The Beginning of a New Start
To HKUST, 2018 is a new beginning of many changes. Over the past 27 years, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has broken new ground in research and education, allowing it to ascend in the international arena, standing among peers with much longer history and standing. As the world moves towards a new era where continued growth and development rely on science, innovation and technology, HKUST is well-placed to make its biggest contribution with what it is best at – innovation, adaptation and making changes.
Foreseeing the changes, HKUST started realigning its research focuses and began a clustered faculty hiring exercise back in 2014, recruiting scholars from in-demand sectors such as data science, artificial intelligence, fintech and biomedical engineering. Over the past two years, our faculty members – including new recruits, have made some stunning discoveries with big data - including possible treatment methods or clues to drug development for cancer, HIV, Alzheimer’s disease or dwarfism. On the teaching front, HKUST has also launched a number of new programs – including that on data science, ocean science, decision analytics, as well as Integrative Systems and Design – a revolutionary program where students study systems design not through fixed curriculum, but project-based learning in teams where the “what” and “how” to learn are individualized.
But HKUST has an even bigger plan. Under the leadership of Prof. Wei SHYY - inaugurated at the Congregation as the University’s fourth president, HKUST will builda new Guangzhou campus near the Qingsheng high speed rail station in Nansha. As the Greater Bay Area becomes a leading force in the age of innovation, and the Qingsheng area developing into a hub of entrepreneurship and commercialization, HKUST’s presence is fundamental for its future development. The branch campus – an extended arm of its main counterpart, will not only allow the University to better contribute its research and teaching strength to society, but will also create new opportunities for HKUST students, faculty and alumni in applying and commercializing their research - especially in terms of integrating rapid prototyping and high quality fabrication.
“HKUST has done well in multiple dimensions and is now enjoying international reputation as a leading university globally,” said President Shyy. “But in light of the fast progress in science and technology, and their profound impact on socio-economic and humanistic development, we would have to seriously consider our way forward and make timely changes before it’s too late, or we will lose what we have.”
From its home base, HKUST is cultivating changes in thinking and mindset that could help its students identify and come up with solutions to problems around them. Set to be launched early next year, HKUST will turn its campus into a living laboratory for ideas that could help build a smart and sustainable community. Students and faculty with feasible plans that could save time, energy and resources, or ideas that could make living at HKUST “smarter”, can apply for a funding of HK$50 million from the University, and have their projects tested on the campus.
Meanwhile, thanks to the generous support of philanthropists, alumni and donors who share our vision and mission, HKUST is expecting at least up to HK$600 million of donations (excluding the funding for Guangzhou campus which will be supported by the Guangzhou government) in the coming year. The funds will result in a better environment for the University’s community, who in return will contribute their best to create a better society.