The year 2015 got off to an exciting start for CityU with the inauguration of the new Department of Chinese and History on 19 January. The new department, which combines the disciplinary strengths of Chinese and History, is a strategic initiative of the University and the first of its kind in Hong Kong and the region. The Department’s mission is to collaborate with other disciplines, both within the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) and in other Schools and Colleges, to create excellence in the humanities and creative arts to enhance CityU’s interdisciplinary research and professional education.
CityU positions itself as a leading international university of professional schools. Our goal is to train graduates who are creative, professional and adaptable. Enhancing our programme strength in Chinese and history is essential for complementing the other basic disciplines, such as mathematics and English, to build a solid and broad foundation for a professional education. A deep understanding of Chinese history and culture enhances internationalisation and our graduates’ contributions to the highly connected global world in which they work and live.
I firmly believe that internationalisation means more than language skills and exchanges for scholars and students. As I explained in my article “Global Vision” which appeared in the South China Morning Post on 4 July 2012, internationalisation grows from our own culture. It means giving our young people the chance to understand their own culture first and opportunities to learn about other cultures, in order to develop their adaptability, creativity, global perspective and multicultural skills.
The new department is the result of the strong support and hard work of the campus community in the past two years to explore my suggestion to consider establishing a Department of Chinese and History. I hope this new initiative will lead to many fruitful collaborative projects, across the campus, nationally and internationally, to contribute to world-class research and education and to promote art, culture and the creative industry in our society.
As the Dean of CLASS pointed out at the inauguration ceremony, this is the seventh department in the College and seven is a lucky number. We all have a valuable role to play in broadening internationalisation and strengthening our research into culture and history, and enhancing our graduates’ education, global employability and professional success in this era of globalisation.
As a leading university in the region, CityU should take full advantage of its academic strengths, research capabilities and unique cultural and geographical position in order to contribute to the intellectual cross-fertilisation between China, Asia and the West to support global development and human progress.
President and University Distinguished Professor
(Original published in "From the President's Desk" January 2015 • No. 37)