to academic and cultural progress, scientific advancement, the promotion of social well-being, as well as the development of CUHK. We are extremely fortunate to be able to forge stronger bonds with the five honorary graduates by welcoming them into the CUHK family.
Promoting health equity
CUHK was privileged to invite one of our honorary graduates, Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the University College London Institute of Health Equity, Co-Director of the CUHK Institute of Health Equity, and world-renowned social epidemiologist, to give a lecture on social justice and health equity. I was delighted to welcome Professor Marmot back on campus, just a few weeks after our recent virtual co-hosting of a session at the Asia Summit on Global Health organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. In his lecture, Sir Michael presented an insightful comparative analysis of the health inequity issues in major economies and Hong Kong, powerfully illustrating the social determinants of health and that health equity is a matter of social justice. It was an important occasion for our community to benefit from the experience and perspectives of the globally leading scholar in the advancement in public health.
When it comes to the primary factors that constitute the social determinants of health, the disadvantage of ethnic minorities has been a matter of great concern in Hong Kong, a society made up of people of many different backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities. As a socially-responsible institution, CUHK has been a key advocate of health equity and social equality. Recently, with generous funding from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, CUHK’s Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care launched the Jockey Club S.A.T.H. Project for Healthy Families. The project aims to provide culturally appropriate health information for ethnic minorities in Hong Kong, and to enhance their health management. It also promotes connections among ethnic minorities, health professionals and social service providers to achieve its aim of “Sustainability for All, Together for Health (S.A.T.H)”. The project is a prime example of our commitment to generating positive impact on our society.
I look forward to sharing other interesting stories with you in our next edition.
Professor Rocky S. Tuan
Vice-Chancellor and President
The Chinese University of Hong Kong