Welcome to the 41st edition of CUHK in Focus.

The visit of our country’s first independently built icebreaking polar exploration vessel Xuelong 2 to Hong Kong from 8 to 12 April 2024 was an important milestone for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The vessel’s visit coincided with the 40th anniversary of the nation’s Antarctic expeditions and was the first time that an icebreaker had visited Hong Kong.

(From left) Professor Kwan Mei-po, Director of CUHK’s Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, Professor Chan Wai-yee, Pro-Vice-Chancellor / Vice-President (Strategic Developments) of CUHK, Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, and Professor Alan Chan, Provost of CUHK, attended the Xuelong 2 Welcome Ceremony.

For CUHK, the visit also holds particular significance as the Xuelong has been a prominent part of our exhibition in the globally unique CUHK Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change (MoCC). Our honorary fellow, Dr Rebecca Lee Lok-sze, who was instrumental in the establishment of the Museum, had the privilege years ago to participate in the Xuelong’s missions to Antarctica. Some of you may recall that last November, I had the great honour of representing CUHK in Shanghai when the vessel departed for its latest voyage. It was thus a tremendous pleasure and a special honour for CUHK to host a two-day Global Conference on Climate Change on 9 and 10 April as part of a series of events celebrating Xuelong 2’s visit to Hong Kong.

CUHK hosted the Global Conference on Climate Change, bringing together more than 2,000 representatives from around the world for solution-oriented discussions

The negative effects of climate change and the implications of what is occurring in the polar regions are increasingly impacting our daily lives. Extreme weather events, rising temperatures and sea levels… all of these are threatening our lives in Hong Kong and worldwide; unless urgent action is taken to address climate change, the intensity of these issues will only continue to grow. The interdisciplinary and multidimensional global conference provided an excellent platform for policymakers and researchers from across Hong Kong, the mainland, and the world to share knowledge and disseminate research findings and engage in solution-oriented discussions, creating opportunities for us to foster more scientific research cooperation with the mainland and the world to combat climate change.

Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, delivered a welcome address at the Global Conference on Climate Change.

During the conference, there was a special session chaired by our MoCC Scholar and CUHK alumna, Ms Natalie Chung, where she moderated a discussion between Xuelong 2 scientists and students from CUHK and local secondary schools. We are proud that a key feature of the MoCC is its very passionate group of student ambassadors who hail from all disciplines across the University but are united by their commitment to increasing awareness of the impact of climate change.

May I take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the Central Government, the HKSAR Government, all co-organisers and funding organisations for their generous support for the conference and firm belief in the role that CUHK plays as a champion of climate action. My special thanks also go to everyone attending the conference, whose active participation should give us great confidence in the collective commitment of so many to addressing the great climate challenge.

Stellar performance

CUHK is pleased to achieve encouraging results in the latest 2024 QS World University Rankings by Subjects. 19 subjects spanning different disciplines at CUHK landed in the world’s top fifty, a significant increase from last year’s figure of 12 subjects. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the entire University community for their contributions to consolidating CUHK’s position as a global institution renowned for its academic and research excellence.

I was delighted to attend the CUHK Sports Prizes Presentation Ceremony last Friday to recognise the outstanding accomplishments of our elite athletes in various intervarsity and external competitions. Their exceptional athletic prowess has brought honour and pride to the University. They have also inspired us with their unwavering commitment to sports. Congratulations to all recipients of the CUHK Sports Prizes. May I also take this opportunity to thank the coaches of all CUHK sports teams, the University’s sports medicine team and colleagues at the Physical Education Unit for supporting our student athletes throughout training and competitions.

Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, took a selfie with student athletes at the CUHK Sports Prizes Presentation Ceremony.

Recognition of dedicated service

Next week, I will be delighted to present the Long Service Awards to staff members who have served the University for an amazing 15, 25 and 35 years. I am sure you will be impressed to know that the combined year of service of all the 286 colleagues who are honoured this year adds up to 5760 years! This astonishing five millennia of dedicated service is an essential ingredient in ensuring that CUHK is synonymous with excellence. The University is proud of our long-standing people-oriented philosophy and firm belief in bringing in the best and bringing out the best in all our staff as key to our continued success. We hold dear the idea that all members of Team CUHK play different yet equally important roles, and that we work together with mutual respect and trust to create a positive workplace. As the University enters the next decade of development, I would like to express my deep appreciation to all the long-serving colleagues for their hard work, dedication and commitment over the years, and congratulate them on achieving an important milestone in their career at CUHK.

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