The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) installed its fifth President and the first woman to head a University Grants Committee-supported institution – Prof. Nancy IP – at its 30th Congregation today. While celebrating the academic achievements of the Class of 2022, the University also conferred honorary doctorate degrees to four distinguished academic and social leaders at the ceremony.
Prof. Ip, who took office as President on October 19, was capped by Council Chairman the Hon. Andrew LIAO Cheung-Sing at the installation ceremony. Addressing the Congregation, the home-grown leader who joined HKUST as a junior faculty member back in 1993 pledged to dedicate all her efforts to strengthening the University’s interdisciplinary research, innovation, and education, and to deepening its collaboration with both the public and private sectors in Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area and beyond. She further spelled out an ambition for HKUST to expand its social impact by developing cutting-edge solutions to pressing global issues such as aging population, pandemics, and the climate crisis.
“My goal is to strengthen the University’s position as an academic, research, and innovation powerhouse by widening our talent base, empowering our community, and fostering collaboration and innovation across campus, thus paving the groundwork for HKUST to become the most innovative university in Asia,” Prof. Ip said.
The new President also congratulated this year’s graduates on the successful completion of their degree courses in the face of the COVID-pandemic. She encouraged them to keep up with their perseverance and “can-do” spirit as they entered a new chapter of their lives.
“You may soon experience the challenges of the real world, such as pandemic stress, global economic uncertainties, and a competitive job market,” she said. “I trust that your time at HKUST has equipped you with the knowledge, skills, ingenuity, and a “can-do” attitude to transform adversities into achievements, and I am confident that you will each find creative and effective ways to turn challenges into opportunities.”
The 30th Congregation conferred 2,525 bachelor’s degrees, 3,144 master’s degrees, and 374 doctoral degrees, expanding the HKUST alumni community to over 93,200 members.
The University also conferred honorary doctorate degrees to four distinguished academic and social leaders at the ceremony. They were (in alphabetical order of surnames):
Prof. KAN Yuet-Wai, Louis K. Diamond Chair in Hematology and Professor Emeritus at the University of California San Francisco - Doctor of Science honoris causa
Prof. Sir Jim MCDONALD, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde - Doctor of Engineering honoris causa
Dr. WANG Xiaodong, Director and Investigator of the National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing - Doctor of Science honoris causa
Ms. YIP Wing-Sie, Music Director Emeritus of Hong Kong Sinfonietta - Doctor of Humanities honoris causa
At the ceremony, Prof. Ip also presented the Michael G. Gale Medal for Distinguished Teaching - HKUST’s highest accolade in teaching, to Prof. Desmond TSOI Yau-Chat of the Department of Computer Science & Engineering, School of Engineering in recognition of his outstanding service in education.
For the address by Prof. Nancy Ip , please visit here
Biography of Honorary Doctorate awardees (arranged in alphabetical order of surnames):
Prof. KAN Yuet-Wai
One of the world’s leading human genetics experts, Prof. Kan pioneered the use of DNA testing to diagnose complex human blood diseases such as sickle cell anemia and thalassemia. Paving the way for prenatal DNA-based testing for genetic disorders, his ground-breaking discoveries have made it possible to alert at-risk parents before they decide to have children. Prof. Kan was also instrumental in funding scientific research at HKUST as Chairman of the Croucher Foundation from 1997 to 2011. (Read more)
Prof. Sir Jim MCDONALD
An early advocate of academia-industry collaboration, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde Sir Jim has significantly expanded its research and commercialization portfolio to solve real-world problems. The renowned engineer and educator’s energy policy insights are also helping the UK and Scottish governments to achieve their net-zero goals. Under his leadership, Strathclyde collaborates closely with HKUST on joint initiatives including a Dual Master’s Degree Program in future energy and smart power systems. (Read more)
Dr. WANG Xiaodong
An internationally pre-eminent authority on programmed cell death, Dr. Wang’s cutting-edge research has accelerated the development of therapeutic drugs for critical illnesses. Unravelling the mysteries of how cells commit suicide, his breakthroughs in the area of apoptosis enabled the development of drugs capable of overcoming cancer cells’ resistance to being eliminated. Currently Director and Investigator of Beijing’s National Institute of Biological Sciences, Dr. Wang has been a scientific advisor to HKUST’s School of Science since 2012. (Read more)
Ms. YIP Wing-Sie
Having started her musical training at the age of four, Ms. Yip has grown up to become a highly respected orchestra conductor. Her international standing is reflected in her numerous appearances at leading venues and festivals, and collaborations with globally renowned artists and performing arts groups. As Music Director of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta from 2002 to 2020, Ms. Yip’s leadership has seen the then fledgling orchestra evolve into a headline attraction which now gives over 100 local performances annually. (Read more)
About The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) (https://hkust.edu.hk/) is a world-class research intensive university that focuses on science, technology and business as well as humanities and social science. HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. Over 80% of our research work were rated “Internationally excellent” or “world leading” in the Research Assessment Exercise 2020 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee. We were ranked 3rd in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2022, and our graduates were ranked 30th worldwide and among the best from universities from Asia in Global Employability University Ranking and Survey 2022. As of 2022, HKUST members have founded 1,645 active start-ups, including 9 Unicorns and 7 IPO companies, generating economic impact worth over HK$400billion. InvestHK cited QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 to demonstrate the performance of five world’s top 100 local universities in several innovation-centric areas, among which HKUST ranked top in four engineering and materials science subjects.
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