Welcome to the 24th edition of CUHK in Focus.

I was delighted to take part in the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the World Universities Network (WUN) hosted by Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico. CUHK’s participation in the WUN represents an important pillar of our international and global engagement endeavors. I was grateful for the opportunity to exchange views with other higher education leaders on the impact of universities on environmental sustainability at the WUN Presidents’ Forum, which took place during the WUN AGM. It was my great pleasure to speak in one of the sessions to explain how CUHK has adapted the curriculum to equip students as future-ready global citizens capable of translating knowledge into action for advancing sustainable development.

Professor Rocky S. Tuan (2nd from right), Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, exchanged views with other university leaders on leadership in education and curriculum at the WUN Presidents’ Forum.

During my trip to the Americas, I also visited several university partners, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and the University of Pittsburgh, to further our academic partnerships with these prestigious institutions.

AI for the Future

The recent launch of large language models such as ChatGPT has served as an important wake-up call for people everywhere in terms of the prolific nature of artificial intelligence (AI). It is thus noteworthy that, back in 2019, CUHK had the foresight to initiate the AI for the Future Project in partnership with the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The collaboration celebrated the beginning of its second phase at a special ceremony last week, officiated by the Secretary for Education, Dr. Christine Choi Yuk-lin, to officially announce the incorporation of the AI curriculum modules designed by the CUHK project team into all publicly funded secondary schools in Hong Kong.

A special ceremony officiated by Dr Gabriel Leung (left), Executive Director, Charities and Community of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, and Dr Christine Choi (right), Secretary for Education, officially announced the incorporation of the AI curriculum modules designed by the CUHK project team into all publicly funded secondary schools in Hong Kong. (Photo courtesy of the Hong Kong Jockey Club)

Automation and workplace digitisation are disrupting millions of jobs globally across many industries. According to a report by Goldman Sachs, among major global economies, Hong Kong faces the highest risk of workforce automation by AI. It is, therefore, particularly important for the 21st century competitiveness of our economy that Hong Kong promotes AI literacy. The AI for the Future Project is a powerful example of how universities can generate social impact through harnessing the power of its research and putting it to use at scale. 

Commitment to sustainable development

The University was delighted to celebrate its result in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023, which measures universities’ contributions to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). CUHK has been placed 83rd among 1,591 universities from 112 countries and regions, breaking into the world’s top 100 for the first time and securing its position as the highest-ranked university in Hong Kong for the second consecutive year.

As a civic university, CUHK is committed to advancing the SDGs across all aspects of its research, education, and engagement efforts. This impressive ranking result represents an important external validation of our efforts, and we will continue to work hard to embed sustainability and social responsibility at the heart of everything we do.

In a similar vein, we recently established an important partnership with WWF-Hong Kong focused on building healthy coral ecosystems. Through the Reviving Our Corals Initiative, CUHK and WWF-Hong Kong have signed an MoU to collectively protect and restore coral reefs in the local community. Being at the doorstep of Tolo Harbour, which has a coral ecosystem dangerously impacted by climate change, CUHK has a unique and immediate responsibility to support coral conservation and enhance the biodiversity and natural habitats of our oceans.

The Reviving Our Corals Initiative jointly launched by CUHK and WWF-Hong Kong focuses on building healthy coral ecosystems in Hong Kong.

Tribute to honorary fellows

CUHK organised its 21st Honorary Fellowship Presentation Ceremony last week to pay tribute to six outstanding individuals who have made exceptional achievements in their professions, to the University, and to the community at large. While long a feature of our calendar, this year’s ceremony took place in our diamond jubilee celebrations, and was thus a particularly special occasion. May I convey my heartfelt congratulations to each of our Honorary Fellows on the accolade they so richly deserve and my warmest wishes to them for achieving even more success in the future.

The golden jubilee of CU Chorus

The splendid collaboration between Mr Gábor Hollerung, the renowned Hungarian conductor, and CU Chorus at its Anniversary Concert last weekend brought together music lovers from around Hong Kong for a memorable night of musical enjoyment in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the University and the golden jubilee of its official student choir.

Fifty years of commitment to the artistic pursuit of successive generations of singers and conductors of CU Chorus have enabled the choir to grow into one of the best choral groups in Hong Kong. Characterised by its innovative spirit and steadfast devotion to the promotion of choral music, CU Chorus has been passionately expanding its forms of performances, which range from campus and public concerts, foreign exchange tours, workshops, charity outreach programs, as well as recording and sheet music publishing, and continues to contribute to the development of performing arts at different levels.

I would like to express my sincere congratulations to CU Chorus on its 50th anniversary. May their beautiful singing continue to bring local and overseas audiences incredible joy and artistic fulfillment. I would also like to thank Mr Hollerung for gracing CU Chorus with his masterful conducting at this important milestone.

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