Welcome to the tenth edition of CUHK in Focus.
Ranked consistently as one of the world’s most international universities, CUHK comprises a highly global population of staff and students. The recent (and long awaited!) removal of hotel quarantine is not just a welcome development for our city to regain connectivity with the world, but also for many members of the CUHK community to reunite with family and friends overseas and physically reengage internationally for academic and professional exchanges. It is my sincere hope that the mainland border will re-open soon to allow more people-to-people interactions and direct engagement with the extraordinary opportunities across the nation.
Autumn is in the air providing a welcome respite from the recent heat. Although summer is behind us, this time of year is a signal that the academic year is in full swing. Indeed, the University has been buzzing with activities. Last week, our Council Chairman and I hosted a dinner in honour of five distinguished individuals who have been appointed Honorary Fellows earlier this year. It was a privilege for me to join so many members of the University community, including Council members, staff and alumni representatives to celebrate their outstanding professional achievements and their contributions to CUHK and the community.
Our community came together again last weekend with a special flag raising ceremony to mark the National Day holiday in celebration of the 73rd anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. Almost 400 staff, students and alumni gathered to celebrate the auspicious moment of the birth of the nation.
Connecting with our community – at home and abroad
CUHK has cultivated over a quarter of a million talents who now form a diverse, vibrant alumni community that is truly a mirror of the University’s developments over the last six decades. Over the past couple of weeks, I had the pleasure of meeting with dozens of alumni leaders here in Hong Kong. It is always inspiring to see the impact of CUHK’s unique educational experience on their personal and professional lives. I was particularly pleased to talk to our alumni about the key initiatives in our 2021-2025 Strategic Plan, and listen to their ideas on how CUHK can best mark its diamond jubilee next year. I am truly thankful for the unwavering commitment of our alumni family who have been there to support the evolution of the University across generations.
The last two weeks has also been an exciting time for our entrepreneurship agenda, with the annual CUHK Entrepreneur Day taking place on 23rd and 24th September. Innovation and entrepreneurship is an increasingly important part of what makes CUHK special. This event is a fantastic opportunity for faculty members, students and alumni who are interested in starting a business to learn from our network of successful entrepreneurs and expand their network of investors. From iconic unicorns, such as AI giants SenseTime and SmartMore, to emerging start-ups on medical robotics, smart wearables, and social enterprises, the event showcased a diverse emerging ecosystem of entrepreneurs to ignite inspiration and shine the way to start-up success.
The easing of social distancing measures is also seeing a resumption of diplomatic visits and I was pleased to join colleagues to welcome a delegation led by Singaporean Consul-General to Hong Kong Ong Siew Gay and discuss opportunities to collaborate in areas such as smart cities, health and the sustainable development goals.
Diplomatic visits are an important opportunity to build international links and showcase our achievements on the international stage. More diplomatic visits are planned over the coming weeks and I look forward to meeting with the Vietnamese and Indian Consuls-General soon.
A frequent topic raised during my discussions with diplomats is how we can provide a vibrant, welcoming experience for international students during their time at CUHK. We take great pride in the international student experience and I was pleased to welcome 400 students from 42 different nationalities at a special event to mark the commencement of their studies.
Good news to celebrate
It has been another stellar period for members of our community receiving accolades in recognition of their work.
Many of you would have seen the extensive media coverage here in Hong Kong and around the world of Professor Dennis Lo Yuk-ming’s Lasker Award announced last week. Professor Lo was honoured with this prestigious award for his revolutionary non-invasive prenatal fetal DNA-based tests which have transformed literally millions of lives around the world.
My congratulations also go to Professor Anthony So Man-cho, Dean of Graduate School, on winning the 2022 UGC Teaching Award (General Faculty Members). This respected honour from the UGC is a fine tribute to Professor So’s commitment to learner-centred teaching and multidisciplinary curriculum design. The University is thrilled to see another distinguished professor being publicly acknowledged for his teaching excellence.
I was also delighted to attend a special ceremony to recognise the excellent achievements of eight students in areas such as STEM, music, writing and community service saw them conferred with the CUHK Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship for Excellence. Congratulations to all of them and I hope the scholarship will motivate them to excel even further in their studies and beyond.
Finally, I would like to congratulate Professor Vincent C.T. Mok on delivering an inspiring installation address to mark his appointment as the new Master of S.H. Ho College at a special ceremony a fortnight ago. My best wishes to Professor Mok as he embarks on this important chapter in the chronicle of CUHK’s unique collegiate system, and continues the College’s proud commitment to being a “home away from home”.
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