Welcome to the eighteenth edition of CUHK in Focus.

With the full reopening of borders, recent weeks have seen a bustling flow of travelers between Hong Kong and the mainland. CUHK has also been engaged in a series of meaningful activities with our partners across the border. Following the visit of a delegation from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, led by President Xu Yangsheng, to attend our 60th Anniversary Commencement Ceremony in mid-February, a retreat for the senior management teams of CUHK and CUHK-Shenzhen took place on the Shenzhen campus on 18 and 19 February 2023. It was a long-awaited opportunity for us to reconnect face to face with our colleagues in Shenzhen after three years of closed borders. I was pleased to meet with the leadership team of CUHK-Shenzhen to take stock of what has been a highly successful partnership and discuss strategic directions for important collaborations in the coming years. With CUHK-Shenzhen soon celebrating its 10th anniversary, it is particularly meaningful for the two senior management teams to put our heads together to plan for joint developments under the “One Brand, Two Campuses” framework in emerging areas in education, research, faculty and student exchange, and international outreach.

Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President, CUHK and Chair of Governing Board, CUHK-Shenzhen (right), attended the Spring Media Reception hosted by Professor Xu Yangsheng, President of CUHK-Shenzhen (left).

I was also privileged to participate in a spring media reception hosted by Professor Xu and meet with media representatives based in Guangdong Province. It was a precious occasion for me to provide our mainland media partners with updates about CUHK’s latest developments in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), our recent performance in global university rankings, and the 60th anniversary celebrations. I look forward to welcoming representatives of the mainland press to visit Hong Kong in the coming weeks and months to see for themselves the outcomes of CUHK’s education and research endeavours.

Garnering government support for cross-border partnerships

Last week marked a significant milestone in our integration into national development with the signing of a tripartite agreement between CUHK, CUHK-Shenzhen and the Shenzhen Municipal Government on strengthening partnerships on education, research and technology transfer. The agreement spells out greater support from the Shenzhen Municipal Government for CUHK and CUHK-Shenzhen to further capitalise on our competitive advantages to contribute to the GBA. We were hugely honoured to have the agreement signed at a special ceremony held at the Government House of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, witnessed by Mr Chan Kwok-ki, GBS, IDSM, JP, Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR government, Mr Qin Weizhong, Mayor of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government, Mr Cheuk Wing-hing, JP, Deputy Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR government and Mr Zeng Bai, Member of the Standing Committee of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee.

Professor Rocky Tuan (right on front row), Professor Xu Yangsheng (left on front row) and Ms Zheng Xiuyu, Party Secretary of Education Bureau of the Shenzhen Municipality (centre on front row) sign a tripartite supplementary agreement to strengthen partnerships, witnessed by Mr Chan Kwok-ki, GBS, IDSM, JP, Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR government (3rd from left on back row), Mr Qin Weizhong, Mayor of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government (2nd from left on back row), Mr Cheuk Wing-hing, JP, Deputy Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR government (4th from left on back row) and Mr Zeng Bai, Member of the Standing Committee of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee (1st from left on back row).

As a trailblazer among Hong Kong universities to set foot in the GBA, CUHK has been actively expanding our network in the region through the establishment of a range of education and research platforms, with CUHK-Shenzhen being a very successful case in point. Since its founding in 2014, the institution has grown from strength to strength, with notable contributions to the national development widely acclaimed by the Ministry of Education, the People’s Government of Guangdong Province, as well as the HKSAR government. CUHK-Shenzhen is the university with the highest Gaokao admission scores in Guangdong Province and the top Chinese-foreign cooperative university across the whole country. It is a powerful engine room for higher education and a key driver of research and innovation in the mainland. The tripartite agreement is set to take the partnership of the two campuses to the next level to create greater impact of the CUHK brand on the world.

I am truly grateful to the Shenzhen Municipal Government – whose support was instrumental for both the founding of CUHK-Shenzhen and the proud history of collaboration between CUHK and CUHK-Shenzhen. I was honoured to welcome the Mayor of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government, Mr Qin Weizhong, and his colleagues at CUHK upon their trip to Hong Kong, during which they visited two major research bases of the University. My sincere gratitude goes to Mr Qin for his consistent support to CUHK and CUHK-Shenzhen in giving full play to our advantages to contribute more broadly to the national strategies on education, innovation and talent cultivation.

