Interview with the President Building strategically on the past, soaring to greater heights in the future

Fortified by the dynamic University development of recent years, President Professor Way Kuo shares how the new Strategic Plan will steer CityU to further inspiring accomplishments as a leading global academic institution.

Q: CityU has developed extensively in recent years. In particular, our Strategic Plan for 2010–2015, Excellence in Research and Professional Education, created a strong foundation. What are some of the highlights from this period?

A: The implementation of our pioneering Discovery-enriched Curriculum (DEC) is certainly a milestone achievement in CityU’s history. The DEC offers a groundbreaking approach to innovation-oriented education for the 21st century. The opportunities to discover, innovate and create under the DEC are strengthening our students’ career prospects and promising a great deal for the future of society.

It is not only the intellectual environment that has been enhanced. The completion of three award-winning buildings and the initiation of more state-of-the-art academic facilities have transformed the physical outlook of campus and created a dynamic space for learning, teaching and research.

The outcome of these achievements has been strong showings in global rankings for higher education. We have leapt from among the top 200 global universities a decade ago to the top 60, according to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). In addition, CityU has been ranked among the world’s top 150 universities in terms of the most employable graduates for two consecutive years by a European annual survey, and 4th in the top 50 universities under 50 years of age in 2015, also according to QS.

Q: Moving forward, what are the major plans for nurturing a new breed of professionals for the 21st century?

A: The University’s Strategic Plan 2015–2020, Making a Difference through Excellence in Research and Professional Education, is definitely a blueprint for nurturing such professionals. It establishes a set of action plans around five strategic themes that further elevate CityU’s academic excellence, international standing, and societal contributions as a leading global university, one that is increasingly recognised for its problem-based research and professional education.

What our new Plan sets out to achieve is the enhancement of the quality and employability of our graduates. It seeks to help groom creative and professional graduates who are committed to applying their education and ingenuity to social and economic development.

To realise this objective, the University ensures that solid academic training is on offer to our students. Top-level training will significantly augment career preparation for today’s fast-changing global environment.

In addition, the University is building a successful partnership to connect university education and research with emerging business and industry interests. The rationale is that we can maximise the value of our education and research through the transfer of knowledge, talent and technology.

By way of example, the CityU Employers’ Luncheon 2015 demonstrated the University’s commitment to consolidating our engagement with industry and business sectors, and promoting our students to prospective employers.

CityU is also keen to support entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer. The recently established Innopreneurship Ecosystem provides the CityU community with full life cycle support for innovation and entrepreneurship. Under the Ecosystem, CityU entrepreneurs gain comprehensive support in all stages of entrepreneurial pursuits.

Our new Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) marks a new phase in the promotion of innovative research in Hong Kong. The IAS brings together leading scholars, including Nobel Prize winners, dedicated to addressing the critical global challenges of today. They will work with and mentor other research fellows and students at CityU in problem areas of their choice, and attract more researchers, both highly experienced and junior, for our students to work with and learn from. As a technology driven institute, the IAS will extend the frontiers of knowledge, and enhance its global outreach by integrating research capabilities informed by the sciences, technology and humanities to develop innovative solutions for human betterment.

Q: How can alumni help students to become the leaders of tomorrow’s world?

A: CityU is very fortunate to have such a vibrant alumni network with groups being set up all over the world. These groups are a major source of support for the University. They can boost student development by contributing to student exchange programmes, internships, fundraising, scholarships, mentoring, information talks and sharing sessions.

It is always rewarding to see alumni make progress after graduation. We were delighted when a biotechnology company founded by alumni won the Grand Prix at the 43rd Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions in 2015. Indeed, it is a great pleasure to hear back from alumni, and it is exciting when we read about their success in the media or hear their talks on campus!

Alumni are great sources of wisdom for our students and we welcome any input that can help CityU produce the leaders of tomorrow.

The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) at CityU marks a new phase in the development of innovative research in Hong Kong. The Institute will bring together world-leading scholars to help address critical global challenges. (From left) Professor Liu Chain-tsuan, Professor Serge Haroche, Professor Philippe G. Ciarlet, President Professor Way Kuo, Professor David Yao, Professor Herbert Gleiter, Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, and Professor Stephen Smale officiate at the launching ceremony.
Award-winning buildings such as Academic 3 (above) have transformed the physical outlook of campus and enhanced the learning environment.
President Professor Way Kuo (first left) celebrates with alumni biotechnology company founders Mr Eric Chen (third right) and Dr Chen Xueping (third left) at a reception hosted by the HKSAR Government. The company won the Grand Prix at the 43rd Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions for applying technology developed by Professor Cheng Shuk-han (second left), Department of Biomedical Sciences, and her research team. Company executives Mr Jeffrey Cheung (second right) and Mr Jimmy Tao (first right) also attended the gathering.