Welcome to the seventeenth edition of CUHK in Focus.
Last Sunday marked an important milestone in the history of CUHK as we kick-started our diamond jubilee year at the 60th Anniversary Commencement Ceremony. It was a most memorable evening and a touching moment for all who attended the event in person or the thousands who watched its live broadcast online from different corners of the world. The dazzling light art projections, the sensational drone extravaganza and a series of exciting music and dance performances by students amply demonstrated the uniqueness of CUHK as a world-class university that fuses east and west and integrates tradition with modernity.
I would like to thank the hundreds and thousands of staff, students, alumni, partners and friends of CUHK who staunchly supported the event and have stood with us throughout the years in our continuous quest for excellence in education and research. We were grateful to the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Chan Kwok-ki, GBS, IDSM, JP, the Secretary for Education, Dr Choi Yuk-lin, JP and the Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Professor Sun Dong, JP for gracing us with their presence. All your unfailing support is the best birthday present for CUHK.
It is particularly delightful that over 30 colleagues from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen), led by President Xu Yangsheng, were also here with us to celebrate the memorable moment. The significant importance CUHK places on developing linkages with the mainland is symbolised most prominently by our close bond with CUHK-Shenzhen, which is entering its 10th anniversary next year! As the border has now fully reopened, I personally look forward to visiting the mainland on multiple occasions in the coming weeks and months. The University will leverage its academic resources to contribute to the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and nationwide.
A new chapter
As I mentioned in my welcome address at the ceremony, the vision of our founders was anchored in a passion for Chinese culture, and a desire to create impact on the local, national, and global stages. Since the inception of the University, our motto, “Through Learning and Temperance to Virtue”, has been both a guiding principle and a practical framework for how we advocate whole-person development with equal emphasis on the intellectual and moral aspects of education, how we cultivate responsible citizens through service learning, and how we consider the benefits for society in everything we do. Across six decades, CUHK has stood the test of time by staying true to its roots. It has grown from a young university to a full-fledged 21st-century academic institution that has nurtured numerous brilliant minds who are now at the leading edge of learning and research, leaving indelible marks on the national and global front – CUHK is truly a place “where great minds shine”.
The 60th anniversary represents more than a time to reminisce, but also an occasion for us to look to the future. I am deeply honoured to be able to lead the University to carry on its legacy of pursuing excellence with purpose and responsibility as it strides confidently into this next chapter of its history. CUHK places global engagement and expanded links with the mainland as a strategic priority, riding on our strong foundation of basic research, talent cultivation, as well as innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in the GBA. We will also remain at the forefront of education excellence in nurturing civic-minded leaders, instilling a sense of national identity and cultivating a strong awareness of the Chinese nation across our student community, and advancing the sustainable development agenda.
The commencement ceremony marked the official launch of an exciting range of events taking place right through to the end of the 2023/2024 academic year. I would like to express my appreciation to Ms Lina Yan, Chairperson of the CUHK 60th Anniversary Celebration Steering Committee, for her tireless support for her alma mater over many decades and ensuring our celebratory activities enjoy the support from an extensive range of stakeholders. I hope our anniversary celebrations and endeavours will receive the support from the entire CUHK community, members of the public, and our national and global partners who have helped to shape the future of the University.
Building successful partnerships
It was a great honour to welcome a delegation of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government last week, headed by Mr Zheng Hongbo, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Shenzhen Municipal Committee and the Party Leadership Group of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government. We were glad to showcase to our guests some of the University’s most advanced research outcomes, including the development of high-voltage and high-stability aqueous electrolytes at the Electrochemical Energy and Interfaces Laboratory. We also had extensive exchanges with the delegation on furthering cross-border collaborations on the educational front, and on strengthening the scientific research and innovation ecosystem of GBA. I hope our joint effort will help to turbocharge the growth of the GBA and that the University can contribute meaningfully to national development by giving full play to our strengths in talent cultivation and innovation.
This week I was particularly thrilled to attend a special meeting of university leaders with Zheng Yanxiong, the new Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. I could feel Director Zheng’s aspirations for the development of the higher education sector in Hong Kong. I was most moved by Director Zheng’s understanding and love of Hong Kong. During the meeting, Director Zheng spoke about the special attention he pays to Hong Kong’s universities and the need for them to maintain their advantages in internationalisation and cultivating talents, and the need to consolidate Hong Kong’s role as a multicultural centre of excellence in innovation and technology. It is clear that Director Zheng hopes that Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area will reinforce their complementary strengths in industry, innovation and research, advance mutually beneficial cooperation, and that all of Hong Kong’s universities will cultivate talents with strong moral character and with a strong love of the country and Hong Kong.
On the global engagement front, I was delighted to take part in a virtual forum hosted by the Higher Education Leadership Academy, Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia and the University of Malaya earlier and exchange views with other higher education leaders on how universities could respond proactively to the new trends in global education and student mobility in the post-pandemic era. The event created precious opportunities for translational collaborations among institutions to achieve greater social impact.
To further our commitment to advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, CUHK has recently unveiled a landmark partnership with The George Institute for Global Health, an independent medical research institute headquartered in Australia with offices in China, India and the United Kingdom dedicated to non-communicable diseases and injury. This exciting collaboration will see CUHK partner with a truly global institute to focus on targeted interventions and clinical breakthroughs to improve the lives of people in the GBA and beyond. This partnership is a testament of CUHK’s internationally renowned strengths in medicine and is a powerful example of Hong Kong’s role as a superconnector linking international research talent to power the nation’s development.
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