In the month of December 2013, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has consolidated collaborations with like-minded universities such as the University of Oxford (Oxford) and Utrecht University (UU) to serve the needs of local communities. CUHK and Oxford renewed two Memoranda of Understanding to continue their collaboration in public health and in the Collaborating Centre for Oxford University and CUHK for Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response. CUHK and UU have joined hands to establish the CUHK-UU Joint Centre for Languages, Mind and Brain.
CUHK and Oxford celebrate friendship of 50 years
The ties between the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and the University of Oxford (Oxford) can be traced back to as early as the University's establishment when the late Sir William Hayter, Warden of New College at Oxford, attended the installation of the first Vice-Chancellor of CUHK, Dr. Choh-ming Li in 1964. Since then for a half-century, the two universities have incessantly engaged in scholarly exchange through faculty and students and forged partnerships in various domains, including public health, Chinese studies, Hindu studies, medicine, and law. Furthermore, CUHK has among all local universities produced the most Rhodes Scholars to pursue further studies at Oxford, tallying to 13 since the scholarship scheme was introduced in Hong Kong.
The two universities reaffirmed their commitment in the promotion of public health and humanities on 6 December 2013 by renewing two Memoranda of Understanding to continue their collaboration in public health and in the joint medical research centre, Collaborating Centre for Oxford University and CUHK for Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response (CCOUC). With the aim of contributing to the research, training, and community knowledge transfer in the area of disaster and humanitarian response in the Asia-Pacific region, CCOUC aspires to become an international centre in order to strengthen its contribution in humanitarian relief. The signing ceremony was attended by distinguished guests, students, and staff from Oxford and CUHK, including Prof. Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford; Prof. Joseph Sung, Vice-Chancellor of CUHK; and Prof. Emily Chan, Director of CCOUC.
The relationship between CUHK and Oxford has reached new heights lately with the conferment of the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa on Prof. Hamilton for his outstanding achievements in science and higher education. He also played a key role in the Golden Jubilee University Presidents' Forum held on 7 December, delivering a keynote on 'Partnerships and Collaborations: Universities, Governments and Community'.
In a joint effort to promote arts and humanities, the Art Museum of CUHK and the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology of Oxford are now presenting a painting exhibition 'Two Masters, Two Generations, and One Vision for Modern Chinese Painting' at the Art Museum to showcase 50 masterpieces of Gao Jianfu and Lui Shou-kwan. Besides, eminent Oxford scholars shared their words of wisdom at 'The Arts and Humanities in Civic Society' Colloquium on 8 December. Prof. Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine, was appointed as the Mok Hing Yiu Visiting Professor of CUHK and he gave a Mok Hing Yiu Lectureship on civic well-being, while Prof. Sir Drummond Bone, Master of Balliol College, spoke on how cultural institutions add value to the lives of citizens.
CUHK and Utrecht University establish joint research centre
CUHK and Utrecht University (UU), the Netherlands have joined hands to establish the CUHK-UU Joint Centre for Languages, Mind and Brain, which will pursue interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research in three focus areas, including the biological basis of language learning and development, cognitive neuroscience, and speech-language therapy. A Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony for the Joint Centre was organised during a delegation visit led by UU's new President, Mrs. Marjan J. Oudeman, on 3 December 2013.
The Joint Centre is designed to be an international hub to give linguistics, cognitive neuroscience, psychology, genetics, and speech-language therapy prominence and impetus to achieve excellence in the international academic community. It will be co-directed by Prof. Patrick Wong of the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages at CUHK and Prof. René Kager of the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics at UU.
The Joint Centre represents the latest effort of the two universities to promote deeper collaborations on all fronts. CUHK and UU have identified each other as strategic partners and have over the past few years established collaborations in a number of research areas, including climate change and sustainability, the humanities, institutions and law, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, and youth development. Besides, the two universities run bilateral programmes that support student and staff mobility.