A delegation of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government led by Mr Qin Weizhong, Mayor of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government (centre) visited CUHK’s Multi-Scale Medical Robotics Center located at the Hong Kong Science Park.
Mr Qin Weizhong, Mayor of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government (right) and Professor Rocky Tuan (left) at CUHK’s Pavilion of Harmony.

Expanding our mainland foothold

The CUHK community has been celebrating some more new mainland partnerships. The University and the Guangzhou Laboratory have recently established a joint research laboratory specialising in infectious respiratory diseases, related regenerative medicine and immunology, and vaccine evaluation. I was delighted to participate in the inauguration ceremony of the joint laboratory held at the Hetao Centre of the Guangzhou Lab with Professor Zhong Nanshan, Director of the Guangzhou Lab, on 10 February 2023. The new establishment is a key element under the strategic cooperation framework agreement signed between CUHK and the Guangzhou Lab in September last year. We look forward to working more closely with our Guangzhou counterparts to advance research into respiratory diseases to safeguard human health and to cultivate talents for the development of the GBA.

Professor Rocky Tuan (8th from right) and Professor Zhong Nanshan, Director of Guangzhou Lab (7th from left) officiated at the unveiling ceremony for the CUHK-Guangzhou Lab Joint Laboratory.

The University signed a “Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement on Healthcare” with the Longgang District Committee on 15 February 2023, unveiling our plan to jointly set up the “Shenzhen Research Institute of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery of CUHK” to further our collective efforts on education, research and technology transfer and lay the foundation for co-building a field-specialised hospital in Shenzhen. I had the pleasure of meeting the delegation of the Longgang District led by Mr Zhang Liwei, Party Chief of the Longgang District, to discuss how CUHK could seize the historic opportunities presented by our country’s rapid development to open a new chapter for mutually beneficial collaborations with the Longgang District.

Professor Rocky Tuan (centre) and Professor Alan Chan, Provost of CUHK (2nd from left) had extensive exchanges with Mr Zhang Liwei, Party Chief of the Longgang District (2nd from right) and other delegates from the Longgang District on strengthening cross-border collaborations.

Our recently announced partnership with HICOOL Business School to establish the CUHK Beijing Centre is another testament to our commitment to enhancing mainland engagement outlined in the University’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. Since the setting up of our first representative office in Beijing in 1997, the same year when mainland China resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong, CUHK has been dedicated to fostering talent development, innovation and entrepreneurship, and academic exchange in the capital. Not only will the Beijing Centre, located at the heart of the city, serve as a home away from home for CUHK alumni in Beijing, but it will also be an exciting addition to our extensive network of mainland satellites and establishments. Coupled with our Shanghai Centre, which is scheduled for official opening in August this year, and a good number of CUHK facilities across the GBA, the Beijing Centre will be an important vehicle to advance our exchanges with academia, industry and government partners in the mainland to enhance our integration with the national development.

Professional exchange for national development

It was my great pleasure to take part in the International Bay Area Summit organised by the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Science on 20 February 2023, which convened government officials, scholars and industry experts from around the world to discuss the technology and entrepreneurship agenda and sustainable development of the GBA. In a plenary session that featured presidents and professors from tertiary institutions across Hong Kong and the mainland, I spoke specifically about the role of universities being a driver and incubator of knowledge-based economy. I also presented an overview of CUHK’s strategies on integrating research, innovation and enterprise as a productive continuum to stimulate the development of the GBA as a global technology hub. The Summit was a dynamic and rewarding platform for professional exchanges to bring new insights and impetus to our country’s modernisation in an increasingly complex global context where competition for talent has been intensifying rapidly.

Professor Rocky Tuan (3rd from right) and representatives from local and mainland tertiary institutions exchanged views on the role of universities being a driver and incubator of the knowledge-based economy at the International Bay Area Summit.

I look forward to sharing more stories with you in our next edition.

Best wishes,

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