Welcome to the first edition of CUHK in Focus.
CUHK in Focus is a new, fortnightly newsletter designed to build an even stronger sense of community by sharing information across the University, in our Faculties, our Colleges, Departments and Administrative Units.
I hope it will provide a good mix of engaging and inspiring features to keep you connected with the extraordinary work of our staff, students, and alumni.
But rather than just focusing on news and events, I hope CUHK in Focus showcases the people that make this such an amazing place to live, work and study.
Rankings performance – QS Subject Rankings and THE Impact Rankings
There is much to celebrate in this first edition.
CUHK has recently received multiple rounds of international recognition, which is testament to the hard work and dedication across our community. In the QS World University Subject Rankings, 21 subjects offered at CUHK landed in the world’s top fifty. Behind every ranking success sits a rich tapestry of human stories, and you will read an interview with Prof. Francis Chan, Dean of the CUHK Faculty of Medicine, telling us how the collective efforts of our students, teachers, and researchers have made it possible (in just 40 years!) to become the best in medicine in Hong Kong, the second in Asia, and the 29th globally.
While rankings certainly do not rule the way the university is run, they enable us to focus on a virtuous circle of continuous improvement, providing important indicators of our performance relative to our international peers.
CUHK participated for the first time in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, which measure the contribution of universities against each of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We had the highest total score of any participating university in Hong Kong, ranked 10th globally for SDG4 – Quality Education, 36th for SDG8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth, and 81st for SDG16 – Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions. Our overall performance saw us ranked in the top 200 indicating strong potential for further improvement as we advance our commitment to social responsibility and sustainable development as a key pillar of our 2021-2025 Strategic Plan.
Beyond university rankings, CUHK researchers and students picked up 17 awards at the 2022 International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, including four Gold Medals, ten Silver, and three Bronze, demonstrating our research excellence and innovations on the global stage.
Some thoughts on global engagement
The work we do internationally, including partnerships and collaborations, has never been more important. The pandemic, which enters its third year, amply underscores the fact that we are all citizens of a global village. As international travel remains challenging, we must remain globally connected and prepared for physical engagement with the international community once the pandemic situation allows. If we get this right, higher education can be a big part of Hong Kong’s economic transformation and our international links are crucial to achieving this. I wrote more about this recently and you can read my piece here.
Student experience and research excellence
A diverse and inclusive campus is an essential ingredient to vibrant university life. We bring in new talent from around the world and take pride in providing them with opportunities to shine. This diversity is a central part of the CUHK student experience. In A Love Never Lost – The Cricket Renaissance at CUHK, Desidhu Jayaweera, a final-year engineering student from Sri Lanka, and Dr. John Wright, a faculty member from the Department of Statistics, share their successful experience of establishing a student cricket society through affiliation with the Office of Student Affairs.
This issue also features a fascinating story about an incredible research discovery championed by a team in our Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering. Looking like the stuff of science fiction, the ‘slime robot’ has remarkable potential for applications in medicine and other practical uses. The video in our story generated international media attention and strong interest in this innovative technology, showing the excitement value of our research agenda.
It was uplifting to attend the 20th Honorary Fellowship Presentation Ceremony this Monday where the University conferred Honorary Fellowships on five remarkable individuals who have made outstanding contributions to their fields, to CUHK and as a whole. The Honorary Fellowships are one of the highest honours conferred by the University, and this year’s five awardees represented what makes this University special. Leading exploration geophysicist Professor Cheng Chuen-hon Arthur, distinguished watch entrepreneur Mr. Lam Wai-hung Enders, veteran banker Mr. Li Kwok-sing Aubrey, Former Head of New Asia College Professor Wong Nai-ching Henry, and Hong Kong Paralympic medalist Ms YU Chui-yee were conferred Honorary Fellowships at a moving ceremony attended by their friends and families, the new Council Chairman Professor John Chai Yat-chiu, and members of the CUHK community. My congratulations to each of our Honorary Fellows on their outstanding achievements.
Pandemic restrictions easing
The fifth wave was a trying chapter in Hong Kong’s battle against COVID-19, and we can take some comfort that the infection peak appears to be behind us. It will be tremendously uplifting to see vibrancy being gradually restored to the campus. But as you return to CUHK, please make sure that you are up to date with your vaccinations, always wear a mask, and use the LeaveHomeSafe app when and where applicable.
I know this has been a busy time across our community with examinations and assessments over the past few weeks. I would like to acknowledge our faculty members for the hard work they have put in for what turned out to be another online assessment period, and of course pay tribute to our students and wish you all the best in your exam results.
I look forward to sharing more stories with you in our next edition of CUHK In Focus.
Professor Rocky S. Tuan
Vice-Chancellor and President
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
(Please note that CUHK in Focus reserves the right not to publish any article submitted, edit its contents, and determine its publication date.)