Welcome to the eighth edition of CUHK in Focus.

The 2022-23 academic year signals a special beginning for CUHK, with our 60th anniversary celebrations scheduled to formally get underway in early 2023. At the outset of what is shaping up to be a landmark year for us, I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations and warm welcome to all new students. I was delighted to attend our first face-to-face Inauguration Ceremony in three years and speak to all freshmen earlier this week. As I mentioned at the Ceremony, our new students are about to embark on a stimulating journey that will incorporate the boundless opportunities for whole-person development, a hallmark of the CUHK student experience.  

The Inauguration Ceremony for Undergraduates 2022 was held at Sir Run Run Shaw Hall

I am equally excited to welcome back all students, who are not just commencing another school year, but returning to face-to-face classes after the last academic year was once again interrupted by pandemic restrictions. The full resumption of face-to-face classes means that we shall be able to experience the greatly missed vibrancy on campus again.

Whether you are a freshman having just completed secondary school, or a continuing CUHK student, the past two and a half years have been particularly challenging. Rest assured that the resilience and perseverance you have learned throughout the pandemic will equip very well in navigating the challenges of the future. Employers tell us they are looking for graduates that understand resilience, are critical thinkers, and are capable of thriving in complex environments. These skills are so important in an economy which is increasingly disrupted by new technologies, new supply chains, and the emergence of non-traditional competitors.

Perhaps manifested in different ways, it has been challenging for staff too. Online learning, Zoom meetings, lengthy quarantine periods and time separated from loved ones. This is a price we have all paid throughout the pandemic.

Although COVID-19 infections appear once again on the rise, our city is pivoting to a new phase of its pandemic response. Vaccination rates across Hong Kong are now among the highest in the world, and we have the tools in place to ensure we can balance public health measures with the return of many features of what we used to call normal life.

At CUHK, we are striving to get that balance right. All infection control measures on campus will continue to be in place. The University has recently implemented arrangements for staff and students who undergo mandatory quarantine requirements on return, including those undertaking subsequent medical surveillance under the government’s enhanced vaccine pass function. This means that staff and students returning from around the world to commence the new academic year, after completing their quarantine, will be able to come to campus for work or study, and amber code holders will be able to take up residence in hostels.

Flag raising ceremony to inaugurate the new academic year

The flag-raising ceremony on 5 September 2022 marked the beginning of the new school year

The new academic year was kicked off with a flag raising ceremony this Monday. We were joined by two esteemed alumni – Secretary for Security, Mr Chris Tang Ping-keung, and Secretary for Education, Dr Christine Choi Yuk-lin.  Also attending were Commissioner of Police Mr Raymond Siu Chak-yee, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr Joe Chow Yat-ming, Professor Xu Kai, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Educational, Scientific and Technological Affairs, the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR, Mr Deng Jianwei, Bureau Chief, Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China in the HKSAR, Mr Wang Qi, Director-General of the Department of International Organisations and Conferences, Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the HKSAR, and CUHK Council Chairman Professor John Chai Yat-Chiu. They were joined by a range of Council members, staff, students and alumni. Starting from this academic year, flag raising ceremonies will be held on a weekly basis and on major holidays. All are welcome to join these ceremonies as our community comes together and shows our love of country.

Vale Dr Vincent H.C. Cheng

The University community and I were deeply saddened by the recent passing of our distinguished alumnus and former Council Chairman Dr Vincent Cheng. Dr Cheng’s contributions to CUHK spanned decades. He committed much of his life to ensuring his alma mater was at the forefront of excellence of higher education in Hong Kong. The legacy of Dr Cheng’s tenure as Council Chairman is widely felt across the University today. Dr Cheng presided over the expansion of CUHK’s college system, oversaw the establishment of CUHK (Shenzhen), and was critical to the creation of the CUHK Medical Centre. The entire CUHK community owes Dr Cheng an enormous debt of gratitude for his service, his vision, and his dedication to our mission. I know you will join me in extending our deepest condolences and sympathies to Dr Cheng’s family.

Recent achievements of CUHK members

Five CUHK scholars have recently received awards from the Excellent Young Scientists Fund (Hong Kong and Macao) (2022), which is a major National Natural Science Foundation of China scheme to reward emerging talent across the nation. I would like to congratulate the recipients on their exemplary work. That three of the five awardees are young women resonates with our commitment to nurturing rewarding pathways for early career researchers irrespective of gender, background or nationality.

Professor Stephen Chan delivers his inaugural lecture as the Ip’s Family Trust Professor in Clinical Oncology

It is always a pleasure to celebrate the work of outstanding colleagues and see their efforts recognised by our network of generous patrons and donors. Hundreds of guests attended the inaugural lecture by the Ip’s Family Trust Professor in Clinical Oncology, Professor Stephen Chan, entitled ‘A Joyful Prescription’ on 18 August 2022. The lecture was an important occasion to honour the Ip family’s generosity and celebrate the stellar career of an outstanding CUHK professor. As more face-to-face events become possible again, I look forward to more opportunities to showcase the work of our community throughout the academic year.

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

Best wishes,

Professor Rocky S. Tuan
Vice-Chancellor and President
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

 

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