HKUST positions itself as an international research university of excellence. Consolidating our international status means building a broader global network of relationships with other leading universities. To this end, the President led a delegation to visit Canada and the US west coast in February this year in search of academic partnerships and talent.
Accompanied by Dr Eden Woon, Vice-President along with our deans, the President made a 7-university swing up and down the North American coast, taking in UBC, University of Washington, Caltech, USC, UCLA, Stanford and UC Berkeley. They set a punishing pace. Squeezed into a five-day schedule were 6 meetings with presidents or provosts, 7 meetings with students, 10 media interviews, plus 2 luncheon talks and 4 get-togethers with our alumni. The deans, for their part, held 33 meetings with their counterparts, making this a tightly choreographed visit. The president also found time to meet with Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, the iconic company of the Internet era.
These meetings and discussions were intended to generate possibilities for student exchanges including postdoctoral student exchanges, faculty exchanges and forums, undergraduate research programs and research collaborations to capitalize on the respective strengths of partner institutions, covering bio-imaging, neuroscience, stem cells, the environment, advanced computing research, supply chain management, electrical engineering, bio-engineering, statistics, climate modeling and wireless engineering, among others. Not surprisingly, China figured prominently in the dialogue, with a view to establishing tripartite relationships between HKUST, the US and Mainland China.
There is no denying that our international rankings and impressive research output have given us a global visibility, opening the doors for partnerships with the world’s elite universities, and stoking the interest of foreign students and scholars in joining us. Next up, the President and his entourage will be heading to Europe in October. Going global is a non-stop effort at coverage and consistency.