The past couple of months have been challenging for Hong Kong and the University. Anxiety about the outbreak of Covid-19 has shaken our cherished society.
Facing successive challenges, we have been thinking out of the box and, with the support of faculty, providing our students with the best possible options. CityU has taken the lead in introducing the CityU-Learning system (video clip: Anti-epidemic and CityU-Learning) in view of the challenges posed by the novel coronavirus epidemic. Resources were pulled together rapidly to roll out this online learning platform according to original class schedules, online and in real-time on 7 February. More than 2,000 students attended classes at the same time at each session on that day. CityU was the first local university to conduct such online learning on a campus-wide scale. Although CityU-Learning is not an ideal system, it does enable the mission for students to continue to learn to meet their graduation target without delay.
We fully understand some staff and students are worried about the epidemic situation, and I want to assure them that they are supported by the University. Professor Eric Chui, Dean of Students, and I have contacted students who have been affected by the virus. Among them are a student stranded in Wuhan, one under quarantine in Japan and another infected in Norway. Their concerns were addressed and all necessary arrangements have been made.
In view of the pandemic, the University Emergency Fund, set up with funding provided by donors upon the request of the University, was activated on 19 March. The fund helps subsidise some students on exchange experiencing urgent economic need. On behalf of the University, I would like to express our gratitude to the generous donors.
Taking this opportunity, I would also like to share that the College of Business is ranked 27th in the world and 1st in the Asia-Pacific Region according to the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) Top 100 Business School Research Rankings 2019 released on 15 February. This ranking system is well recognised internationally.
These achievements demonstrate how our continuous efforts and collective endeavours will enable us to prevail. We cannot yet predict when this public health emergency will end. But tough times don’t last; tough people do.
My heartfelt thanks go out to all members of the CityU community for demonstrating consummate professionalism to help resolve this difficult situation.
I sincerely hope you and your family all remain in good health in this challenging time.
President and University Distinguished Professor