Speech by CE at CUHK 50th Anniversary Banquet (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech delivered by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong 50th Anniversary Banquet at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre tonight (December 8):

Dr (Vincent) Cheng, Professor (Joseph) Sung, Mr Leung (Ying-wai), distinguished guests, students, alumni, ladies and gentlemen,

     I am very pleased to join you all in celebrating the Chinese University of Hong Kong's Golden Jubilee.

     Over the past 50 years, the CU "family" has expanded with each new generation of students and graduates. Together with the larger family of Hong Kong, CU has made remarkable progress, it has broadened its horizons by branching out in new directions.

     At the same time, through its staff, students and alumni, CU has become an even ever more important member of our "Hong Kong family" and it is a strong pillar of the community by embracing and enhancing Hong Kong's rich diversity.

     From relatively humble beginnings on the once barren hills above Sha Tin and with less than 1,000 students from three founding Colleges in 1963, CU has moved with Hong Kong's rapidly changing times. At each phase of Hong Kong's development, the university has successfully evolved to become a leading education and research institution for our city and beyond.

     Today, CU has over 29,000 students attached to nine Colleges. It is Hong Kong's only collegiate university. In line with the Government's education goals, its learning environment promotes pastoral care and whole-person education.

     CU also has a global vision and mission to blend tradition with modernity, and to combine Eastern and Western values in its teaching, research and student development.

     Over 160,000 graduates have benefited from the university's high-quality and diverse learning environment under the leadership of visionary Vice-Chancellors and dedicated staff members. CU graduates are able to grasp the opportunities in a globalised world and serve their local communities under the university motto: "Through learning and temperance to virtue" (դ§).

     With the introduction of the new academic structure, undergraduate programmes have been extended to four years from 2012 onwards. Taking the opportunity of an additional year, CU and other universities have revamped their curriculum with a view to nurturing global citizens with academic excellence and international perspectives through inter-disciplinary studies, service learning in local and global settings, exchange programmes and enriched learning experiences.

     It is important to provide our students with an early taste of different cultures, values and perspectives so that they can start immersing themselves in an increasingly pluralistic and diverse environment.

     In this regard, the Government is continuing to diversify the higher education sector and broaden its international dimension. We aim to enhance Hong Kong's position as a regional education hub and nurture talents to support our social and economic development and enhance our overall competitiveness. In the 2012-13 academic year, about 26,600 non-local students from more than 70 countries pursued post-secondary studies in Hong Kong. Also, about 4,600 overseas students come to Hong Kong on exchanges, and a similar number of Hong Kong students are involved in exchange activities every year. In other words, at least one in four of our undergraduate students have the opportunity to study abroad on exchange.

     We will continue to seek the support and advice from CU on ways to strengthen Hong Kong's tertiary education system so that more of our talented and hardworking people can fulfill their potential, both in their careers and in their communities.

     On this auspicious occasion, I would like to congratulate CU, its Council members, staff, students and alumni on their outstanding achievements. I have no doubt that CU will go from strength to strength under the able leadership of Dr Cheng and Professor Sung, and I have every confidence that CU will scale new heights in the years ahead.

     Thank you.

Ends/Sunday, December 8, 2013
Issued at HKT 22:35