The Review 2018


Contents Message from the President and Vice-Chancellor 2 Teaching and Learning 6 Research and Innovation 16 Knowledge Exchange and Technology Transfer 26 The University Profile 36 An Extract from the University’s Annual Accounts 2017–18 45 Officers of the University 48 The Court 49 Vision The University of Hong Kong, Asia’s Global University, delivers impact through internationalisation, innovation and interdisciplinarity. It attracts and nurtures global scholars through excellence in research, teaching and learning, and knowledge exchange. It makes a positive social contribution through global presence, regional significance and engagement with the rest of China. Mission The University of Hong Kong will endeavour: • To advance constantly the bounds of scholarship, building upon its proud traditions and strengths • To provide a comprehensive education, benchmarked against the highest international standards, designed to develop fully the intellectual and personal strengths of its students, while extending lifelong learning opportunities for the community • To produce graduates of distinction committed to academic / professional excellence, critical intellectual inquiry and lifelong learning, who are communicative and innovative, ethically and culturally aware, and capable of tackling the unfamiliar with confidence • To develop a collegial, flexible, pluralistic and supportive intellectual environment that inspires and attracts, retains and nurtures scholars, students and staff of the highest calibre in a culture that fosters creativity, learning and freedom of thought, enquiry and expression • To provide a safe, healthy and sustainable workplace to support and advance teaching, learning and research at the University • To engage in innovative, high-impact and leading-edge research within and across disciplines • To be fully accountable for the effective management of public and private resources bestowed upon the institution and act in partnership with the community over the generation, dissemination and application of knowledge • To serve as a focal point of intellectual and academic endeavour in Hong Kong, China and Asia and act as a gateway and forum for scholarship with the rest of the world

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT AND VICE-CHANCELLOR A Time of Opportunity It has been just a few months since I arrived at the University of Hong Kong and I have really enjoyed settling into this warm and friendly community. I am very excited by the great potential of this University, which has been demonstrated by the strong results in all areas of our work over the past academic year. What is even more exciting is that I have arrived at a moment when there are unprecedented opportunities for us to do even better. First, let me review the highlights. High-achievers and new programmes HKU admitted more top-scoring students from Hong Kong than any other local university, confirming yet again the attractions of the education that we offer. High standards of excellence are a given and we have worked hard to add value, for instance by aiming to offer every undergraduate an overseas and Mainland China experience by 2022, which we are well on our way to achieving. The University has also multiplied its international partners through exchanges to 44 countries and dual degrees and other programmes with such universities as Sciences Po in France, Cambridge University and my alma mater, the University of California, Berkeley. Interdisciplinarity is also a firm feature of teaching and learning at HKU. This started with the Common Core, which created a mandatory framework for students from different disciplines to explore questions of profound significance to humankind, and from 2019 will expand into a full-fledged programme of Bachelor of Arts and Sciences. Six variants will be offered that will provide students with training in leadership and big data, among other things, and open the door to international internships. Boost to research funding Interdisciplinarity is also a core feature of our research strategy, which was refined into the Strategically Oriented Research Themes scheme in 2018 to focus more sharply on our strengths and the tremendous opportunities arising from the development of the central government’s Greater Bay Area vision as well as advances in technology. The University is well placed to take up these opportunities given its track record. We continued to secure a large share of competitive funding from the Research Grants Council (a total $269.4 million in 2017–18 and were participant in all five Theme-based Research Scheme projects, including being project co-ordinator on two of them). Further, 114 of our scientists were ranked among the top one percent in their field by Clarivate Analytics based on citations of their publications. And now, there are even more opportunities on the horizon. Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuetngor, announced in her October 2018 Policy Address that the government will invest in a Research Endowment Fund to attract and retain talents in Hong Kong and establish a new Research Matching Grant Scheme. She also allocated more funds to State Key Laboratories, the Technology Transfer Office and other research and innovation activities, and increased the number of healthcare training places and money to upgrade teaching facilities. This is all very welcome news at HKU because it gives us an opportunity to capitalise on our on-going efforts to strengthen our research profile and create innovations and impact from that research. I am confident that these efforts will give us an edge in bidding for these funds and driving us to higher levels of achievement. Global collaborations The quality and impact of our work is also being advanced through our engagement with the world outside of Hong Kong. In teaching, as mentioned, we have numerous exchanges, dual degrees and other programmes with institutions around the world and in 2017–18 more than 10,000 visits were made by our students of all academic levels to participate in activities outside of Hong Kong. Our aim is to ensure HKU graduates acquire a broad vision and appreciation of the global challenges of the 21st ︱3

