Welcome to the 39th edition of CUHK in Focus.

I was delighted to attend the special concert, “American Roots Music”, featuring performances by faculty and student musicians of the Bluegrass Ensemble from Berea College, Kentucky, USA, organised by the Department of Music. Bluegrass music is one of my favourite genres of music which I often listened to when I studied in the USA. It was a real treat to introduce this unique musical tradition to the CUHK community with the support of our international partner, Berea College, where I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in the 1970s. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the performers and organisers of this extraordinary concert which enabled members of the University to appreciate the soulful and spiritual bluegrass music that has a special place in my heart. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to take part in the singing, including “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and “Rocky Top”! Connecting cultures and bridging China and the West is what CUHK is all about!

Professor Rocky S. Tuan (2nd from left), Vice-Chancellor of CUHK, performed on stage with student musicians from Berea College.

Forging international partnerships

CUHK has been actively engaged in strategic collaborations with our global partners and eager to build stronger ties with member countries of the Belt and Road Initiative. Recently, the CUHK Shenzhen Research Institute (SZRI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Corvinus University of Budapest (CUB) to strengthen exchange and cooperation in science, technology and innovation. I was happy to meet with the Hungarian delegation when they were in Hong Kong. CUHK has many international agreements, but this was unique because the MOU specifically focuses on research and development as well as knowledge transfer in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area via SZRI. With Hungary being the first country in the European Union to sign a Belt and Road intergovernmental cooperation document with China, not only is the MOU perfectly aligned with CUHK’s strategic direction, but it is also an important opportunity to step up Sino-Hungarian interactions in terms of innovation. This exciting partnership is testament to CUHK’s convening power as a true connector between China and the West. I look forward to seeing what the two institutions will deliver collectively in support of the scientific and technological advancements of both countries.

From left: Professor Yam Yeung, Director of SZRI, Professor Peter Baranyi, Head of the Cognitive Info-communications Research Centre at CUB, Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, Dr Péter Fehér, Vice President for International Relations at CUB and Professor Andrea Kő, Head of the Institute of Data Analytics and Information Systems at CUB.

A much-anticipated intellectual exchange

It is my great honour to participate in a dialogue on campus with Ven Kuan Yun, the President of The Hong Kong Buddhist Association, on Buddhism and biomedicine, on 27 March 2024. I am glad to know that the event has been very well received. While the registration for the in-person event has closed, anyone who is interested in joining the event online can sign up via this link. I very much look forward to having an intellectual exchange with Ven Kuan Yun, which I promise will be a highly engaging and inspiring conversation exploring the fascinating intersection of religion and science.

Shining examples of excellence

It gives me great pleasure to congratulate University members who have recently been recognised for their excellent performance in their respective field. Professor Yu Jun, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics and Assistant Dean (Mainland Affairs) at the Faculty of Medicine became the only scholar from a Hong Kong institution to receive the “Basic Medicine Award” at the 24th Wu Jieping – Paul Janssen Medical Pharmaceutical Award, which is regarded as China’s highest honour in the medical and pharmaceutical field, for her remarkable achievements in gastrointestinal cancer studies.

Professor Tao Shu, Chairman of the Department of Finance, has been installed as Fung King Hey Memorial Chair Professor of Finance. The prestigious professorship is a well-deserved accolade in recognition of Professor Shu’s academic expertise as well as achievements in financial education and research. I am sure it will propel him further along the path of knowledge generation and dissemination for social good.

I would also like to express my deep appreciation to the 102 CUHK undergraduate students who were awarded the Link University Scholarship 2023/24 by Link Asset Management Limited for their outstanding academic study and community service achievements. The impressive number of scholarship recipients from CUHK accounted for nearly half of the awardees territory wide. It was a pleasure to attend the scholarship presentation ceremony and witness our students receive the honour for their diligence and commitment to serving society. I hope all awardees will feel proud and strive for opportunities to broaden their horizons and become future leaders with a sense of social responsibility.

102 CUHK students were awarded the Link University Scholarship 2023/24 in recognition of their outstanding achievements in academic studies and community services.

With Easter holidays coming up, I hope all members of the CUHK community will remember that this is a season of hope, love, and joy. May the miracle of Easter give you an opportunity to celebrate life and spend some precious time with your family and loved ones.

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

Professor Rocky S. Tuan
Vice-Chancellor and President