Vice-Chancellor's Message
Vice-Chancellor's Message

Forward to the Second Century
February 2013

Forward to the Second Century

On a sunny afternoon two years ago, the HKU family - students, colleagues, alumni and friends - gathered to kick off an extended season of 100th anniversary celebrations, under the theme "Knowledge, Heritage and Service".

As the celebrations draw to a close now, I am proud to report that thanks to the many HKU100 initiatives and events we have experienced, the University has grown stronger, and faces the next 100 years with renewed faith and commitment.

We welcomed the first class of students under the new four-year curriculum last autumn, and confronted the challenges of the double cohort of entering students. We took the opportunity of the 3-3-4 conversion to restructure teaching and learning, placing the Common Core Curriculum and Experiential Learning at the heart of the undergraduate experience.

To provide space to match our academic ambitions, we literally moved a mountain (or at least part of one) and built the Centennial Campus. Here the Faculties of Law, Social Sciences and Arts find their new homes, while the state-of-the-art facilities of the lecture centre and learning commons provide inspiring spaces for students and a cultural hub for the community at large. In the meantime, plans for expansion are underway for other faculties on the Main Campus.

We have also taken major strides in promoting research excellence. The University has received gifts to create 70 Endowed Professorships, which testify to the generosity of our supporters and the academic excellence of our faculty. On the Mainland, we have established study and research institutes in various cities. These include the HKU Shenzhen Hospital, a challenging collaborative effort with mainland government and institutions that will not only expand our own research, learning and teaching capacities, but will also help propel health care reform across the border.

Over 4,000 alumni and friends have come together to establish the Centenary Scholarship Fund, ensuring that no student will be deprived of any opportunity at HKU for lack of means. The four new Residential Colleges for undergraduate and postgraduate students have added to our proud tradition of residential education for budding intellectuals.

The HKU family hosted over 350 events over the past two years. We shared the university's missions at the Gala Dinner and various Ceremonies. We held distinguished lectures, prompting exciting dialogues and exchanges. We celebrated with the community in marathons and HKU 100 Tram Tours. We reveled in the rich history of the University with heritage trails and commemorative stamps. We were presented with the HKU Tartan by our international partner to mark our long-lasting ties. We revived our Latin Anthem of 1912, and alumni gave us the Cantopop "Brighten Me With Virtues" which became an immediate hit.

Students shared HKU 100 Mooncakes with senior citizens during the Mid-Autumn Festival, and invited children from grassroots families to experience the campus. SERVICE 100, launched to alleviate poverty and promote social justice locally and worldwide, has now become an integral part of student life.

We celebrated with new ideas and a spirit of adventure, but also with heated debates, true to the HKU tradition. While we still argue whether our origin traces back to 1910 or 1887, history is being written. In many forums and gatherings, we reflected on the role of the University in a globalized and fast-changing world. These soul-searching efforts will certainly continue into the second hundred years.

I am proud to be a member of the University at this critical juncture in its history. I am grateful for all your support and good will. I wish to thank in particular members of the many committees and working groups that have donated their time to the celebrations and to help chart the course of the University. Our efforts will ensure that as a citadel of knowledge for Hong Kong, China and the world, HKU will continue to hold true, with vigour and passion, to its cherished values of freedom and diversity, and its motto of wisdom and virtue, sapientia et virtus.

We are ready for the second century.

Lap-Chee Tsui
Vice-Chancellor and President

February 4, 2013

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