Welcome to the 32nd edition of CUHK in Focus.

Yesterday, I was delighted to welcome the world-renowned cellist Dr Yo-Yo Ma, back to CUHK for a valuable dialogue with students on music and future leadership. Maestro Ma has a unique and special relationship with the University as his uncle, Professor Choh-ming Li, was our founding Vice-Chancellor. Dr Ma’s last visit to CUHK was already 30 years ago when he came to receive an Honorary Doctor of Literature in 1993. We are grateful that the 60th anniversary of the University has now brought us a marvelous, happy reunion with a dear friend and global cultural icon. I am sure our student community was inspired by this extraordinary musician and humanist, and that the universal language of music and culture will form an integral part of how we define whole-person education. 

Dr Yo-Yo Ma (2nd from right) engaged in a conversation with CUHK students.

Dr Ma’s visit will culminate with a special concert in partnership with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra tonight at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. I am sure that it will be an enjoyable evening bringing together the CUHK community and members of the public in this very public celebration of our diamond jubilee.

Congratulations to our graduates

This week marks the commencement of our annual Congregation season. It is always a particularly joyous and inspiring time of the year to celebrate the achievements of our graduating class. The University has prepared a message to all students reminding them of the importance of this occasion and what it represents. I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to all graduates who are joining CUHK’s proud community of 280,000 alumni in this special diamond jubilee year.

 Connecting with “Snow Dragon”

CUHK has strong historic links with the national polar research vessel, Xue Long, through our honorary fellow, Dr Lee Lok-sze Rebecca, the world’s first woman explorer to reach the Arctic, Antarctic and Mount Everest. Her participation in the vessel’s Antarctic expedition has now been immortalised in our Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change.

The Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change houses a large model of the Xue Long and invaluable artefacts from China’s Antarctic expedition donated by Dr Rebecca Lee Lok-sze.

I was tremendously honoured to represent CUHK to attend the launch event for our country’s 40th Antarctic scientific expedition at the domestic base dock in Shanghai, jointly held by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the People’s Government of Shanghai last week to send off two ice-breaking vessels carrying the name Xue Long. CUHK’s participation is a reflection of CUHK’s commitment to advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals through our climate action and zero-carbon strategy. We are thrilled to be once again involved in a national project that has truly global significance.

(From left) Professor Ho Kin-chung, Founder of the Polar Research Institute of Hong Kong; Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK; Mr Ma Fung-kwok, Member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council; Mr Shen Dejun, Chairman of Shanghai Antarctic and Arctic Logistics Centre; Mr Wang Hailang, former Deputy Commander of the Xuelong 2 Icebreaker Construction Project

Advancing TCM development

Last week saw the Inauguration Ceremony of the Belt and Road Alliance for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Presidents’ Forum. The event was attended by dignitaries from the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the HKSAR government, representatives from more than twenty member organisations of the Alliance, including Traditional Chinese Medicines universities and hospitals, and leaders from the TCM industry. It was an important occasion that signifies CUHK’s proud history of pioneering TCM research and education and our commitment to Hong Kong’s role as a global TCM hub.

The Belt and Road Alliance for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Presidents’ Forum provided a platform for representatives from governments, academia and industry to share insights on enhancing the development of the TCM industry along the Belt and Road Initiative.

Fostering global ties

Last week, I returned from a short visit to the United States. I had the pleasure of visiting Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh to discuss joint works in computer science and engineering, respectively. Memoranda of Understanding were signed to facilitate further exchange and collaborations, including academic exchange and PhD student exchange with Carnegie Mellon, and collaborative research with Pittsburgh. I am excited for these collaborations to soon come to fruition. With global engagement being a key pillar of our CUHK Strategic Plan 2021-2025, these new collaborations symbolise our further progress in fostering ties with international partners to extend the global impact of CUHK’s education and research.

Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK (middle), visited the University of Pittsburgh and met with Dr Ariel C. Armony, Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs (left) and Dr Sanjeev Shroff, Interim Dean of the Swanson School of Engineering (right) to ink a new partnership.

Hard work pays off

In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2024, 11 subjects at CUHK have been ranked in the world’s top 100. In addition, in the latest Global Ranking of Academic Subjects published by ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, 11 subjects enter the global top 50. These are the results of the hard work and dedication of the entire CUHK community, for which I am truly grateful.

As some of you may have already read, CUHK has once again done very well in the World’s Top 2% Most-cited Scientists Ranking compiled by Stanford University and Elsevier. This year, 361 CUHK scholars are acknowledged. Please click here to see the updated results.

Gratitude and a new chapter

Finally, with the passage of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Amendment) Bill 2023 by the Legislative Council last week, I would like to thank our outgoing Council members for their unwavering support, dedicated service, and their invaluable guidance to the University. I look forward to working with the new Council to ensure that CUHK remains at the forefront of excellence in higher education in Hong Kong, around the nation, and across the globe.

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

Best wishes,

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