Students from HKU’s Ricci Hall chat with Professor Zhang. His mentor, Professor Andy Tam, once also lived in these residential halls. President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Xiang Zhang, alongside former Acting President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Tam, at the inauguration ceremony in August to welcome students to the academic year 2018–19. century. International collaboration also features strongly in our research and in 2018 we signed agreements with the University of Toronto and Tsinghua University to co-fund research activities, adding to our strategic partnerships with such institutions as the University of Cambridge, University College London, King’s College, the University of Chicago, Shanghai Jiaotong University and the University of Sydney. In 2017–18 we also had more than 2,400 on-going international research collaborations, which have been shown to multiply the impact of the research for both us and our collaborators as measured by the Field-Weighted Citation Impact. The University also hosted major international summits in 2017–18, such as the 2018 Hong Kong International Artificial Intelligence Summit with Tsinghua University, the Grand Challenges for Engineering Symposium with the US National Academy of Engineering, and the Hong Kong Summit of Global Health Leaders. Our growing engagement with Mainland China also enriches our work. In April 2018, we hosted the C9+1 Symposium for senior managers, teachers and students from nine top research universities in the Mainland plus HKU to share expertise and discuss collaborations in teaching excellence and innovation. This high-level event included keynote addresses by Mrs Lam and China’s Minister of Education, Mr Chen Baosheng. We also learned in 2018 that Hong Kong researchers can now compete directly in the funding programmes of the central government, without needing a Mainland-based partner as we did in the past. This should expand the scale and scope of our research opportunities, although it also means we face more competitors. However, we have many of the ingredients needed to succeed and I will be working to enhance our strengths, particularly through recruitment of new staff. Setting our sights higher The successes of our efforts to provide a world-class education and world-class research has paid off not only in our competition for top students and funding, but in international recognition. Our Dental Faculty is ranked the best in the world by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), while the Education Faculty is ranked seventh best by QS and fourth best by Times Higher Education (THE). The University as a whole is ranked 25th by QS and 36th by THE. These are strong showings but of course, our sights are always set higher. Coming here from abroad, I am keen to bring a fresh perspective on how the University can develop its potential. Since arriving at HKU on July 17, I have met with hundreds of staff, students and alumni. One thing I have instructed my Senior Management Team to do is to drill down deep into the faculties and departments to see where we can make immediate changes to improve people’s working lives. Reducing red tape is low-hanging fruit, but it is an area where I think we can make a positive impact. SMARTER@HKU has improved processes for operational matters, such as estates and administration, and we now want to keep the momentum going in processes related to our academic activities. Recent improvements to human resources procedures, such as streamlining the appointment system to make it more speedy, transparent and effective, are also positive steps in the right direction. I believe these sorts of measures will ultimately help our scholars be more effective and benefit HKU as a whole. At the same time, I am looking at the longer-term future of the University. HKU has the potential to be elevated to a Stanford, Cambridge or Oxford – we have capable scholars, world-class excellence in several academic areas and exceptional students, plus strong support from the Hong Kong community. To get to the next level, we need to recruit even more top scholars from around the world and this will be my priority going forward. The bar is set high, but it is time to raise it higher. Gratitude and appreciation HKU’s many recent achievements have been the result of groundwork laid by my predecessors, Professor Paul Tam who was Acting President and Vice-Chancellor from January until my arrival in July, and Professor Peter Mathieson, who led the University from 2014 to January 2018. On behalf of the University, I extend our warmest thanks and appreciation for their hard work and dedication to making HKU a university of tremendous potential. I am excited to be taking up the mantle as President and driving the University forward in this era of so many opportunities, and I pledge to work hard in the coming years to see it reach the fullness of its potential. Professor Xiang Zhang President and Vice-Chancellor December 2018 ︱5 4︱ MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT AND VICE-CHANCELLOR Anthony Fan

The University has been creating new layers of programmes and opportunities, some of them unique in the world, to accelerate opportunities for students to cross both physical and disciplinary boundaries and enrich and expand their learning. TEACHING AND LEARNING Deep Engagement Students enjoy a taste of immersive 360-degree Virtual Reality (VR) in the newly installed imseDOME VR Salon. The Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, the Faculty of Engineering and the Common Core Curriculum Office set up this unique digital cultural space which is being used to showcase VR films and students’ creative work from Common Core courses. ︱7

The University’s vision in recent years has been driven by engagement – engagement with people from different communities and cultures, with different disciplines, and with novel ideas, situations and technologies. In 2017–18, this engagement resulted in enormous advances in providing students with a worldclass education that pushes at the boundaries and ploughs new ground, particularly in interdisciplinary learning. The Common Core has been the trailblazer, demonstrating that it is possible to bring teachers together from diverse disciplines to offer joint courses that enrich students’ understanding of the biggest problems facing the world, from climate change to big data to how the arts help articulate the human experience. The programme was formally launched in 2012 and in 2018–19 offered 176 courses. The University is now ready to take this approach to the next stage with full interdisciplinary programmes leading to a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (BASc) that will nurture globally minded thinkers and leaders and equip them to address the challenges of today’s complex world. Six variants of the BASc were announced in 2018 that involve all 10 faculties and will be offered from