Visionary Leadership in Higher Education: Impacting the World

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A QS Showcase message from Professor Way Kuo, President of City University of Hong Kong

“Working to make the world better? That’s what we do at CityU. Over the past few years, the strategic plans we have executed, the research we have pursued, the courses we have taught, and the international speakers we have invited to campus, together, constitute a broad initiative aimed at improving the lives of individuals and the well-being of communities both across the region and far beyond.”

Professor Way Kuo
President of City University of Hong Kong

One Health, one of CityU’s key areas for development, is an initiative based on the concept that the health of humans, animals and the environment is inexorably linked. It helps to reinforce infectious disease controls, enhance food safety, increase social awareness, reshape societal values and strengthen our relationships with animals and the natural environment.

Our One Health efforts recently took a major step forward when, in the presence of Mrs Carrie Lam, chief executive of Hong Kong, we celebrated the naming of Hong Kong’s first, and only, veterinary college: the Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences. In addition, the Hong Kong government signaled its support for our six-year Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine programme as a publicly funded programme, the first such in Asia designed to meet strenuous international accreditation standards.

Promoting our One Health mission received a huge boost with a HK$500 million donation from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. This gift, the largest single donation ever received by CityU, will help to build the One Health Tower on campus, enabling CityU to set the standards for excellence in veterinary medicine and life sciences in Hong Kong and the region.

Our research is proven to be innovative and impactful. According to the Top 100 Worldwide Universities that received the most US utility patents published by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association in 2017, CityU ranks first in Hong Kong and 58th worldwide.

Among many other fields, our work includes breakthroughs in the development of treatment for cancer using intense heat triggered by a photothermal process to kill cancer cells. This project won the highly prestigious First Class Award (Natural Science) in the 2017 Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Awards (Science and Technology) of the Ministry of Education, China.

Responding to societal and technological change is a crucial part of our mission. That’s why we recently set up Hong Kong’s first School of Data Science plus the Hong Kong Institute for Data Science to meet the demand for data scientists and engineers for the data-driven economy of the future.

The technology revolution is transforming the way we view art, too. A unique recent exhibition titled “ANiMAL” held at CityU recently juxtaposed traditional and contemporary representations of the animal from the rich collections of Chinese art held at the National Palace Museum in Taipei and informed by academic research from our Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences and our School of Creative Media.

All these stories spotlight why the role of a university has never been so crucial to making a difference in people’s lives. Through education, innovation and research, we can significantly impact the world around us.

Professor Way Kuo is president of City University of Hong Kong and university distinguished professor. He was previously dean of Engineering at the University of Tennessee, and executive dean of Engineering at Texas A&M University among numerous other academic roles. He has a BSc from National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan and a PhD from Kansas State University.