Message from The Vice-Chancellor & President
Dear Students, Colleagues, Alumni and Friends,
to the first day of the academic year. For our new students and faculty
members, a special welcome to the University of Hong Kong.
As you find your way around the expanded campus, I hope you will share with me a sense of history in the making.
1912, exactly 100 years ago, HKU admitted 77 students. Today, we
welcome over 7,000 newcomers for undergraduate studies from 70
countries. There are now 30,000 people on campus, undergraduate and
postgraduate students, as well as academic and non-academic staff. Then
there is an alumni body of 160,000.
Today we will hold our first
classes on the brand new Centennial Campus. We will also welcome a
double-cohort, two groups of first-year students, with the start of a
new 4-year curriculum. It will be exciting if not chaotic, as each
of us tries to find our way on campus - and in the world.
members of the HKU family, we are all standard bearers of the history
and values of this university. In its first 100 years, the
university has been guided by the spirit of Freedom, Liberty and
Diversity. Today, we need to reaffirm these values more than ever. The
world is changing fast with many challenges. In societies around the
world, including Hong Kong, the gap between the rich and poor is
growing. Even as I am writing, violence is flaring in many parts
of the world. We can only take heart that civil society is growing as
people increasingly demand to have a voice in public governance.
the university, we have the opportunity to explore these issues, large
and small. Twenty months ago, we began our Centenary Celebrations
with the theme of "knowledge, heritage and service." In this new
historic year, let us forge ahead in the same spirit: the quest for
knowledge, honouring our heritage, while serving the community with
humility and compassion.
Finally, some special words to our
students: enjoy life on campus. Work hard, play hard. Make new friends
and reach out to people around you, especially those who are different
from you. Challenge yourself to do new things and take advantage of the
very rich resources that the university has put in place for you.
Remember that the spirit of free enquiry and expression is at the very
heart of HKU's tradition. Here we listen, we argue, and we debate
fiercely. But despite the differences, we seek to find the best
solutions for the good of society.
My joy is to provide a conducive environment to make sure that the faculty can excel, while students can discover new horizons.
Let this day mark a new page for us, and for HKU.
Vice-Chancellor & President
September 17, 2012