September 2019: a broad-based BASc ranging across the arts, sciences and social sciences; BAScs specialising in Applied AI, Design+, FinTech or Global Health and Development; and a two-year BASc in Social Data Science for senior students. Students of the four-year programmes will undertake foundational modules on critical thinking, leadership TEACHING AND LEARNING training and big data, with the latter delivered in collaboration with Microsoft. They will also have the option of securing an international minor at an institution outside Hong Kong, allied with a summer experience. The best and brightest students will be sought for this programme, which will also link students to internship opportunities with organisations such as Google, the World Health Organization and the United Nations. The BAScs are not the only teaching and learning innovation. The Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine rolled out its Enrichment Year in September 2018 in which third-year MBBS students are spending the year in a self-directed programme to prepare them for the demands of the clinical years of study. In this ground-breaking initiative, students can opt to pursue research, undertake an intercalated degree at HKU or a university overseas such as Yale University or Oxford University, study a subject of interest outside medicine, or engage in humanitarian work and service learning (see page 11). The University also continues to expand options for students to have learning experiences both in Mainland China and overseas, with the goal of making these available to every undergraduate by 2022. There are different layers to this commitment. Several dual-degree programmes have been launched with institutions such as Sciences Po in France and the University of California, Berkeley. In autumn 2017 we also announced that students of the HKU-Cambridge Undergraduate Recruitment Scheme (Engineering and Computer Science) can now graduate with three degrees: full Bachelor degrees from each university and a Master of Engineering from Cambridge upon successful completion of five years of study. Exchange programmes are another option for non-local learning. HKU has exchange agreements with 44 countries on every continent and in 2017–18 sent about 1,400 students overseas and 459 to Mainland China and welcomed 1,350 exchange students from these places. More than 80 programmes have been launched with the Mainland, while HKU’s partnership with Common Purpose offers leadership training in Manila and Yangon (with plans to add Shanghai and Bangalore in 2019) and the HKU Summer Institute offers courses and internships in cities such as Shanghai, Tokyo and Paris. The University has also been designated a ‘super partner‘ of the University of Sydney, which is hosting 100 undergraduates from HKU every year. New technology has made it easier for students to continue their learning abroad and has also opened up new possibilities in the classroom. For the Enrichment Year, the medical faculty has developed a social media platform with the Education University of Hong Kong where students share experiences and engage in discussions with their classmates around the world and their faculty-based mentors. The University as a whole has also invested in advancing technology for teaching, in particular video (see page 14), that can be applied in the flipped classroom, massive open online courses (MOOCs), apps for learning and many other ways. Students are benefitting from a new Digital Literacy Laboratory that opened in the Chi Wah Learning Commons in September 2018 where they can develop skills in filming, editing and writing videos for presentation in class. The Common Core is also continuing to evolve and attract interest from outside the University. New Common Core programmes were launched in 2018 that give students opportunities to contribute to research (see page 10). The University Grants Committee has also invited HKU to be a key player in an experiment to share general education and Common Core content across four universities: HKU will deliver seven of the 10 courses, while the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University will deliver one course each. Partnerships are also being forged with institutions outside Hong Kong in connection with the Common Core. HKU has invited other comprehensive universities around the world that offer liberal arts foundation programmes to join GLADE – Global Liberal Arts Design Experiments – which will hold a symposium in 2019. The University also formalised arrangements with three Mainland universities to jointly offer Common Core courses, with one week in Hong Kong and two weeks on the Mainland. The latter initiative, called CLASS (China Liberal Arts Summer Sessions), follows a 2017 pilot course with Peking University and will commence in 2019. CLASS was announced at the C9+1 Symposium hosted by HKU in April 2018. This event brought together senior managers, teachers and students from 10 top research universities – nine from Mainland China plus HKU – to discuss key issues in teaching and learning, such as how technology facilitates internationalisation, cross-faculty innovation and entrepreneurship, e-learning, and building student ownership of interdisciplinary projects. The highprofile event included keynote addresses by China’s Minister of Education Mr Chen Baosheng and Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. The 10 participating universities agreed at the event to take turns holding an annual summit and to create more opportunities for academic co-operation between their students and teachers. Opportunity on the road to excellence is a firm feature of HKU’s curriculum and a key strategy for keeping the University attractive to new students. Students entering HKU today get opportunities to study abroad and in Mainland China, to learn from other disciplines, to try their hand at research, to engage with the community through experiential and service learning and, most importantly, to develop leadership abilities – all in addition to their rigorous academic studies. These opportunities have proven attractive to top-performing students from Hong Kong and abroad, who in 2018 continued to make HKU their top choice. Working on robot parts in the DreamLab. The Faculty of Engineering developed the lab as an innovative space where design concepts can be developed in an interdisciplinary or inter-faculty environment and prototypes made using state-of-the-art equipment. ︱9 8︱ Students from nine Chinese universities and HKU gathered for the C9+1 Symposium to promote academic cooperation.

