Every step of the way leaves an imprint

Dear Colleagues,


Around 1,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni and family members ran the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon on 21 January. It marked the 10th time in a row that I had led the CityU team at this annual event. As we ran on through the streets of Hong Kong, every step of the way left an imprint, reminding us of making continual progress in learning and in research.

My thanks to all participants as well as colleagues and alumni who cheered for the team during the race.

At the start of the year, I was on a duty trip to northern China. I was leading a CityU delegation to Harbin Institute of Technology as part of our strategic plan to broaden partnerships for promoting innovation and knowledge transfer.

Founded in 1920, Harbin Institute of Technology is one of China’s strongholds for engineering and information technology, and is home to several state key laboratories in areas such as robotics, materials science and engineering. It is a very outward-looking university with campuses in Harbin, Shenzhen and Weihai.

The freezing temperatures and traffic disruptions caused by the heavy snow were quite a test to those of us more used to the comforts and convenience of Hong Kong. Nevertheless, surrounded by fabulous architecture and beautiful ice sculptures, we had a fruitful exchange and a rewarding trip that lay the groundwork for future collaborations.

My experience on this trip also reminded me of a recent story reported in the media about an eight-year-old boy living with his grandma in a remote village in Yunnan Province. The story showed a photo taken by a teacher of the boy arriving at school with icicles in his hair and eyebrows. He had to walk 4.5 kilometres in thin clothing from home to class in sub-zero temperatures, a journey that took an hour. The severe weather and the distressing hardship of his circumstances don’t deter him from attending school. His enthusiasm for learning and his unyielding spirit are exemplary.

As the Chinese New Year is just around the corner, I would like to wish you a happy and healthy Year of the Dog.

Way Kuo
President and University Distinguished Professor