Welcome to the 28th edition of CUHK in Focus.
The 2023-24 academic year is a very special one that coincides with CUHK’s 60th anniversary. It is also the first in several years when we can finally organise our inauguration ceremony for new students without having any COVID restrictions in place. Indeed, it has been a great pleasure for me to welcome all students who are joining us in a year that holds remarkable significance for both CUHK and Hong Kong.
While turning sixty symbolises the birth of a new cycle in Chinese culture, our diamond jubilee, as well as the emergence of our city from the pandemic, demonstrate that this is a year of rejuvenation and new beginnings. Whether you are a freshman or a continuing student, I hope you will harness the unique learning opportunities at CUHK to equip yourselves as constructive agents of society, so that you can play a bigger part in shaping the future of Hong Kong, our nation, and the world, at this most exciting juncture of the 21st century.
As I mentioned in my speech to new students at the inauguration ceremony, the rise of artificial intelligence and new technologies is imminently putting human workers on the verge of an existential challenge. Humanity must focus on reskilling and upskilling, and emphasise the qualities that make us unique as humans in order to address these challenges. Students will take full advantage of the privilege of a CUHK experience to develop your creativity, critical thinking, decision-making, collaboration, and emotional intelligence – for these are the core human skills that even the most disruptive of technologies will find hard to replace.
I was very pleased to welcome 425 students of 43 nationalities coming from our partner universities from 30 countries and regions this week who are here on exchange for the semester. They are full of enthusiasm for their time in Hong Kong. I hope they will enjoy their studies at CUHK and discover more about the local community and the Chinese traditional culture here. I also look forward to their active participation in our diamond jubilee celebrations.
May I also extend my warm welcome to all new colleagues as you join the CUHK community. Thank you for bringing your unique experience and expertise which, I am sure, will further energise the University in fulfilling its missions. I look forward to working closely with you and having your staunch support. I cannot wait to see all the great things we will achieve together as Team CUHK.
New developments in the capital
I was honoured to lead a delegation to attend the inauguration ceremony of the National Torch Academy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Zhongguancun) in Beijing on 25 August 2023. Zhongguancun is a major technology hub located in Haidian District in Beijing, home to a good number of Chinese headquarters and research centres of world-renowned technology companies. CUHK has been working closely as a founding partner with the Beijing Municipal Committee to establish the National Torch Academy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Zhongguancun), and we will lead a special branch of the Academy in Hong Kong, providing substantial support in our nation’s quest to cultivate the next generation of innovative leaders.
This visit to the capital came just weeks after my previous trip to officiate at the opening ceremony of the CUHK Beijing Centre and witness the signing of several important collaboration agreements with our strategic partners in the mainland. During my stay, I also took part in the HICOOL Global Entrepreneur Summit and the inaugural High-level Talent Highland Forum. The former was a leading international talent activity aiming to build a platform for dialogue between entrepreneurs, while the latter gathered academics and industry leaders to exchange views on scientific development and talent cultivation. As a global university capitalising on the strong support of our country, CUHK is committed to the important enterprise of national development.
Setting up new bases in Shanghai
After my trip to Beijing, I headed for Shanghai to participate in the inauguration ceremony of the CUHK Shanghai Centre. The establishment of the Shanghai Centre in the Yangpu District represents the successful achievement of another major milestone in the implementation of the University’s latest strategic plan. The Centre is set to be our liaison hub in the Yangtze River Delta region to strengthen collaborations with strategic partners and foster talent development. It will also serve as an education base and a gathering point for students and alumni to engage in social exchanges, entrepreneurial ventures, internships, professional training, and academic activities.
The ceremony also saw the unveiling of the Shanghai base of CUHK InnoPort (Innoport@Shanghai) and the signing of the “Shanghai Yangpu District People’s Government–The Chinese University of Hong Kong Strategic Collaboration Framework Agreement”. Jointly established by Yangpu District and CUHK, Innoport@Shanghai will offer one-stop incubation services to facilitate the commercialisation of scientific research outcomes in the city. This important partnership will enable the CUHK Shanghai Centre as a platform for innovation and talent cultivation, to distinguish itself as a benchmark model of university-district cooperation in the Yangtze River Delta region and more broadly across the country.
These developments come in what has been an exciting year for CUHK’s developments in the mainland. The Shanghai Centre represents the third new base in the mainland to be established this year, following the opening of the CUHK Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Research Institute (Futian) in Shenzhen in March and the CUHK Beijing Centre in June. These developments are powerful symbols of our commitment to deepened collaborations in the mainland, and the importance CUHK places on leveraging its research and education to benefit the nation.
In this significant year marking the 60th anniversary of CUHK, we are fortunate to receive the staunch support from our alumni who are pursuing a career in different parts of the world for the diamond jubilee of their alma mater. During my visit to Shanghai, I was delighted to join the CUHK 60th Anniversary Dinner organised by the CUHK Shanghai Alumni Association and the CUHK Business School Shanghai Alumni Association. Our alumni in the Yangtze River Delta also thoughtfully sponsored an impressive LED light show along the Huangpu River to commemorate this major milestone in the University’s history. I am pleased to share with you a highlight video of the memorable light show and the stunning night view by the river bank.
The LED light show along the Huangpu River sponsored by the CUHK Shanghai Alumni Association and the CUHK Business School Shanghai Alumni Association in celebration of the University’s 60th anniversary.
I look forward to sharing more stories with you in the next edition.
Professor Rocky S. Tuan
Vice-Chancellor and President
The Chinese University of Hong Kong