The Common Core has been looking at how to better build opportunities at the nexus of teaching and research, and in 2018 launched the Open Platform Course in which small groups of students apply their research and outreach skills to tackle a common real-world challenge. The first offering, called the Transdisciplinary Team Project, involves six students from the medical and science faculties. They have chosen to investigate hepatitis C as a team, comparing Hong Kong and Canadian residents’ understanding of hepatitis C and developing a new diagnostic tool using 3D-printing and microfluidics technology. Third-year MBBS student, Elaine Tian Yi-ling, is on exchange in Canada where she will survey residents. “This course allows us to take a proactive role in our learning, from selecting the direction of our research to producing outputs that will hopefully make an impact in society. I also enjoy the flexible nature of the course, which allows me to participate even though I am overseas and even takes advantage of that,” she said. Jasmine Hadiwibawa, also a third-year MBBS student, added: “I chose this course because it was the first time a Common Core course could be taken online and the idea of doing biomedical research for a semester was very appealing.” The Common Core has also initiated the Transdisciplinary Nomadic Researchers scheme for students who have been Common Core Student Ambassadors or participated in the annual transdisciplinary research exchange programme with Utrecht University. These students, most of whom plan to do graduate degrees, are invited to attend academic conferences and other events and respond with reflections, presentations and, when appropriate, publications. Open Platform for the Common Core TEACHING AND LEARNING Activities are being promoted that encourage and recognise achievements beyond formal disciplinary studies to enrich students’ learning and personal development. Beyond the Curriculum A Year of Enrichment After months of preparation, the first students to benefit from the Faculty of Medicine’s Enrichment Year set off in September 2018. All third-year students have gone ‘off book‘ to pursue selfdirected learning activities, such as studying Human Sciences at Oxford University, pursuing an MSc in public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, doing research at HKU and volunteering aboard a ship, Logos Hope, that brings books to remote ports around the world. “There will be no other block of time in our curriculum, and indeed in our future practice, where we are given free rein to find, investigate and explore our interests. This is a cherished opportunity,” said Max Lim Ying-hao, who is spending half the year interning at the WHO and the other half studying international relations and politics at Sciences Po. Venice Ho Wing-tung is spending half the year doing research at the School of Chinese Medicine and the other half studying philosophy at Ludwig Maximilians Universität in Germany. “I have chosen this research topic because traditional Chinese medicine is particularly relevant in Hong Kong and I wish to learn more about it. For the trip to Germany, I believe the lengthy period abroad will teach me things I can never learn at home and take me out of my comfort zone.” Cyrus Yeung Chun-wing welcomed the ‘once-in-a-lifetime‘ opportunity to do research on immunology and DNA repair as a Visiting Undergraduate at Yale School of Medicine. “The Enrichment Year can propel me into becoming a clinical scientist and enable me to interact with students and scientists from around the world.” Sporting Achievements Elite athletes from HKU gave a tremendous performance at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, winning eight medals including gold in men’s rugby, silver in women’s windsurfing and men’s fencing, and bronze in triathlon, swimming, rowing and fencing. A total of 16 students and 16 alumni participated in the Games. The results came in a year when sport and exercise on campus gained greater recognition. In autumn 2017, HKU signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Hong Kong Sports Institute to formalise co-operation in developing dual career pathways for elite athletes and hosted a University Grants Committee Conference on ‘Springboard to Success – Balancing University and Elite Sports‘. HKU established Hong Kong’s first university Sports Scholarship Scheme in 1995 and more than 430 athletes have benefitted. The University is now exploring how to enhance this scheme with financial or in-kind support. The University’s Centre for Sports and Exercise also made good progress promoting exercise for health on campus, with the University Health Service now referring patients to the Centre for exercise programmes to address health issues. The Centre also collaborates with scholars in the faculties of Social Sciences and Medicine to run exercise trials and interventions. In May 2018, HKU became the first in Asia recognised as a Gold Level Campus under the global Exercise is Medicine® on Campus (EIM-OC) initiative of the American College of Sports Medicine. The Centre and HKU Global also launched HKU’s 2018 ‘Around the World‘ Walking Challenge, in which more than 1,400 staff, students and alumni from 18 countries collectively clocked up enough steps in one month to circle the globe seven times. Left to right: Oscar Chou Hou-in, Alex Fung Ka-chun, Timothy Chan Tao-fo and Justin Chan Ching-him, four members of the Transdisciplinary Team Project investigating public understanding of hepatitis C in both Canada and Hong Kong. One of HKU’s eight Asian Games 2018 medal winners, Bailee Brown won a bronze in the triathlon. Cyrus Yeung at Yale with his research mentor Dr Rashu Seth. ︱11 10︱

Business in Geneva The Faculty of Business and Economics has partnered with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to select senior undergraduate or taught postgraduate students for a year-long traineeship at ICRC headquarters in Geneva, where they assist the organisation’s Economic Advisor, with a special emphasis on work involving Asian affairs. Xiao Zhilin, who graduated with a BBA in 2018, is the first to benefit. She joined the ICRC in June, immediately after completing her studies, having previously led the Ghana Education and Health programme and Nepal Earthquake Relief programme at HKU, among other achievements. “Pursuing a business major does not mean you only work in banking or consulting. There are many other career choices, especially nowadays because private sector knowledge and experience are more and more appreciated in the public sector,” she said. Since joining the ICRC, Miss Xiao has done research on business and human rights issues, attended meetings on business and conflict-related topics, and supported the Economic Advisor’s outreach missions to such places as South Africa, Australia and China. She also travelled to Argentina as the Chinese delegate for the G(irls)20 Global Summit and hopes to make a documentary on female role models from around the world. “It is estimated that in 2030, when I will be 34 years old, the share of global poor living in fragile and