Welcome to the 20th edition of CUHK in Focus.

Last week marked a significant milestone in our plans to contribute to the development of the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). The opening ceremony of the CUHK Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Research Institute (Futian) (FITRI) took place on 28 March 2023. Located in the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Co-operation Zone in Shenzhen just across the river from Lok Ma Chau, FITRI will be critical in our efforts to drive cross-border I&T collaborations.

Coinciding with our diamond jubilee year, I was delighted to officiate at the ceremony with officials from the Shenzhen Municipal Government and the Futian District Government, as well as representatives of CUHK’s senior management. My heartfelt gratitude goes to our friends in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, including colleagues from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen), corporate partners and the media who attended the ceremony to show their support for this important venture.

Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, delivered a welcome speech at the opening ceremony of the CUHK Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Research Institute (Futian).

CUHK advocates research and innovation that goes beyond the discovery and creation of knowledge, and focuses on the translation of research outcomes into practical benefits for society. Specialising in robotics, AI and smart healthcare technologies and devices, FITRI aspires to ride on the University’s strengths in basic research, innovation and talent cultivation to foster the I&T ecosystem in the GBA. Importantly, FITRI is located literally next door to the mainland medical robotics regulator’s GBA centre, which will enable our teams to rapidly apply to authorities and take our discoveries to market.

The Hetao Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone straddling the boundary between Shenzhen and Hong Kong has been designated as a strategic I&T hub in national development. Riding on the policies and support facilities favourable for entrepreneurship and commercialisation that Shenzhen offers, FITRI is set to deliver CUHK’s cutting-edge research and innovation outcomes to the massive mainland market and beyond, and bring tangible benefits to the world. We will continue to strengthen our connections with our strategic partners in the mainland to enhance the importance and promote the attractiveness of the GBA.

Guests from both sides of the border visited FITRI’s exhibition halls and laboratories after the ceremony.

Global partnerships on the rise

CUHK has remained actively involved in key initiatives to foster global collaborations. It gave me great pleasure to speak at the Times Higher Education (THE) in Conversation webinar on 21 March 2023 to share our experience and expertise on higher education management with almost 100 representatives of universities from across Greater China. It was a meaningful occasion to connect with our mainland counterparts to exchange views on how to build a world-class university that contributes broadly to the advancement of knowledge and human progress, riding on the long history of higher education in China. In the months to come, CUHK will continue global dialogues on internationalisation of Asian universities as we gear up to host the THE Asia Universities Summit in June 2023.

I was honoured to welcome a delegation from the University of Queensland (UQ) last Monday to renew our longstanding partnership as well as explore new research opportunities in neuroscience and regenerative medicine. This partnership represents progress towards two important pillars of our 2021-2025 Strategic Plan by linking the strategic theme of innovative biomedicine with our pan-institutional commitment to internationalisation.

 CUHK scholar recognised publicly

It is always gratifying to see the work of CUHK academics being recognised publicly. Professor Siew Ng from the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics of the Faculty of Medicine has recently been named the Croucher Professor in Medical Sciences by the Croucher Foundation. I would like to offer my heartfelt gratitude to the Croucher Foundation for its staunch support of CUHK scientists. Late last month, Professor Ng delivered her inaugural lecture entitled “A Magical Pursuit” to hundreds of guests, sharing her life journey as a scientist and an entrepreneur.  A distinguished clinician-scientist who has earned great respect from the global community for her revolutionary research on inflammatory bowel disease and microbiome-related health issues, Professor Ng demonstrates genuine passion for translating multidisciplinary research outcomes to novel products that bring practical benefits to human health. She has also contributed significantly to the development of our city as a global biotechnology hub by co-founding the Microbiota I-Center under the government’s InnoHK initiative. The honour bestowed upon her by the Croucher Foundation is a testament to her scientific expertise as well as commitment to social good. Many congratulations to Professor Ng and I wish her every success along her path of scientific discovery.

(From left) Profess Francis Chan Ka-leung, Dean of CUHK’s Faculty of Medicine, Professor Timothy Cox, Chairman of the Croucher Foundation, Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, and Professor Siew Ng, the newly inaugurated Croucher Professor in Medical Sciences

More anniversary celebrations unfold

A series of events to celebrate the diamond jubilee of the University are being rolled out. Hundreds of CUHK alumni gathered at the Sha Tin Racecourse for the 20th CUHK Alumni Cup Horse Racing Day on 26 March 2023. This was the first time this signature event reappeared on our calendar since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. I would like to thank the Federation of Alumni Associations of CUHK for reconvening the event to provide a happy occasion for CUHK alumni to come together to celebrate their love for their alma mater.

The CUHK Alumni Cup Horse Racing Day 2023

I was delighted to participate in the Sparkling in Harmony Concert organised by Lee Woo Sing College in commemoration of its 15th anniversary and the diamond jubilee of the University last week. It was my honour to be invited to perform with the WS Choir for the second time. The opportunity to sing a song with the Choir and to give a solo performance on stage reminded me of the happy days that I spent in the choirs during my studies in Hong Kong and in the US. The memorable night of moving performances by the WS Choir and CUHK-Shenzhen’s Diligentia College Choir exemplified the fine tradition of CUHK’s colleges as champions of arts and culture – a key ingredient that constitutes CUHK’s unique and all-round student experience. My appreciation goes to all the performers and organisers for making this meaningful concert a reality, indulging hundreds of music lovers like me in a night of beautiful music and fond memories.

Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, performed with the WS Choir at the Sparkling in Harmony Concert.

Promising results in university rankings

CUHK has once again obtained encouraging results in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023, with 8 subjects ranked first in Hong Kong and 13 among the top 50 in the world. I congratulate everyone who has contributed to CUHK’s success as a top global institution of academic and research excellence. These impressive ranking results serve as a testament to the accomplishments of the entire University community and reaffirm our commitment to the vision of becoming an internationally recognised world-class university, providing top-quality education and scholarly output that positively impact the world.

My heartiest congratulations also go to The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, on securing its place as the Best Collaborative University Campus in China for the fourth year in a roll, as announced by ShanghaiRanking Consultancy. This extraordinary result is a vote of confidence in CUHK’s commitment to advancing higher education in our country. I would like to thank all members of CUHK (Shenzhen) who have been working diligently to make vital contributions to national development through their education and research endeavours. As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of CUHK (Shenzhen) next year, I look forward to the strengthened partnerships between the Shatin and Shenzhen campuses to expand the influence of the CUHK brand on the international stage.

With the Ching Ming and Easter holidays drawing near, I hope that all members of the CUHK community will take the opportunity to take a pause and refresh. May the holiday season fill your heart with renewed hope and peace. 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