HKU Annual Report 2023

3 2 HKU ANNUAL REPORT 2023 MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT AND VICE-CHANCELLOR Five years ago, I took up the position of President of HKU, full of enthusiasm and ambition for what the University could become – a world-leading institution where some of the best minds on the planet tackle the urgent matters of our time, including climate change, public health and ecological threats. What followed was a trial by a series of unexpected challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest in Hong Kong. These consumed enormous amounts of time and energy from me, my senior management team and all leaders across the University. But they did not throw us off course. It gives me great satisfaction to say that our collective perseverance has enabled us to make firm strides towards that original goal of being a global leader, despite the obstacles. And there is much more to come. A telling example of our achievements is the soaring representation of HKU on Clarivate’s annual list of Highly Cited Researchers, which recognises scholars with significant influence who have published multiple highly cited papers over the last decade. In 2019, a year after my arrival, we had 13 scholars on the list. This year we have 50, placing us 13th globally. Added to that amazing achievement is our performance on the national scale.’s list of the best scientists in 2023 placed HKU scholars first in six of the 24 areas surveyed, the most of any university in China. Our ability to leap up the tables is down to two things. One is our scholars’ tremendous efforts and success in pursuing excellence. The other is our determined effort to recruit the best scholars in the world to HKU. In 2023 alone, we welcomed 91 academics from some of the top universities in the world, including a Nobel Laureate. Our recruitment focusses not only on people at the pinnacle of their careers, but also young talent who have potential for great things. In the past two years, we have launched Presidential Professorships and Outstanding Young Professorships to incentivise talent to come here, to which we added Presidential Research Assistant Professorships this year. MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT AND VICE-CHANCELLOR REALISING OUR SHARED VISION