Hong Kong spe­cial HKUST as a breed­ing ground for in­no­va­tive global lead­ers

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - ADVERTISEMENT - ZHUAN TI zhuanti@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

Re­search ex­cel­lence

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.

Global recog­ni­tion

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.

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

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

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