conflict-affected situations will swell to almost 50 per cent, up from 17 per cent today. I want to work to solve this,” she said. Real Talk Practice makes perfect in language learning and therein lies a challenge. How do you offer students an authentic chance to speak a language that is not spoken in their community? The French programme of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures has turned to technology for help. In early 2018 it trialled the online SpeakShake video-calling platform with the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO) in France. Over six weeks, French learners at HKU spoke regularly with French students learning Chinese at INALCO, which not only gave them a chance to practise the language but learn more about the culture. The programme, which was supported by the Institut Français and the ConsulateGeneral of France in Hong Kong and Macau, was a pilot for developing personalised learning paths for students of the French programme. Alison Tam Pui-san was a third-year BA student when she participated in the pilot project. “In a class setting teachers usually speak really clearly and pace themselves, but speaking to a local person casually gave us a chance to get to know how people speak in a colloquial situation, which is faster and with more slang,” she said. Anthony Wong Chuan-hun, also a third-year BA student, said it gave them an opportunity to teach new language as well as learn. “One example was ‘GPA’ [grade point average]. This term is not used in France so I had to explain in French what it means and why it is important for students here in Hong Kong,” he said. TEACHING AND LEARNING Students are encouraged to engage with other places and cultures through internships, exchanges and capitalising on the opportunities presented by technology. Out of Hong Kong Two Sides of Medicine Five medical students joined their counterparts from Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) in the summer for a 10-day colearning experience that brought them to one of the top hospitals in the country and one of the most impoverished regions. The Pilot Mainland Experience Scheme for Post-secondary Students was launched by the central government as part of the effort to address poverty alleviation through health by raising awareness of trainee healthcare practitioners. HKU and PUMC were invited to be the trailblazers. They first visited PUMC Hospital, which was ranked the top hospital in the country from 2009 to 2017 by Fudan University. The hospital has about 5,000 medical staff and attracts patients from across the country. “The lobby of the PUMC Hospital was so crowded that for a second, I thought I had arrived at a Mainland train station prior to the commencement of the winter holiday,” student Tsui Yat-yan reflected. They then visited Yonghe County, one of the four poorest in China, where they were struck by the resource challenges, staff shortages and the cost to patients who had to travel to better-equipped hospitals for complicated treatments. The experience left a deep impression on the students. “As a medical student in Hong Kong, there may not be much we can do yet to help them, but we can raise awareness that there are still people out there suffering from disease who are not able to receive basic medical services,” Tsang Siu-yu said. Medical students with their Mainland counterparts on a co-learning experience in China. Chatting with members of the community in Yonghe. Xiao Zhilin (left) and colleagues at the International Red Cross headquarters in Geneva. Hong Kong students practise their language skills via Skype with French students in France. ︱13 12︱

TEACHING AND LEARNING Hardware: The Teaching Innovation Production Studio has opened, where teachers can make videos and other teaching materials using highquality film and audio recordings, a large green screen and technical support from TELI staff. The studio also has two smaller DIY stations where teachers can record lectures on their own against pre-created backdrops. Students are also being catered for with the new Digital Literacy Laboratory that opened in September 2018 and provides space, equipment and technical support for students to make their own videos, which has become a requirement in a growing number of courses, particularly in the Common Core. Software: TELI has developed an innovative online learning platform that makes videos more interactive. Users can input questions and comments as they watch videos and these are time-stamped and saved. A chatbot is now under development that would be able to answer some questions and refer the rest to a forum where teaching assistants or other students could respond. MOOCs: The University’s growing number of MOOCs (massive open online courses) is fuelling demand for video production and other technological support from TELI. HKU now has 15 MOOCs on edX and Coursera, including Asia’s first FinTech MOOC which was launched in May 2018 and attracted more than 30,000 enrollments from every country in the world, including Standard Chartered Bank in Hong Kong which is using the MOOC for staff training. The FinTech MOOC will be combined with two upcoming MOOCs on blockchain and business ethics for a professional certificate to be offered in 2019. In addition, our Dinosaur Ecosystems MOOC was selected as one of edX’s top 10 courses in 2018 out of nearly 2,000 offered globally. And More: TELI is also producing teaching apps, supporting University events such as the C9+1 Symposium, helping scholars produce short videos on research as required by scientific journals, and providing paid-for services for other organisations to support its work, such as a coming Hong Kong Jockey Club-funded project to help NGOs digitise their work flows. “We’ve expanded very quickly because there’s a strong demand for technology to support innovation. If teachers want to make more use of technology, we can make it happen,” said Professor Ricky Kwok, Associate Vice-President (Teaching and Learning). 99.5% employment For the 12th consecutive year, graduates achieved full employment (including the pursuit of further studies). The figure is for UGC-funded students who graduated in 2016–17. 20,000+ applications For qualifications other than HKDSE. 10,464 outbound HKU students Covering all overseas learning activities of all durations and academic levels. Students went to Mainland China and countries in all five continents. 5**in 9 subjects HKU admitted the first student ever to score 5** in 9 subjects in the HKDSE, as well as 8 of the 11 students to score 5** in 7 subjects. HKU also had the highest average admission scores across all Hong Kong universities. The Teaching Innovation Production Studio (TIPS) is equipped with top quality film and audio recording equipment. Teachers and students, with expert tech help from TELI staff, can make video teaching materials, record lectures or create footage for MOOCs. ︱15 14︱ HKU’s Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TELI) expanded in several directions in 2017–18, enabling staff and students to make more seamless and effective use of technology. Lights! Camera! Action!

