Welcome to the 21st edition of CUHK in Focus.
It was a great honour to join government officials, representatives of local universities and innovation and technology leaders at a special event to welcome Mr Xia Baolong, Vice Chairman of the 13th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and Director of the State Council’s Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office, this Monday afternoon. We were particularly grateful for the opportunity to showcase our world-class research outcomes to Mr Xia at our Multi-scale Medical Robotics Centre in the Hong Kong Science Park, one of the six research centres founded under the government’s InnoHK initiative.
With innovation and technology being a major driving force for national development, research universities in Hong Kong are endowed with a mission to cultivate future-ready talents and generate far-reaching impact on society through research and innovation. During Mr Xia’s visit, I shared with him our University’s dedication and strategies to play the role as a “super-connector” bridging the world with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area by creating a seamless research- innovation-entrepreneurship ecosystem that brings tangible social benefits. With the continuous investment and support from the HKSAR government in driving research and innovation, we are confident that Hong Kong will achieve high-quality growth as an international I&T hub in the new phase of national development.
Reunion with the postgraduate community
I was delighted to attend the High Table Dinner jointly organised by the Postgraduate Halls Residents’ Association (PGHRA) and the Postgraduate Student Association of CUHK (CUPSA) a few weeks ago. It was a long-awaited event that gave me a perfect opportunity to meet with our postgraduate community. My heartfelt appreciation goes to all committee members of PGHRA and CUPSA and colleagues of the Postgraduate Halls and the Office of Student Affairs who worked hard to make this event possible.
Top-quality, internationalised postgraduate education is a commitment of CUHK. We place equal emphasis on providing students of our taught postgraduate programmes with an enriching academic experience that prepares them for the next phase of success in their career, as well as supporting our research postgraduates in contributing substantially to research and scholarship culture of CUHK and engaging in research and innovation that create value for society.
Talent attraction and development is increasingly a major challenge for the post-pandemic world, and higher education has a vital role in cultivating future-ready talents for the knowledge economy of the 21st century. I took the opportunity to talk to our postgraduates about our city’s array of new initiatives targeted at attracting talents, as well as the strategic directions of CUHK in talent development and advancing research and innovation for social good.
CUHK’s Graduate School offers over 220 programmes and awards more than 6,000 postgraduate qualifications every year to students coming from around the globe who aspire to become life-long learners, distinguished academics and competent leaders in a world striving for both excellence and sustainability. The postgraduate community is a key contributor to advancing our strategic goals as a civic university. I hope our postgraduate students will harness the abundant experiential learning opportunities provided by CUHK to pave way for success in their career.
Partnership with Stanford University
I was honoured to welcome Professor John Hennessy, former President of Stanford University, on campus earlier this month. Professor Hennessy came all the way from the United States to meet with our students and deliver a special information session on the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Programme that he had initiated upon stepping down from presidency in 2016. The prestigious programme is the world’s largest fully endowed graduate-level scholarship scheme. Every year, it enables up to 100 scholars from different disciplines and cultures to receive full funding to pursue a graduate or professional degree in any of Stanford’s seven schools while engaging in experiences that equip them to be visionary and collaborative global leaders.
CUHK values our strategic partnership with Stanford University to nurture future talents. The two universities have been working closely together to advance higher education on a global scale. In 2019, CUHK gladly became Stanford’s very first partner in Greater China in its prestigious Bing Overseas Studies Programme, a tailormade academic programme that allows Stanford students to experience international education at one of its 13 programme centres worldwide. With the kind support of Professor Lawrence Lau, former Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, who generously connected us with the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Programme, CUHK is thrilled to deepen our partnership with Stanford University.
Victories in sports competitions
2023 has so far proven to be an exciting year for CUHK athletes, as they have achieved remarkable success in a range of intervarsity sports competitions organised by the University Sports Federation of Hong Kong (USFHK). It gave me great pleasure to attend the CUHK Sports Prizes Presentation Ceremony last Friday to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of our elite athletes. An impressive number of 24 CUHK sports teams got the first three places at the USFHK Sports Competitions this year, with 10 being crowned the champion, including the Men’s Cross Country, Rowing, Tennis, and Woodball Teams, and the Women’s Cross Country, Dragon Boat, Karate, Rowing, Taekwondo and Track and Field Teams. I am truly impressed by the perseverance and dedication that our student athletes have demonstrated. I would also like to express my gratitude to their coaches, the University’s sports medicine team and colleagues at the Physical Education Unit for their dedicated support of our athletes throughout training and competitions. Thank you all so much for bringing credit to the CUHK community, and congratulations to the brilliant performance at the territory-wide competitions.
As the only publicly funded university in Hong Kong offering a credit-bearing compulsory Physical Education programme, CUHK regards sports as a key element of students’ whole-person development. We also provide student athletes with flexible academic arrangements and other forms of assistance in their learning and personal development in support of their pursuit of dual-track development in sports training and studies through the Student-Athlete Learning Support and Admission (SALSA) Scheme launched by the University Grants Committee, alongside the University’s Sports Scholarship Scheme and School Principals’ Nominations Scheme. We will continue to collaborate with our corporate partners and alumni network to create internship opportunities to enhance the professional development of our student athletes beyond their active sports career.
Promoting cultural heritage
I was privileged to be invited by Professor Ng Yuet Lau, Founding President of the Ling Ngai Art Association, to officiate at the opening ceremony of a Lingnan painting exhibition held at the Hong Kong Central Library last weekend. The exhibition featured ingenious original works by Professor Ng, members of Ling Ngai Art Association, students of Christian Zheng Sheng College and winners of the inaugural Xiling Cup – Hong Kong Youth Calligraphy, Painting and Seal Engraving Competition.
Among the many schools of modern Chinese painting, the Lingnan School of Painting enjoys considerable fame for its innovative combination of traditional Chinese painting techniques with western watercolor techniques. Professor Ng, an Honorary Fellow of CUHK and its S.H. Ho College, is eager to preserve and promote this important part of Chinese painting heritage to the public. Embracing our long-standing mission to ‘combine tradition with modernity, and to bring together China and the West’, CUHK hopes to forge closer ties with her to nurture young artists and promote Chinese arts and culture to the broader community.
Widely acclaimed as a third-generation master of the Lingnan School of Painting, Professor Ng has been fervently supporting art education at CUHK through hosting exhibitions, workshops and overseas cultural trips for our student community. She has also kindly granted our production of a series of souvenirs featuring her exquisite paintings of CUHK’s landmarks in celebration of the University’s 60th anniversary. May I express my sincere gratitude to Professor Ng for her generous support of CUHK’s diamond jubilee.
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