From vision to reality

CUHK-Shenzhen celebrates 10th anniversary

The theme, “Decade of Success, Fusion of Innovation”, marks the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen) this year.

On 23 March, the Shenzhen campus hosted a special ceremony and forums to mark this landmark event, attracting more than 1,000 guests from both cities. Scholars and government officials who had played significant roles in the institution’s development gathered on this remarkable occasion to exchange ideas and review the 10-year, cross-boundary journey of blood, sweat and tears.

Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK and Chairman of the Governing Board of CUHK-Shenzhen, said that he was greatly impressed by how the two campuses had worked together to realise this ambitious vision. 

“The founding of CUHK-Shenzhen is an experience in itself. Every time I stroll along Fairy Lake on campus, I am always deeply moved by how quickly the university has grown and flourished,” he said. “It has been my pleasure to be part of this arduous journey of path-searching, and I am pleased to witness the Hong Kong and Shenzhen campuses complementing each other.” 

Professor Tuan also talked about CUHK’s ability to give full play to its strengths in teaching, learning and research to support the country’s development goals. “The decision of establishing a campus in Shenzhen opened an important chapter in the university’s history. As the first Hong Kong higher education institution to set foot in Shenzhen, CUHK has showcased its steadfast commitment to achieving excellence with purpose and responsibility.” 

Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK Professor Rocky S. Tuan delivers a speech to celebrate CUHK-Shenzhen’s 10th anniversary

His predecessor and architect of the vision to establish the campus, Professor Lawrence Lau Juen-yee, expressed confidence that the cooperation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen was a win-win for both cities. He also spoke about the importance of encouraging and empowering the next generation. 

“It is our responsibility to educate young people as they are the future. We should connect with the world and foster global knowledge exchange,” the former Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK told the audience.

The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Mr John Lee Ka-chiu, gave a congratulatory video message to CUHK-Shenzhen. He wrote: “CUHK-Shenzhen has inherited the long-standing vision, mission and academic system of CUHK. The two campuses serve as exemplars of cooperation in higher education and the cultivation of innovative talent.” 

Mr Qin Weizhong, Mayor of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government, emphasised that the authorities would continue providing tireless support to university development to build a strong nation that excelled at education, technology and talent training.

The most moving message came from none other than Professor Xu Yangsheng, Founding President of CUHK-Shenzhen. On behalf of the institution, he expressed gratitude to friends from all walks of life who have supported and witnessed its growth.

“We started out empty-handed,” said the founding President. “It was difficult to set up a university from barren land and a few abandoned factory buildings.”

He remembered how campus life 10 years ago, when teaching began, was not as vibrant as it is today. The nighttime road separating the schools from the dormitories in Longgang district was dark. To keep students safe, he would personally patrol the road every night and accompany them back to their hostels after a tiring day of studies.

Thunderous applause broke out when Professor Xu showed a picture of himself by the nighttime road. “CUHK-Shenzhen is a student-centred family. Students always come first, followed by teachers and then the administration,” he declared feelingly. “All of us weather the storms with one another and bear fruit as one. 

Professor Xu waiting to accompany students on their way back to the dormitories at night

“Ten years ago, when an old factory building was renovated and turned into the university library, I wrote a quote and put it up in the lift––‘Despite the darkness, as long as there is someone studying, there will be hope for humanity’.”

CUHK-Shenzhen is a home which supports its students unconditionally. In this special year, Professor Xu has another message for all students: “As you enrich your lives with knowledge, bear in mind that you shoulder the responsibility to contribute to society and the country.

“Thank you for choosing us. I am very proud of you. The university has brought you to the world, and you have also shown the world how great we are. The future is in your hands!” 

CUHK-Shenzhen President Professor Xu Yangsheng (right) attends the ceremony with (from left) Honorary Chairman of the China Association for Science and Technology Professor Han Qide; former CUHK Vice-Chancellor and President Professors Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, Ambrose King Yeo-chi, Lawrence Lau Juen-yee and Joseph Sung Jao-yiu; Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK Professor Rocky S. Tuan and former HKSAR Chief Executive Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor

Following the speeches, the CUHK and CUHK-Shenzhen orchestra and choir put up a great performance of Thunder in the Dry Season and You Raise Me Up respectively. Staff members from both campuses, including Professor Tuan, sang The Pearl of the Orient and invited the audience to join in the chorus, creating a joyful and rousing atmosphere.

The ceremony was followed by “Development Forums on the 10th Anniversary of CUHK-Shenzhen”. Guests engaged in meaningful discussions on “Joining Hands to Build an International Hub for Higher Education” and “Cultivating Innovative Talent to Foster Internationalisation”. They shared ideas and explored topics including talent cultivation, artificial intelligence, global engagement and policy support.

Former Chief Executive of the HKSAR Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor voiced that educational institutions in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area would complement each other’s strengths and soar to new heights. President of the Greater Bay Area Science Forum Professor Bai Chunli believed that the integration of research and teaching would spur the development of more talent in the country. International collaboration was fundamental to opportunities to shape innovative ideas to tackle global challenges, he said.

By Gillian Cheng
Photos by Communications and Public Relations Office, CUHK-Shenzhen


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