Years of testing the waters and pushing at the boundaries have positioned the University to make the most of fantastic new opportunities for deeper engagement with Mainland China and for ensuring our research has deeper impact through cross-disciplinary collaborations. RESEARCH AND INNOVATION Seizing the Moment In 1997, HKU’s School of Public Health and Hong Kong’s Department of Health established the ‘Children of 1997‘ birth cohort study as a long-term project to track the health of more than 8,300 babies born that year. This year those children turned 21 and the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine had a party to celebrate. The study has provided valuable health data that has resulted in more than 80 research papers published so far. The results have also contributed to public health policies such as a ban on smoking in indoor areas and the promotion of breastfeeding. ︱17

2018 was a landmark year for researchers in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government announced in October that $20 billion would be allocated to the Research Endowment Fund and it also launched a new $3-billion Research Matching Grant Scheme. Moreover, the central government made it known that local scholars could now compete for national research funding without an obligatory requirement of having a partner on the Mainland. These measures will enrich, deepen and diversify the research funding sources and unquestionably raise the competition and standard of research in Hong Kong. HKU is well-prepared to take up the opportunities and challenges. Over the past year, we have re-examined our research strategy in light of technological advances, society’s hunger for innovation, and the growing demand to show impact in research. The former (Emerging) Strategic Research Themes scheme, which provided seed funding for interdisciplinary research, came to a close in 2017 and has evolved into the new Strategically Oriented Research Themes (SORTs) scheme, which includes other areas of strength, emerging areas and areas of potential at the University. Fourteen individual SORTs have been identified and grouped into four areas: SmartBio & HealthTech (SH), with themes such as chemical biology for drug discovery and precision cancer medicine; Future Innovative Technologies (FIT), such as electric energy conversion and utilisation; Smart Systems & Sustainable Society (S4), such as mitigating mega-city hazards; and Intelligence, RESEARCH AND INNOVATION Data, E-Commerce & Automation (IDEA), such as FinTech, RegTech and the future of finance, and artificial intelligence to advance well-being and society. Avenues for translating this research into impact are being developed, such as a collaboration with Institut Pasteur and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation to establish a joint biomedical R&D centre on key healthcare challenges, particularly immunology, infection and personalised medicine. Identification of the SORTs themes will inspire new ideas and novel approaches in solving some of the most pressing and complex problems of the 21st century. Gearing for quality and impact drives our research towards excellence and value and leads to a spectrum of benefits to society. The elements of assessment in the University Grants Council’s Research Assessment Exercise 2020 include 15 per cent focused on impact. The University has been at the forefront in balancing research outputs with impact. In 2010 we opened our Knowledge Exchange Office, which has played an important role in creating pathways for impact (this work is continuing and described in the Knowledge Exchange chapter). Over the past five years, we have held workshops, invited experts and built up capacity to translate research into impact and collect evidence of that impact. Our Technology Transfer Office has also been very resourceful in intellectual property protection, innovation and commercialisation. These preparations and on-going efforts have brought impact deep into our research culture and are already bearing fruit, as the examples in the following pages illustrate. A critical factor in maximising research impact at the academic level is through collaborations with scholars in Hong Kong, Mainland China and abroad. Using the Field-Weighted Citation Impact as a metric, papers co-authored by, for example, scholars from HKU and the University of Sydney had a citation impact of 6.29, against 1.62 for papers authored solely by HKU authors and 1.80 authored solely by Sydney authors. More such collaborations are being encouraged through strategic partnership agreements between HKU and global universities. In 2018, for instance, new agreement was reached with the University of Toronto and Tsinghua University to co-fund research activities. An agreement with MITACS, a national non-profit research organisation in Canada, will provide HKU research postgraduate students with access to internship opportunities throughout the country. HKU and Tsinghua University also signed a separate agreement in October 2018 for more in-depth collaboration on research and other activities. In addition, HKU has strategic partnerships with University of Cambridge, University College London, King’s College, the University of Chicago and Shanghai Jiaotong University, the University of Sydney and so forth. Our interactions with Mainland China are growing in importance. The ability to apply directly for national funding, with or without a Mainland-based partner, has enormous potential to create paths for larger projects within a much larger competitive field. This will provide a healthy challenge for the University to focus on its strengths and cutting-edge fields, for which we are wellpositioned. In November 2018 five laboratories jointly operated by HKU and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) were rated as ‘distinguished‘ or ‘good‘ in the Fifth Assessment of the Hong Kong-CAS Joint Laboratories. These included labs for biomaterials, chemical synthesis, chemical geodynamics, new materials, and stem cell and regenerative medicine. HKU is also continuing to develop its