Welcome to the 37th edition of CUHK in Focus.

We will soon be celebrating the Year of the Dragon. In traditional Chinese culture, the Dragon holds a unique place as an auspicious symbol of fortitude, nobility, fortune and success. As we gear up for Chinese New Year celebrations, I hope the CUHK community will move forward with the unparalleled courage, talent and strength of a dragon and grasp every opportunity that beckons to strive for excellence in everything we do in the coming year.

Building successful collaborations

CUHK was honoured to co-organise the Greater Bay Area Science Forum (GSF) Hong Kong Seminar on 26 January 2024 with the GSF Secretariat, the Hong Kong Institute of Science and Innovation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Greater Bay Area Science and Technology Innovation Service Centre. Under the recurring theme of “Exploring the future, sharing scientific achievement”, the GSF aims to provide a high-level platform for leaders, top scientists, outstanding young scientists, entrepreneurs and investors to exchange ideas and forge partnerships to enrich the innovation and technology ecosystem of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and contribute to its development as a world-class hub for scientific talent. The Hong Kong Seminar served as a prelude to the 2024 GSF scheduled for the end of this year. As a founding member of the Alliance of International Science Organisations for the Belt and Road Regions, which initiated the GSF, CUHK has been a staunch supporter of the GSF, and had the honour to co-host its sub-forums on sustainable development and biomedicine and health in 2022 and last year. The Hong Kong Seminar was a wonderful opportunity to discuss how to best harness Hong Kong’s advantages as a super-connector between China and the world to expand the GBA’s impact on global scientific development.

Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, addressed the audience at the Greater Bay Area Science Forum Hong Kong Seminar.

Celebrating new achievements

CUHK’s research projects have once again achieved impressive results in government funding schemes. Ten projects spanning a range of academic disciplines were awarded grants totaling over $66 million from the Research Grants Council (RGC) Collaborative Research Fund 2023/24. The generous support from the RGC will enable us to bolster our joint research with partner institutions to generate impactful and translational research outcomes.

I would also like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Professor Dennis Lo Yuk-ming, Director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, Li Ka Shing Professor of Medicine, and Associate Dean (Research) and Chairman of the Department of Chemical Pathology of the Faculty of Medicine, and Professor Kwan Mei-po, Head of Chung Chi College, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Geography and Resource Management and Director of Institute of Space and Earth Information Science and Institute of Future Cities, on being ranked number one in the country in their respective research areas in the Academic Impact Rankings of Global Scientists 2023 announced by Global Author ID. I would like to congratulate Professor Lo, Professor Kwan and all the other 132 CUHK scholars being recognised for their remarkable achievement and thank them for their continuous commitment to high-impact research, which has enabled the knowledge and technology generated by CUHK to spread far and wide.

Not long ago, we also welcomed the news of CUHK being placed 13th in the world in the recently announced Times Higher Education Most International Universities Ranking 2024, rising four places from last year. The ranking, which includes more than 200 universities from different countries and regions, measures the share of international staff, students and co-authorship as well as the international reputation of the participating institutions. Our performance highlights the concerted efforts of members of the University to foster an environment that embraces diversity and inclusion and promotes international collaborations. In fact, this commitment was further demonstrated at the Diversity and Inclusion Carnival which concluded successfully last month. The Carnival represented the University’s dedication to creative a vibrant and inclusive environment that celebrates diversity and promotes empathy and mutual understanding across our community.

The Diversity and Inclusion Carnival provided the opportunity for CUHK members from diverse countries, abilities, and cultural backgrounds to network with each other.

Honouring a world-renowned academic

It gave me great pleasure to host a dinner in honour of Professor Helga Nowotny last month to present to her an Honorary Doctorate of Social Science on behalf of CUHK. As a former president and founding member of the European Research Council (ERC), Professor Nowotny has played a crucial role in shaping research funding and policy across Europe. She has helped the ERC to become a funding agency run by scientists and for scientists, providing support to early career researchers in frontier research and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration. As Professor Nowotny was unable to attend our previous presentation ceremony, the dinner was therefore an overdue occasion for us to warmly welcome this scholar and leader of immense wisdom, whose commitment to excellence in academic advancement, research and innovation resonates deeply with that of CUHK. Our sincere congratulations to Professor Nowotny on this well-deserved accolade!

Professor Rocky S. Tuan (right), Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, hosted a dinner in honour of Professor Helga Nowotny (left) to present to her an Honorary Doctorate of Social Science on behalf of CUHK.

I am pleased to announce that the CUHK Annual Report for 2022-23 has been published. It highlights the landmark achievements of CUHK in the significant year marking its 60th anniversary. With Chinese New Year just around the corner, I wish all of you good health, happiness, and abundance. May you be blessed with the vitality and great fortune that the Dragon represents and unfold many pathways to success in the new year. Kung Hei Fat Choy!

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

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