Charting Youthful Horizons: 2023 Inauguration Ceremony at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen
On September 4th, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen held its Inauguration Ceremony for Students 2023, marking the onset of an academic journey for over 3,500 undergraduates and postgraduates from across the globe.
In August, the University witnessed the splendid completion of its Phase II campus. The 2023 Inauguration Ceremony found its venue in the newly-established Liwen Hall. The university officers, faculty, and parents of the new undergraduates converged at the Liwen Hall, while the postgraduate students participated in a parallel event at the Sports Hall. The ceremony was also virtually attended by parents and guests from various sectors.
Prof. Rocky Sung-chi Tuan, President of CUHK and Chair of the CUHK-Shenzhen Governing Board
"Aspire High, Yet Remain Grounded: Craft Your Own Epoch"
In his keynote, Prof. Rocky Sung-chi Tuan extended a warm welcome to the incoming undergraduates. He lauded the University's rapid strides in recent years, with new schools, colleges, academic and research buildings, and an ever-improving cadre of world-class faculty. Moreover, he exhorted the students to embody the University's motto, "Through Learning and Temperance to Virtue," urging them not merely to acquire specialised knowledge but also to cultivate noble character through exchanges with their diverse peers and faculty. "Our educational mission focuses on holistic development, integrating both intellectual and moral virtues," said Prof. Tuan. "I encourage you to harness the extensive academic resources at your disposal and engage with renowned scholars globally. Endeavour to aim high and contribute to the nation and society while staying rooted in humility—beginning with small acts of gratitude and altruism."
As CUHK celebrates its sixtieth year, CUHK-Shenzhen will soon step into its tenth anniversary. Prof. Tuan declared, "With the opportunities presented by the Greater Bay Area, CUHK and CUHK-Shenzhen will engage in even closer innovative collaboration. I hope that you all will remain intellectually curious and imaginative during your years here, thereby unlocking infinite possibilities in both academic and personal development. May you grow alongside CUHK-Shenzhen and author your own epoch."
Prof. Yangsheng Xu, President of CUHK-Shenzhen
"Growth, The Grandest Narrative Of Life, Embraces Challenges And Transformation"
In his speech, President Yangsheng Xu emphasised the unique character of the 2023 freshmen, stating, "You are the 'Tenth Cohort' of this institution, and soon, you will witness this University crossing into its spectacular tenth year. You will share in the jubilance of a decade of educational accomplishments and set sail once more, with youthful vigour and dreams, into a new era." Next, he reflected on the rapid growth of the University, morphing from a barren landscape and a few dilapidated factories into a thriving campus of over 10,000 students, six schools, and seven colleges.
With earnest sincerity, Prof. Xu advised the incoming students, "While there will undoubtedly be joyful experiences, discomfort, despair, and pain are also part and parcel of your educational journey here. Rather than letting negativity burden you, see these as opportunities for transformation. Growth is the most pressing imperative in both your university life and future journey. Embrace the discomforting moments in the process of growth; such discomfort proves that you are indeed growing. Just as a bamboo shoots up and a butterfly metamorphoses, growth necessitates change. Uncomfortable as it may be to discard old habits and embrace the new, the trials and tribulations are stepping stones to your blossoming. Remember, comfort precludes growth. In our youth, the years of potential and struggle, opt for growth over comfort. The swifter the growth, the greater the challenges and adversities one encounters."
Professor Lawrence J. Lau, Former Vice-Chancellor (President) of CUHK
"Mastering The Arts Of Independent And Lifelong Learning For Sustained Success In An Uncertain World"
From the outset of his keynote address, Professor Lawrence J. Lau poignantly articulated the sentimental significance that The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen holds for him. "This University always has a special place in my heart, as I was involved in its foundation. CUHK-Shenzhen has come a long way in just a single decade. It has joined the ranks of the top five of the most selective tertiary educational institutions in China." At the commencement of freshmen's academic journey, Professor Lau offered sage counsel: harness the capabilities of independent and lifelong learning to thrive amidst the myriad uncertainties of the modern world.