physical presence on the Mainland. The HKU-Zhejiang Institute of Research and Innovation appointed its first full-time director in September 2018, while a purposebuilt 1,200-square-metre laboratory was under renovation in Shenzhen’s Virtual University Park and will open in 2019. The HKUShenzhen Hospital, which received 3A status from the Guangdong government in 2017, has received approval for conducting Phase I-IV clinical trials. Other examples of the University’s growing presence in the Mainland include the establishment of the HKUGuangdong Pharmaceutical University Innovations Platform in Zhongshan focused on biomedical research and technology (see page 23) and HKU’s leadership role in a new alliance of Shanghai and Hong Kong universities, whose members will include the top universities of both places. Forging ties abroad has created new synergies closer to home. The University places a premium on grooming young scholars and in 2018 welcomed the announcement by the University Grants Council to waive the tuition fees of full-time research postgraduate students from Hong Kong to encourage higher pursuits and rewarding careers. We also continue to take the lead in promoting research integrity and are preparing to co-host the World Conference on Research Integrity in Hong Kong in 2019 with RMIT University of Australia. Our scholars across all fields continue to produce outstanding work and had a very strong showing in the Research Grants Council’s major funding schemes for 2017–18, securing $269.4 million in competitive research grants and participating in all five new projects funded in the Theme-based Research Scheme (including as project co-ordinator for two of them). HKU also successfully competed for and secured 20 projects under the National Natural Science Foundation of China in 2018. Taken together, the renewal of our research strategy, dual focus on quality and impact, expanding network of international collaborations, deeper engagement with Mainland China, grooming of future talent and our steadfast commitment to excellence and integrity are providing a fertile ground for HKU research at a most opportune time. Our potential is on an upward trajectory at a time when, more than ever, society needs new solutions and insights to navigate rapid and exciting change. Strategically Oriented Research Themes (SORTs) is a new initiative to advance HKU’s research impact worldwide. HKU-Zhejiang Institute of Research and Innovation represents one of HKU’s many partnerships with Mainland China. ︱19 18︱

Lighting Breakthrough A Theme-based Research Scheme project on sustainable lighting has resulted in a new LED system that not only has high energy efficiency and luminous efficacy, but also a lifetime exceeding 10 years and a high content of recyclable materials (more than 80 per cent). This is the first sustainable LED street lighting system in the world to tick all of these boxes. The system was developed by Professor Ron Hui Shu-yuen, Philip K.H. Wong Wilson K.L. Wong Professor in Electrical Engineering, and Chair of Power Electronics in the Faculty of Engineering, and tested for three years in more than 100 street lamps in Heshan City in Guangdong province. The system has proven to be highly reliable and the company that has licensed this technology now plans to extend it to more than 8,000 street lamps in Mainland China. At the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, held in April 2018, the system was awarded a Gold Medal with Special Recognition by the International Jury of Experts and the Prize of Patent Office of Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf – GCCPO. Professor Hui and his team have also developed other lighting innovations such as a smart system for precise dimming and colour control of bi-colour LED lamps, as well as various applications for their research. Learning What It Takes to be a Digital Citizen A multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional research project is being led by Professor Nancy Law of the Faculty of Education to develop deep, evidence-based understanding of the impact of digital media on the everyday lives of children and youths, and on their development as citizens in a technology-intensive, globally connected world. The five-year project was the first education-focused project to be funded under the Theme-based Research Scheme, awarded in 2016 with a total grant of $22.2 million. Professor Law’s team includes scholars from HKU and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology as well as international scholars, who have expertise in education, the humanities, information science and computer engineering. Their work is focused on five goals: develop a conceptual framework for digital citizenship; develop age-appropriate instruments for assessing digital citizenship among youths aged seven to 22; identify and further develop indicators for digital technology use, environments for formal and informal learning interactions, and activities likely to influence digital competence; develop game designs that foster digital citizenship in selected contexts for children and adolescents; and conduct longitudinal studies on the development of digital citizenship, which could have a possibility of being continued beyond the project’s lifetime. In 2018 the project began its main data collection exercise. It also jointly organised a course on cyber-wellness and basic game design skills for primary and secondary school students, in collaboration with the Hong Kong Playground Association, Hong Kong Education City and Microsoft Hong Kong. RESEARCH AND INNOVATION HKU scholars published 5,146 peer-reviewed (refereed) publications in 2017–18 and raised the impact of their research through collaborations across disciplines and with community partners. Innovate and Translate A team of HKU mechanical engineers has developed a robot capable of performing neurosurgeries inside a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. The innovation won the team the Best Conference Paper Award at the largest international forum for robotic