Welcome to the 26th edition of CUHK in Focus.
Last week, I was delighted to pay my first visit to the national capital in over three years to establish and renew collaborations with a number of major academic partners including Tsinghua University, Peking University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and reunite with our alumni based in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area.
I was also deeply honoured to meet with Mr Chen Jie, Vice Minister of Education, Mr Zhang Guangjun, Vice Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Wei Xiaodong, Chairman of the Beijing Municipal Committee, Ms Sun Meijun, Head of the Organisation Department of the Beijing Municipal Committee, and representatives of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, Mr Xiang Bin, Member of the Party Group, and Mr Wu Wei, Director-General of the Department of Exchange and Cooperation. The fruitful conversations I had with mainland government officials and collaborators during my stay in Beijing were important opportunities to advocate for CUHK and for Hong Kong on the national stage.
Remarks: Photos shown in order of meeting time
New partnerships in the capital
During my visit, CUHK signed several important collaboration agreements to pursue new opportunities, including a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Beijing Municipal Bureau of Talents, an MoU with the National (Zhongguancun) Torch Institute of Science and Technology, and an MoU and an agreement between the CUHK Art Museum and The Palace Museum. The new collaboration will see the two museums work together on a special joint exhibition of Song Dynasty rubbings, and the agreement represents an exciting milestone in Hong Kong’s broader national role as a global connector of Chinese culture and creative industries.
Last week also saw the establishment of CUHK’s Beijing Centre. With its strategic location in the heart of Beijing, the Centre will serve as a hub for CUHK alumni based in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. It will provide a platform for networking, mentorship, and collaboration, allowing CUHK graduates to connect, exchange ideas, and contribute to the vibrant innovation ecosystem in the capital. The Centre will offer a wide range of resources, including industry events, workshops, and access to cutting-edge research, enabling CUHK alumni to stay at the forefront of technological advancements.
The Centre is yet another testament to the university’s dedication to integrating with national development and actively engaging in the nation’s innovation landscape. By expanding upon the foundation laid by CUHK’s Beijing Liaison Office, which was established in the year China resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong, the Centre serves as a symbol of CUHK’s unwavering commitment to fostering collaboration and mutual understanding between Hong Kong and mainland China.
Happy HKSAR Establishment Day
Shortly after my return from Beijing, I was thrilled to join over 200 Council members, staff, students, alumni and community representatives for a flag-raising ceremony to commemorate the 26th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Advancing global engagement
I attended the Annual Presidents Meeting of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) hosted by The University of Hong Kong from 25 to 27 June 2023. The event brought together presidents and senior administrators of universities from the Americas, Asia and Australasia to discuss the big issues impacting higher education in the Pacific Rim. CUHK’s APRU membership is a major pillar of our commitment to global engagement.
The APRU meeting took place just a few days after the Times Higher Education (THE) Asia Universities Summit jointly organised by CUHK and THE. Not only did the Summit distinguish itself as the largest gathering of higher education leaders taking place in Hong Kong in five years, but, most importantly, it also provided a wonderful platform for universities around the world to find common ground and deepen our collective commitment to sustainable development in the midst of global geopolitical and economic challenges. I was greatly encouraged by the potential impact generated by the event in fostering cross-border collaborations and promoting international dialogues in the higher education sector for the betterment of the world. You are highly encouraged to read more about this in a feature in this edition and watch a short video if you wish to revisit highlights from the Summit.
Alumni Art Exhibition
The Alumni Association of New Asia College and the Alumni Affairs Office co-organised the CUHK 60th Anniversary Alumni Art Exhibition – “Where Great Minds Shine” from 24 to 25 June 2023 at the Arts Pavilion in West Kowloon Cultural District. The exhibition featured stunning artworks, including paintings, calligraphy works and sculptures, created by alumni artists, teachers and art masters. Held at one of the most vibrant cultural quarters in the city, the exhibition was an ideal occasion to showcase CUHK’s significant contribution and influence in the field of art. May I express my sincere gratitude to all visitors and generous donors for their support for our talented artists.
Celebrating impressive achievements
My heartfelt congratulations go to Professor Dennis Lo Yuk-ming, Director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, Associate Dean (Research) and Chairman of the Department of Chemical Pathology at the Faculty of Medicine, and Scientific Director of Centre for Novostics, on entering into an agreement with Prenetics Global Limited, a leading genomics-driven health sciences company, to establish a US$200M joint venture, named Insighta. The transaction marks the largest private life sciences deal in Hong Kong history and one of the largest in the region. It represents yet another remarkable recognition and exciting development in what is already a globally leading portfolio of advanced research spearheaded by Professor Lo.
As a research centre established under the HKSAR government’s InnoHK initiative, the Centre for Novostics has been generating highly impactful research outcomes. Insighta will utilise the cutting-edge technology of analysing the epigenetic signature of circulating cell-free DNA in peripheral blood developed by the Centre for multi-cancer early detection screening, which can potentially enable timely and effective treatment and ultimately save lives. CUHK is proud of the achievements of our team of talented researchers, whose contributions will be essential to realising Hong Kong’s ambition to become an international hub of innovation and technology and bring tangible benefits for humanity.
CUHK was once again ranked in the world’s top 50 for the 8th consecutive year in the latest QS World University Rankings. Our consistently strong performance in major global ranking charts is testament to the commitment to excellence across the University community.
I guess a number of you will be taking the advantage of the summer season to pause and refresh. CUHK in Focus will also be taking a short break for a few weeks. May I take this opportunity to wish you all a safe and happy summer holiday. I look forward to sharing more stories with you in our next edition on 23 August 2023.
Professor Rocky S. Tuan
Vice-Chancellor and President
The Chinese University of Hong Kong