Hong Kong special HKUST as a breeding ground for innovative global leaders
Over the past decade, China made great strides in advanced technology such as quantum physics, aerospace and aeronautics among the others.
To further promote science and technology, Chinese government has not only committed enormous funding, but also initiated policies that encourage public-private collaborations.
Recent examples include plans to establish Innovation and Technology Park in Lok Ma Chau Loop, and proposal to integrate Hong Kong, Macao and nine other cities in the Guangdong province into a Greater Bay Area.
“As a research-focused university, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, HKUST, is set to seize the opportunities arising from China’s emergence as the new science and technology hub, in its pursuit to drive and diversify Hong Kong’s economy, as well as contribute to the economic and social development of the nation,” said professor Tony F Chan, president of HKUST.
Over the years, scientists and researchers at HKUST have made numerous groundbreaking discoveries.
They not only dedicate their efforts to basic science, but also strive to transform novel discoveries into applications with contribution to the society.
Some examples include the discover y of a protein that could potentially be developed into an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, an air purification technology that kills airborne viruses including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and more effective methodology to mitigate landslide hazards.
Chan added: “As one of the earliest universities in Hong Kong that set foot on the mainland, HKUST is glad to be able to work closely with the industr y to transfer the work of many scholars and researchers into applications that improve human life through the three research institutes established in Nansha, Shenzhen and Foshan.”
The university’s faculty also participated in many exciting projects on the mainland, such as professor Luk Kambiu, senior visiting fellow of HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study, who coled the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment — one of the world’s most comprehensive projects so far in studying neutrinos; professor Li Zexiang from the Electronic and Computer Engineering Department who used to mentor Shenzhenbased drone producer DJI’s founder Frank Wang, leads the development of robotics and autonomous system in Dongguan; professor Yang Qiang, New Bright Professor of Engineering at HKUST, works with social media gurus such as WeChat and Tencent, in their pursuit of new technology in artificial intelligence and big data, and professor Vincent Lau and professor Zhang Qian from the Electronic and Computer Engineering Department, jointly lead the Huawei-HKUST Innovation Laboratory to explore cutting-edge telecom networks and wireless technologies.
As more countries recognize the importance of higher education and are willing to invest more resources in it, competition for talents in tertiary education has become increasingly vigorous.
To m a i n t a i n its edge, HKUST has beefed up efforts in research and teaching and made every endeavor to foster a multicultural and innovative learning environment with emphasis on overseas exposure and entrepreneurship to attract the best minds.
The university is proud to see its dedication paying off by gaining wider global presence and recognition.
HKUST has been constantly ranked among the top 50 by Quacquarelli Symonds — QS, and Times Higher Education — THE. The university was the champion in Asia and ranked No 2 in the world in THE Young University Rankings 2017.
HKUST’s research capability has also gained global recognition as HKUST outperformed its Hong Kong peers in Nature Index 2016.
Locally, HKUST topped its peers in the Research Assessment Exercise 2014, with a remarkable 70 percent of HKUST’s research projects rated “world leading” (four stars) or “internationally excellent” (three stars).
HKUST graduates also earned good reputation among employers.
They were ranked as the 13th most popular employees in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016 (No 1 in China and No 2 in Asia), among other employers’ top choices such as graduates from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Nurturing of talents
HKUST strives to groom youngsters with global vision and innovative minds.
To this end, the university introduces a comprehensive trimodal educational framework, which, apart from the one-sizefits-all credit-driven programs, broadens the curriculum by offering experiential learning and students-led courses, and accelerated courses with more challenging contents to better prepare students with demonstrated interests and aspiration to pursue further studies, or an academic career.
HKUST is also one of the earliest universities which has blended research into teaching. As a pace-setter, HKUST has introduced the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, which allows undergraduates to conduct research under the guidance of professors, since 2005.
The university also strives to promote diversity on campus through building an inclusive campus environment.
Various exchange and internship opportunities have been made possible by the many par tnerships that HKUST forged with universities, institutions and companies around the globe.
Currently, HKUST has partnerships with over 250 universities and over 50 percent of undergraduate students go on overseas exchange for at least one semester.
T he university has also actively lined up different collaborations with mainland enterprises including Alibaba, Tencent, BGI, Digital China, Huawei, Lenovo and Vanke on joint research projects, workshops and academic exchanges.
Innovation is the new engine of growth. HKUST puts great emphasis on building a dynamic eco-system to foster creativity and entrepreneurship.
The university helps to incubate young innovators not only in Hong Kong, but also in the mainland.
An Innovation Building is being planned on campus to further boost HKUST’s capability to nurture budding entrepreneurs using additional maker or incubation spaces and with cross disciplinary research and research with strategic industrial partners of HKUST.
HKUST’s signature One Million Dollar Entrepreneurship Competition, for example, has expanded to a total of five cities to instill entrepreneurial culture among young innovators from Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Macao and Hong Kong.
Back home, HKUST strives to become the breeding ground for young entrepreneurs.
The university’s Entrepreneurship Center organizes a wide range of activities to equip HKUST members with the skills needed for startups.
It also helps match startup. projects with potential investors through different programs.
For example, professor Li Zexiang co-founded the HK X-Tech Startup Platform to support startups across disciplines and to promote cross-border cooperation.
On the hardware front, the university provides co-working space like The Base for likeminded students to share and work on their ideas.
It also brought popular star tup compe titions like Hackathon into the campus for future entrepreneurs to develop product prototypes and exchange ideas with industry experts.
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has the highest population of international students among local universities.
A glance of the campus of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Tony F Chan, president of HKUST