scientists, the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, held in May 2018 in Australia. The lead author was PhD student Guo Ziyan, who is the first female lead author of a Best Paper at the conference since the award was established in 1993. The HKU team worked with professors of surgery from the Chinese University of Hong Kong to develop a system that is driven by liquid and does not interfere with the powerful magnetic field of MRIs, and used it to perform deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinson’s disease. In conventional surgery, patients would need to be awake to ensure the electrode placement was going well, but with the robot, the surgeons can guide the procedure while patients are under general anaesthesia. “The success of this project represents a major step towards safer, more accurate and effective brain surgery. It is believed all these An MRI Robot to Improve Brain Surgery components can also be applied to other interventions requiring MRI guidance, such as cardiac catheterisation and prostate and breast biopsies,” said Ms Guo, who was elated by their conference win. “After stepping down from the stage, I started to think how to keep this momentum and present more impactful work in future.” Leader in sustainable LED lighting, Professor Ron Hui Shu-yuen. Guo Ziyan and her team (left to right) Dong Ziyang, Brian Lee Kit-hang, research supervisor Dr Kwok Ka-wai, Justin Ho Di-lang, Cheung Chim-lee and Jacky Fu Hing-choi. The MRI robot can perform neurosurgeries. ︱21 20︱

RESEARCH AND INNOVATION A Better Test for Water Quality A new tool for determining water quality criteria (WQC) for toxic metals in both fresh and marine waters and under differing temperatures, has been developed by Professor Kenneth Leung of the School of Biological Sciences and Professor Wu Fengchang of Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences. The current WQC have been derived from testing in fixed laboratory conditions, which may not be protective to marine ecosystems because conditions such as temperature and salinity vary across different geographic regions and even seasonally within the same region. These changes can substantially influence the toxicities of metals to marine organisms. New Leukaemia Treatment An international team of scientists led by Dr David Li Xiang from the Department of Chemistry has developed a chemical inhibitor against the trigger of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), a fast-growing cancer that attacks bone marrow and blood cells. Their discovery opens a new avenue for treating this life- threatening disease. Dr Li and colleagues from Tsinghua University, the Rockefeller University and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center zoned in on ENL, a recently identified leukaemia-boosting protein. ENL contains a small domain called YEATS. Just as a scanner reads barcode, the ENL YEATS recognises special ‘tags‘ (known as acetylation) on our genome to cause faulty activation of cancerpromoting genes in human AML cells. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Dr Li’s team developed the first-in-class ENL inhibitor that was able to successfully tune down the cancer-promoting gene expression in human AML cells. Moreover, the effect was enhanced when it was applied together with experimental antileukaemia drugs, suggesting a possible combination therapy strategy. “There is still some way to go before we can develop a drug to cure patients with AML, but we will continue exploring the therapeutic potential of inhibiting ENL in leukaemia as well as other cancers,” Dr Li said. Platform for Biomedical Innovation in Greater Bay Area HKU and Guangdong Pharmaceutical University (GDPU) have established a new platform in Zhonghshan for translating research into applications, called the GDPU-HKU Innovations Platform. The Platform will leverage HKU’s research excellence and cutting-edge technologies, and GDPU’s expertise in translating biomedical discoveries into applications and operating an incubation facility, to become a significant innovation centre in the Greater Bay Area. Within five years, the Platform is expected to incubate at least 10 HKU technologies and host at least 50 spinoff companies and become a national-level incubator. Researchers and students are both expected to benefit from the exchange and collaboration opportunities with biomedical industry clusters based in Zhongshan City. The initiative is supported by the Zhongshan Municipal People’s Government and will have three core units: an incubation facility, joint laboratory and technology transfer unit. It will also house a satellite branch of HKU’s State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Mainland engagement is an important focus for HKU, particularly after the announcement in 2018 that Hong Kongbased scholars can now apply directly for national grants. In 2017–18 our researchers participated in 1,930 joint publications with academic and industry partners on the Mainland and received RMB 25.26 million in joint grants. Common Ground: Mainland Engagement Professor Kenneth Leung and a member of his team study the global water quality data their new tool has revealed. Dr David Li Xiang and his research group at the Department of Chemistry. Professor Paul Tam speaks at the launch of the new GDPU-HKU Innovations Platform in Zhongshan. Professor Leung and Professor Wu overcame that limitation by developing a model that takes account of variable temperature and salinity levels. They then tested it with real-time environmental data of sea surface temperature and salinity from different parts of the world to derive provisional site-specific WQC for more than 30 metals and metalloids. The results indicated metal toxicities to marine organisms generally increase with warmer seawater temperature and when the salinity increases or decreases from the optimum level. Professor Leung noted that their method had other benefits, too “We can reduce the number of toxicity tests, use less chemicals in the tests, kill fewer animals, and greatly save money and time involved in testing,” he said. ︱23 22︱