Welcome to the 40th edition of CUHK in Focus.

While CUHK is about to conclude its diamond jubilee celebrations, CUHK-Shenzhen recently kicked off its 10th anniversary with a series of events culminating with a special forum on 23 March 2024. It was a pleasure to celebrate this important milestone with CUHK members from Hong Kong and Shenzhen, as well as our partners and friends in the mainland and from overseas to reflect upon the many achievements of the Shenzhen campus in advancing education, research and innovation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) over the past decade.

Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, delivered a speech at the kick-off ceremony of the 10th anniversary of CUHK-Shenzhen.

Earlier this century, CUHK had the foresight to envision a campus in the mainland, even before the announcement of the national strategic outline for GBA development by the Central Government. The establishment of CUHK-Shenzhen in 2014 is testament to our longstanding commitment to building capacity in the region and our determination to contribute meaningfully to the nation’s development.

As the Chairman of the Governing Board of CUHK-Shenzhen, I have witnessed the University make amazing strides over the years. It is remarkable to think that, from a humble beginning as a campus built on disused factories and barren land just ten years ago, today CUHK-Shenzhen commands the highest Gaokao cutoff for undergraduate admissions in Guangdong Province and is consistently ranked number one in the nation in the Shanghai Ranking’s league table examining “Sino-foreign” collaborative universities. During my tenure as Chairman of the Governing Board, I have also witnessed the establishment of the University’s School of Medicine and the School of Music, which will further diversify academic offerings and present a unique educational ecosystem to Shenzhen and the GBA.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Professor Xu Yangsheng, President of CUHK-Shenzhen, for his wise leadership, a key underpinning factor of the University’s success over the past decade. A special tribute should also go to my predecessor Professor Lawrence Lau, for his strategic vision that paved the way for CUHK to take the momentous leap that has contributed so meaningfully to higher education in the GBA. I look forward to seeing CUHK-Shenzhen ascend new heights as a key member of the CUHK family.

Dialogue with Ven Kuan Yun

I was pleased to take part in a thought-provoking dialogue with Ven Kuan Yun, the President of The Hong Kong Buddhist Association, on campus last week. The unique event brought together diverse and interesting perspectives on the intersection between Buddhism and biomedicine. It was a special event for many reasons. While interdisciplinarity is a common buzz word on university campuses, it is not often that spiritual and academic communities come together to consider the profound questions about the fascinating nexus between the scientific and religious realms. There is much that the Buddhist and biomedical research communities can learn from one another. The dialogue gave us an opportunity to think critically about the contrast between Buddhism as a traditional religion and biomedicine as a field of cutting-edge technology and the ethical dilemmas we face while enjoying the benefits of scientific progress. This type of interdisciplinary dialogue that examines the nexus between the spiritual and scientific worlds is exactly the elements of rich cultural and intellectual tapestry that we hope to forge at CUHK. Data and information alone are insufficient; knowledge and wisdom sourced from spiritual, experiential, and scientific interactions are critical for civilisation. I would like to express my deep gratitude to Ven Kuan Yun for opening new vistas to our consciousness and the audience for their great support of the event and creating an enriching atmosphere for intellectual engagement.

Ven Kuan Yun and Professor Rocky S. Tuan engaged in an inspiring conversation about the intricate relationship between religion and science.

Welcoming the Xuelong 2

The CUHK community has been gearing up for the Global Conference on Climate Change, to be held at the Yasumoto International Academic Park on 9 and 10 April. This is an important occasion which will see experts from Hong Kong, the nation and around the world discuss the growing challenge of climate change. The Conference is purposely held to concur with the visit of the icebreaking polar exploration vessel Xuelong 2 to Hong Kong upon its return from its excursion to Antarctica, with the vessel’s visit being a powerful reminder that while Antarctica may feel worlds away from our daily lives, climate change is a very real issue which impacts all of us.

As the first higher institution in Hong Kong to make a carbon neutral pledge, CUHK has been deeply connected with the national polar research vessel, Xuelong, through our honorary fellow, Dr Lee Lok-sze Rebecca, the first woman in the world to have visited all three poles: North Pole, the South Pole, and Mount Everest. A model of the vessel has been one of the most popular exhibits at our Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change. In addition, in November last year, I was deeply honoured to be invited to the launch event for the nation’s 40th Antarctic scientific expedition by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Shanghai Municipal Government. The invitation to such an event of great historical importance is testament to national recognition of CUHK’s credentials in environmental research. The upcoming Global Conference on Climate Change will enable us to further our commitment to supporting the nation’s efforts in addressing climate change and protecting marine resources, as well as the HKSAR government’s initiatives to encourage green transformation through fostering international exchange and collaboration.

Professor Rocky S. Tuan was invited by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Shanghai Municipal Government to attend the launch event for China’s 40th Antarctic scientific expedition in November, 2023.

Joint university sports competitions

2023/24 has been a highly rewarding year for CUHK athletes as their outstanding performance has earned them awards and accolades in a number of competitions organised by the University Sports Federation of Hong Kong. Their achievements in these intervarsity competitions speak volumes about their collective passion for sports, excellent sportsmanship and team spirit, and amply exemplify the whole-person education ideal of CUHK. I am sure their dedication and perseverance will be an inspiration to their fellow students in their pursuit of excellence. Congratulations to all CUHK athletes on their job well done!

The CUHK Dragon Boat Team celebrated their victory at the USFHK competition.

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