CUHK and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign strengthen ties in business, education and engineering
A 6-member delegation led by Prof. Benjamin Wah, Provost, visited the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) during 8-10 October to continue discussion on academic and research collaborations in business, education and engineering. During the visit, the delegation met with Prof. Ilesanmi Adesida, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; Mr. Pradeep Khanna, Associate Chancellor for Corporate and International Relations; among other senior officers. Accompanying the Provost on the trip were Prof. Alvin Leung, Dean of Education; Prof. C. P. Wong, Dean of Engineering; Prof. T. J. Wong; Dean of Business Administration; Prof. Irwin King, Associate Dean (Education), Faculty of Engineering; and Ms. Shally Fan, Director of Academic Links. Existing collaborations were reviewed and a number of initiatives were discussed, including research collaborations, programmes for undergraduate and graduate students, and opportunities for collaboration in the Shenzhen campus.
New mobility programmes
CUHK sees internationalisation and engagement of mainland China as two strategic initiatives in all dimensions of university education amid an increasingly globalised world. In its framework of internationalisation strategy, the University aims to promote understanding of the world as well as international recognition of the Chinese culture, with a view to preparing its students to become citizens of the world. To achieve this goal, four teaching and research schemes offering financial support and leave provision have been launched to promote the international academic exposure of its faculty members and the development of academic and research partnerships with overseas universities. Details of the new schemes are as follows:
1. International Partnerships Development Programme
The Programme promotes the development of partnerships by supporting outbound visits initiated by individual faculty members and their academic units concerned to pursue faculty/ departmental/ institute-level collaborations with partners identified by the University for up to seven days. Some of the partners under this scheme include: Brown University, Karolinska Institutet, University of Cambridge, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Oxford, etc. Selected faculty members will be granted special leave, return airfare and accommodation support. For more details, please click here.
2. Outbound Research Mobility Scheme
The Scheme forges international research collaborations by enabling and encouraging outbound visits of up to two weeks to overseas universities. The scheme will provide leave provision and greater financial support to encourage CUHK faculty members to undertake international research visits. For more details, please click here.
3. Inbound Research Mobility Scheme
The Scheme provides resources to CUHK faculty members to host overseas visiting scholars for up to two weeks for development of research links. Hotel/on-campus accommodation will be provided to the selected inbound visiting faculty members. For more details, please click here.
4. Bilateral Teaching Exchange Programme
The Programme aims to strengthen the international teaching experience and exposure of CUHK faculty members by providing term-time teaching opportunities at overseas universities. Under the programme, an outbound CUHK faculty member has to line up an exchange partner from an equivalent overseas department/school who will teach at least one UGC-funded undergraduate or research postgraduate course and undertake research for one term at CUHK. In return, the CUHK faculty member will undertake at least one teaching course and conduct research at the host university for one term. For more details, please click here.
Outreach trips of Prof. Gordon Cheung, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor
Prof. Gordon Cheung, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor, was invited to speak at the APEC symposium on 'Facilitating Good Regulatory Practices for Trade and Investment in Higher Education Services in the APEC Region' during 20-21 August in Kuala Lumpur, where he gave a presentation on 'Regional Benefits of Enhanced Credit Mobility'. During 11-13 September, Prof. Cheung attended the 25th Annual European Association for International Education (EAIE) Conference in Istanbul when he was invited to be one of the respondents at the EAIE-IAU Executive Seminar on 11 September. He also presented in the session 'Internationalisation Strategies in a Century Dominated by Asia' on 12 September. From 8 to 11 October 2013 Prof. Cheung participated in the annual Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) in Canberra, Australia and spoke in four sessions, respectively on 'Facilitating Good Regulatory Practices for Higher Education Services in the APEC region', 'National Priorities Shaping Internationalisation of the Curriculum in the 21st Century', 'Leadership In International Education' and 'Hot Topics in International Education: Global Update'. While in Australia, Prof. Cheung took the opportunity to attend a dinner with the CUHK Alumni Association and visit the University of Melbourne to discuss collaborations between the two universities.