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Dear All,


Welcome to the beginning of a new academic year at HKUST! And a special hello to all those who are joining our campus community for the first time. 

Starting a New Journey @ HKUST
Tomorrow (1 September) we celebrate the first day at our University for the new students and welcome all other members after the summer break. In the morning, I will meet and greet students at the Academic Concourse as part of the My First Day @HKUST program. The Students’ Union will organize lunch-time activities at the Atrium, including music and refreshments – and I will be playing guitar and singing with one of our student bands. So, please come to give your support and have some fun together! There will also be an enjoyable evening in store for new students from Hong Kong and around the world to get to know each other at My First Dinner @HKUST on the LG7 lawn. 

Fun and laughter aside, HKUST arranges such events because one of our key objectives is to encourage integration among students, and to provide not only excellent training in their chosen disciplines, but also a well-rounded and broadly-based education that develops creativity, critical thinking, global outlook, and cultural awareness.  As a globally recognized university, we have included engagement and motivation of students, a vibrant and internationalized student experience, and a diversity of backgrounds as a core element of HKUST’s most recent Strategic Plan.

Diverse and Inclusive Campus Life
We strive to make our campus life as multifaceted and inclusive as possible to prepare our students to become future community leaders and lifelong learners. Our University is already the most internationalized in Hong Kong in terms of the student mix from around the world. However, you should quickly notice over the coming year that HKUST places a strong emphasis on campus diversity in all forms and activities.

Through a comprehensive embrace of diversity in interests, talents, needs, backgrounds and worldviews, members of our campus community will be better positioned to truly broaden their understanding of the world along with building academic knowledge. As such, we always seek to draw together diverse individuals to learn and work together, to share memorable events, and establish long-lasting friendships in line with the 1-HKUST spirit. The more mixing and variety of experience that our students enjoy at this stage of life, the more value will be derived from the time spent at HKUST and in the future. When our graduates step out from our campus, they will know how to see issues from other perspectives and have a respect for opinions that differ from their own. We embrace such open-mindedness, tolerance, and inclusiveness at HKUST, as encapsulated in our Core Values.

Enhancing the HKUST Experience
We also continue building on and enhancing our campus experience in multiple ways. Other initiatives and plans that I would like to draw your attention to are set out as follows:

First Year Success @ HKUST: Starting a new life in university is a time of great change. Our Student Affairs Office offers various kinds of student support services programs to help new students adapt to university life, such as student life advising and personal counselling services. You are also encouraged to join a student society and take part in student-led activities to expand peer support network and enrich your student life. New students can also find themselves more easily integrated into the campus community through the First-Year Experience @ Residence Program, where new students staying in residence halls are supported by Senior Undergraduate (SUG) Mentors. Besides non-academic support, the academic mentoring program in your school will assist you with your educational needs.

New Sports and Recreational Amenities: New facilities are being built to encourage students to develop their all-round capabilities and keep themselves active and healthy. The latest are the Indoor Sports Center and Water Sports Center, both expected to be completed in 2018.  The two Centers will further develop the spirit of sportsmanship and enable more interaction between students from different years, disciplines and backgrounds. Actually, a dedicated team has already been set up under the Student Affairs Office to assist the development of water sports partly supported by the Alumni Endowment Fund. Dragon boating, coastal rowing, windsurfing, and dinghy sailing are just some of the exciting water sports activities available to you.

Catering Master Plan: University catering creates a unique and valuable campus experience. We have begun upgrading some of our catering outlets to make sure our students are offered a wide variety of healthy food and multinational dietary options, and also a better environment to socialize. Special transitional arrangements have been put in place such as food kiosks and extra seating around campus while some restaurants are currently closed for renovation. Some outlets will be reopening in mid-October.

Bottled Water-free Campus Campaign: HKUST is committed to championing sustainability by transforming our campus into a living laboratory. We are thus launching a campaign to become disposable bottled water free. In the coming year, one-time use plastic water bottles will be removed from all vending machines, canteens, and the Conference Lodge. Twelve new water fountains with bottle-filling capabilities will be installed with fresh new looks and designs, a bottle-filling facility will be available at the Conference Lodge, and temporary water filling stations will be provided for large events. Let’s all support this significant step forward for sustainability at HKUST by only bringing a reusable water bottle to campus!

Looking Ahead
Last year, the University celebrated its 25th Anniversary. We are now looking forward to the next 25 years, and to you playing your part in helping HKUST continue to be just as miraculous in the future as in the past. I wish you well on your new or continuing journey at HKUST. While the University serves as your educator, it also sets out to provide a home, where you will find support, global vision, inspiration and friendship throughout your life. Make the most of all the opportunities that await here!


Prof Tony F Chan

31 August 2017