Welcome address to new students
The Vice-Chancellor / President’s Blog
Dear new students, my warmest welcome to all of you for joining The Chinese University of Hong Kong!
I would like to first congratulate all of you for successfully overcoming the many challenges you have all faced, particularly under the pandemic situation, and making your way to a new chapter of your life. Whether you are now feeling excited, curious or nervous about university life, you should take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate your efforts and achievements.
Let me share with you a few things about this coming school year.
1. Resumption of face-to-face teaching and learning
I am sure you are aware that, all over the world, the scenes of teaching and learning over the past year and a half have been drastically changed under the pandemic. CUHK has been very successful in adapting to the new normal without compromising our teaching quality and the desired learning outcomes for our students. As the current rate of local infections remains relatively low, we eagerly look forward to resuming face-to-face teaching and learning activities and seeing the greatly missed vibrant campus in the new semester!
While face-to-face teaching will resume in the new semester, we are keenly aware of the needs of students who reside outside Hong Kong and may not be able to make their return to campus due to various restrictions. Please be assured that special arrangements and academic support will be in place for you.
It goes without saying that the health and wellbeing of the entire CUHK community remains our utmost concern. All infection control measures on campus will continue to be in place in the new semester, and we count on your support and cooperation in this regard.
2. Getting ready for new challenges in the real world
The education that you will receive in CUHK is not only about our imparting to you technical and practical knowledge. We are here to prepare you for local and global challenges in the real world, to equip you with the soft skills, and to nurture you to be responsible global citizens. In other words, the CUHK experience will allow you to live and flourish.
As set out in the University’s recently released five-year strategic plan, we aspire to be a civic university that contributes to Hong Kong, our country, the region and the rest of the world, and to achieve “Excellence with Purpose and Responsibility”. Every one of you, as an integral part of the University, will contribute to the realization of our strategic mission and ambition. With this in mind, we will continuously enhance our curricula and co-curricular learning activities and to provide the best support for you.
Let me now give you some specifics.
Our undergraduate curriculum emphasizes both breadth and depth, and is designed to develop your moral character, innovative spirit, entrepreneurial mindset, and emotional resilience. We have made special efforts in recent years, including 1) the curation of more interdisciplinary programmes, 2) co-organizing dual degree programmes with distinguished universities in the mainland and overseas, 3) introducing themes of sustainability in the General Education programmes, and 4) offering a minor programme in entrepreneurship, and supporting entrepreneurial ventures.
In the new academic year, we are putting additional resources into Service Learning and pioneering a new university-wide Co-operative Education Programme, both of which seek to forge closer ties between students and society, industry and the community, so that you can fully develop your expertise and contribute to the betterment of society.
2.2 Student Experience
Whole-person development is a special commitment of CUHK. We are the only university in Hong Kong with a collegiate system. Each of the nine colleges is distinctive in its own way, providing non-formal education and pastoral care to you that complement and complete your formal learning. The University has adopted a fourfold strategy to provide a rewarding student experience that nurtures excellence with purpose and responsibility.
2.3 Global Engagement
CUHK holds a unique position to serve as a bridge between China and the West. We seek to extend our partnerships with international institutions, and to capitalize on new opportunities arising from the Greater Bay Area Development and the Belt and Road initiative. The University is an active member of a number of national, regional and international academic alliances and associations. All these efforts aim to enrich students’ exposure to both Chinese and international culture, as well as involvement in global social communities.
Remember that your future career will no longer be confined by borders, and to succeed in life, you must develop global perspectives and appreciate and embrace diversity and cultural differences.
3. Concluding Remarks
Finally, dear students, as you embark on this new and exciting journey in CUHK, do take ownership of your learning, and step out of your comfort zone. This is the most empowering time of your life. I hope that upon your graduation, you will take pride in what you have achieved in these coming years.
Once again, welcome to the CUHK family. I look forward to seeing you on campus very soon.