Next, Professor Lau imparted his considered perspectives on salient topics such as the "Chinese Economy," "Artificial Intelligence," and the "Sino-American Relations." He unflinchingly opined, "The Chinese economy is much more resilient than most people think." To assuage public anxieties about the Chinese economy, he has penned articles under the title "The Sky is not Falling!" on three separate occasions. Professor Lau posited, "The Chinese economy will do well in 2023 and beyond. The key is to restore confidence and turn around expectations about the future." In light of rapidly evolving artificial intelligence technologies like ChatGPT, he cautioned, "Artificial intelligence, by itself, is not capable of making creative, original innovations. It can therefore never fully replace us. However, artificial intelligence can be harnessed to serve us, to be our assistants. It can help us do our jobs more perfectly."
Professor Shiu-Yuen Cheng, Master of Minerva College, CUHK-Shenzhen
"Upholding The Intellectual Mission To Propose Solutions To Humanity's Conundrums"
In his inaugural speech, Prof. Cheng, an alumnus of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, generously shared his own educational journey. He effused, "I am delighted to share that several cohorts of graduates from CUHK-Shenzhen have progressed to further their studies at world-renowned institutions, acquitting themselves admirably and thereby enhancing our university's reputation. Your senior cohorts have, metaphorically, laid a multitude of paths for you; your diligent endeavours shall undoubtedly unlock numerous doors for future generations."
Professor Cheng also underscored the profound intellectual responsibility that scholars and intellectuals bear. He stressed, "An intellectual should possess the acumen to think critically and articulate clearly, to proffer solutions to societal quandaries and human dilemmas within their scope of competence."
Far from encouraging a narrow focus on academic metrics, Professor Cheng exhorted the freshmen not to be ensnared by the numerical tyranny of GPA. "A GPA is but a numeral; neither high nor low should it dictate the trajectory of your life. Transcend it. At CUHK-Shenzhen, an illustrious platform for learning, you shall aim higher. Exploit your innate potential to make meaningful contributions to society and the greater good of humanity."
Zirui Jiang, Incoming Class Representative
"Embarking On a Journey With Dreams, Harvesting a Multifaceted And Abundant Life"
Representing the incoming class, Ms Zirui Jiang, from the School of Management and Economics (SME) and a member of Minerva College, eloquently shared her own heartfelt journey and fervour for The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen. "CUHK holds the distinction of being the first university whose name I not only knew but could readily utter. Twelve years hence, I stand here. What drew me inexorably toward this institution were its progressive educational governance and pedagogical philosophy. I particularly admire the collegiate system, which transcends the boundaries of faculty and discipline, unlocking the untapped potential of students and fostering in them a broad perspective along with a sense of social responsibility. Moreover, the bilingual approach to education both perpetuates and disseminates Chinese culture while providing a portal into the realm of universal knowledge for students from varied cultural backgrounds. This epitomizes the University's ethos of 'combining tradition with modernity and bringing together China and the West.' Fuelled by my dreams, I shall ceaselessly endeavour to become an improved version of myself. I hope that everyone capitalizes on their time here to reap a rich, colourful tapestry of experiences at CUHK-Shenzhen."
Crossing Mountains and Seas to Embrace the Future of Dreams
This year, CUHK-Shenzhen has extended a warm welcome to over 3,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students from around the globe. Notably, it has admitted 1,434 undergraduate students from 23 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions across China: 421 through the Early Admission Scheme, 925 based on comprehensive evaluations, 12 on the basis of exceptional foreign language skills, and 76 in the field of arts, specifically music.
For the autumn semester of 2023, we also have the pleasure of enrolling 120 international students hailing from a myriad of nations including Canada, the Dominican Republic, Greece, India, Indonesia, Tajikistan, Latvia, Malaysia, Poland, Spain, and Thailand. In addition to these, we have welcomed 70 exchange students from 23 partner institutions situated in countries as diverse as the United States, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Russia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Thailand, and Singapore.
These young scholars, bearing a kaleidoscope of dreams, traversed mountains and seas from afar to converge in the splendid embrace of CUHK-Shenzhen. We extend our heartfelt wishes for their success as they embark on this extraordinary journey at CUHK-Shenzhen, where they will nurture their dreams and strive to reach for a bright future.