Professor CS Lau Encourages HKUMed to ‘Dream Bigger’ at 208th Congregation
Graduands dressed in striking scarlet and maroon gowns gathered among their peers on Saturday to receive their degrees at the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine’s graduation ceremony.
The Grand Hall on the University of Hong Kong’s Main Campus provided the venue for the 208th Congregation celebrating 600 students and their academic achievements. The figure included 78 doctoral degrees and 376 master’s degrees.
Professor CS Lau, Dean of Medicine, congratulated graduands on their achievements and laid out his vision for HKUMed for the years to come.
The address was Professor Lau’s first Dean’s Letter since taking up the role of Dean of Medicine in August. He used the speech to promise “to be aware of the academic and professional needs of each of our members and find a way to fulfil those needs as far as possible.”
Pointing to HKUMed’s record ranking of 13th place globally in the subject of Clinical and Health by the 2023 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the 24 scholars named as Highly Cited Researchers by Clarivate, Professor Lau said the Faculty must not rest on its laurels.
“HKUMed’s strengths did not appear out of the blue. They were built, over many years, on the efforts and collegiality of our scholars and investment by the Faculty and its providers. To sustain our international and Asian rankings, treading water will not be good enough. We need to dream bigger.”
Joanna Tang, who graduated with a master’s degree in Public Health, was delighted to have a chance to see her classmates at the ceremony.
“It’s very exciting because all my hard work paid off today. And all my family and friends came here to celebrate my graduation,” she said.
“[The highlight] was mostly the friends I made with different perspectives, so I could learn from them,” she added. “It’s been very interesting to meet friends from different backgrounds and cultures.”
Dressed in the maroon and deep blue robes of the Doctor of Philosophy degree, Dr Kedi Yang, who studied in the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, said he had many cherished moments from his time at HKUMed and was looking forward to his career.
“My next step is probably to go into the medical industry,” he said. “I think it’s what’s further beyond academia that really makes the research become a product. And for my area, that’s medical devices that can be used in hospitals for patients.”
Professor Lau also touched on the Faculty’s urgent need for more space to provide laboratories and teaching facilities for increased staff and student numbers.
This growth means that HKUMed’s researchers require more patients and access to a more varied range of diseases. One way this will be achieved, Professor Lau said, was through the Faculty’s newly formalised clinical affiliation with Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital Medical Group, adding to existing partnerships with four other hospitals.
Guest of honour, Nisa Leung, Managing Partner of Qiming Venture Partners, who leads the firm’s healthcare investments, encouraged graduates to step out of their comfort zones and leverage Hong Kong’s strengths in basic research and biotech to further their careers.
“What I find especially meaningful about speaking to you today here at HKU is that you have a unique position to be leaders in healthcare development starting out from Hong Kong, an international hub connecting the East and the West,” she said.
Professor Lau closed his speech by reminding staff and students that people like them built the Faculty’s legacy over the past 135 years. He also pledged to actively support members of the HKUMed family.
“We are now perched on a magnificent springboard for escalating to new heights as we welcome a much-needed influx of resources and people. But at the same time, we should not forget our origins. HKUMed has excelled because of its people,” he said.