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Speech by FS at CUHK Silver Jubilee Dinner of Faculty of Medicine (English only) (With Photos)

    Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, at the Silver Jubilee Dinner of Faculty of Medicine, the Chinese University of Hong Kong tonight (June 10):

Dr [Edgar] Cheng, Professor Lau, Professor Fok, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     It gives me great pleasure to join you tonight to celebrate the silver jubilee of the Faculty of Medicine, and to witness together with you the outstanding achievements of the Faculty.

     Like many other modern cities around the world, Hong Kong is moving fast into a knowledge-based economy.  Through education we foster knowledge, creativity and core values in our people, who are Hong Kong's most valuable asset in this increasingly competitive global economy.  Beyond that, our young people must also be all-rounders with a global perspective.

     For this reason, the Hong Kong SAR Government is committed to making long-term investment in education and it has always been a top priority on our policy agenda.  This year, we will be spending more than HK$56 billion on education.  It is our single largest expenditure item, representing 23% of total government expenditure.  It also represents nearly 50% increase over our education spending in 1996-97.

     Apart from providing high quality education for our students, the Government also places a lot of importance in providing working adults with various opportunities for continuing education and skills upgrading.  The 280,000 applications we have received so far on our $5 billion Continuing Education Fund is a case in point.  It testifies the growing aspiration in the community for self-improvement in a period of economic transformation.

     Sharing our vision in education and lifelong learning, the Faculty of Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong has been providing world-class training to our medical professionals.  During the past 25 years, the Faculty has nurtured more than 3,000 doctors, nurses and pharmacists - including many of you here tonight - who possess the knowledge, professionalism and commitment to serve the people of Hong Kong.  The nurturing of these medical professionals are indeed a remarkable contribution that the Faculty has made to the development of medical and health science in the region.

     Among its other most impressive contributions are the Faculty's research findings.  The Faculty has conducted numerous world-class research projects and initiated new medical treatments which give new hopes to life.  In particular, the CUHK SARS research team, under the able leadership of your former faculty dean Professor Sydney Chung, was the first in the world to work out the genomic sequence of the corona virus.  The team demonstrated great professionalism, commitment and courage just when they were most needed by the community.  I am sure Professor Chung, who has now moved on to a new phase of his career in Papua New Guinea, is still proud of the days when he was working in this renowned medical school.

     I would like to congratulate the Faculty of Medicine on your foresight and outstanding achievements in the past 25 years.  I am confident that you will continue to scale new heights in the years to come, nurturing talents for Hong Kong and pursuing revolutionary biomedical research for the benefit of mankind.

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Saturday, June 10, 2006
Issued at HKT 20:47


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