PolyU – Celebrating 80 years of rich heritage

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The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Eighty Years of Progress and Innovation of PolyU

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 December, 2017, 4:21pm
UPDATED : Monday, 18 December, 2017, 4:21pm

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“Eighty years is both a long and a short time span.  It is about the lifetime of a person, and yet as an institution, PolyU's 80-year history – 23 years of which as a university – earns us a label of being a 'young university'", that was how PolyU Council Chairman Mr Chan Tze-ching put it at the University’s 80th Anniversary Celebration Dinner.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has deep connections to Hong Kong, and the institution has been moving in tandem with the city’s progress since 1937.

To mark its 80th anniversary, PolyU organised a series of celebratory events which brought together international thought-leaders and prominent figures from different sectors to share their insights and visions for the future. These events reunited PolyU alumni from around the world, cultivated entrepreneurship, social responsibility and cultural exchange among students, as well as engaged the community with the University’s outstanding research achievements and innovations.

The celebration officially kicked off last November with a grand opening which gathered 800 distinguished guests who joyfully reviewed PolyU’s remarkable accomplishments at home and abroad over the past 80 years, and enjoyed the premiere of PolyU’s 80th anniversary theme song “Shape the Future”, an upbeat song composed and written by PolyU alumni Chan [email protected] AllStar, Oscar and Siu-tung. Loved by the whole PolyU community, the song encouraged youngsters to find new and exciting ways to improve the world for future generations.

Throughout the year, PolyU organised a vibrant mix of international conferences and lecture series. The “Times Higher Education Innovation and Impact Summit”, held from May 31 to June 2, 2017, was a highlight. More than 200 delegates from 34 countries delivered keynote speeches and took part in thought-provoking panel discussions where they shared their ideas about how universities could help to address overarching global challenges.

An international forum themed “Nurturing Talent and Building Capacity to Support the Development of the Belt and Road” was held to explore how Hong Kong and other countries could contribute to the Belt and Road initiative. Around 300 academics, industry practitioners and social-service providers, including presidents of institutions in the University Alliance of the Silk Road (UASR), comprising 132 universities from 32 countries and regions along the Belt and Road’s path, were engaged in an enthusiastic discussion.

A popular series featuring Nobel Laureates in chemistry, economic sciences, physiology and medicine ran throughout the year. The D.H. Chen Foundation Nobel Laureate Lecture Series brought some of the world’s top academics and researchers to the city, to share their thoughts and work with impact on the world. On the other side, influential leaders from around the world were featured in PolyU’s Global Leader Lecture Series. The international leaders shared their experiences and insights on a wide range of topics, including health, global economics, business, innovation and entrepreneurship. The audiences received numerous insights into what our world is and how it would be.

Dedicated to connecting with the local community, whose well-being is PolyU’s motive for excellence, the University held the 80th Anniversary Open Day on December 2 and 3, 2017. The Open Day aims to showcase the University’s latest developments, significant accomplishments that have had tremendous impact locally and internationally. The latter covered education, research, knowledge transfer, entrepreneurship, campus development, sustainability and community engagement and services. The two-day event featured 100 programmes and activities, ranging from exhibitions, themed talks, workshops, tours and fun games, and live performances. The public also had the opportunity to visit leading-edge research laboratories that are rarely open to them.

A number of events including exhibitions, dinners, and exchange activities were held throughout the year to reunite PolyU alumni, industry partners, friends, and members of the community in Hong Kong and around the world. Alumni reunion is far more realizable with the grand opening of PolyU’s Alumni Atrium, located at Core A of the university’s campus in this year. PolyU also launched a special edition anniversary Visa Card in partnership with the Bank of East Asia. The card allows students and alumni to support PolyU’s ongoing development, educational, and research efforts through their spending.

The anniversary was marked by events designed to cultivate entrepreneurship, social responsibility and cultural exchange among young people, attracting participants from PolyU, the Chinese mainland and overseas. In June, the University hosted the PolyU・King’s Flair Group Asian Universities Invitational Basketball Tournament. PolyU’s men’s team won the championship after several exciting matches.

The year-long celebration ended on a high note with the 80th Anniversary Celebration Dinner held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on December 7. Around 2,000 local and overseas honorable guests, including government officials, representatives of universities, industry partners, alumni, and students and friends of PolyU celebrated this momentous anniversary. The Guest of Honour was The Hon Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Chief Executive of the HKSAR.

PolyU has established a heritage of innovative research and education that bring positive impact on the society. It will continue its mission of delivering greater good to Hong Kong, the nation and the world. PolyU President Professor Timothy W. Tong said, “We will be more connected with different sectors of society to deliver our promise for education and research ‘Opening Minds. Shaping the Future’. We have successfully nurtured a strong sense of social responsibility among the citizens of tomorrow and the impactful research projects we conducted are connected to every aspect of our life.”

Quoting PolyU Council Chairman Mr Chan Tze-ching at the Celebration Dinner, "As long as we can get our acts together and capitalize on our strengths, the best of PolyU is yet to come."