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PolyU celebrates 18th Congregation and sets sight on sustainability

PolyU celebrates 18th Congregation and sets sight on sustainability

2012-10-27

In celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has sent forth about 10,720 graduates at its 18th Congregation. The ceremony was held today (27 October) on the university campus, with PolyU Council Chairman Ms Marjorie Yang Mun-tak and President Professor Timothy W. Tong presiding over the event.

Addressing the Congregation, Professor Tong said, "To answer to the call of our times, we have included 'sustainability' as a priority strategic focus for the development of the University."

"We are committed to promoting environmental, economic and social sustainability through technological breakthroughs and collaborations with business and industry partners. Education for our students is also of paramount importance as they are our bridge to a sustainable world," said Professor Tong.

Earlier this year, the University announced the set-up of the "Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development". With a vision to becoming a world leader in facilitating sustainable high-density urban development, the Institute undertakes scientific studies on different areas of urban planning, capitalizing on the living laboratory of Hong Kong's urban environment and the multi-disciplinary expertise of PolyU.

Other faculties and schools also share the commitment to promote the advancement of sustainabililty. For instance, academics from the Faculty of Business have devised a Business Sustainability Index to assess the local small and medium-sized enterprises' achievements in sustainable development, their commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects, as well as contributions to economic, social and environmental sustainability.

In addition, PolyU School of Design has set up a "Design Institute for Social Innovation" aimed at improving the quality of life through innovative multi-disciplinary design projects. The Institute is a platform for academics from different disciplines within the University to embark on social innovation projects, and Sustainable Environment is one of the four core themes.

Professor Tong said the goal of PolyU "is to nurture a new generation of leaders who are appreciative of diverse culture, live life with a passion, have high ethical standards, a serving heart and a strong sense of social responsibility." In closing, he also called upon graduates to become "practical dreamers" who are capable of devising innovative solutions to meet our everyday needs and solve our everyday problems; and have the courage to dream for a better future and make what's impossible today come true tomorrow. 

The Congregation also saw the conferment of honorary doctorates upon four prominent figures in recognition of their distinguished accomplishments and contributions. The honorary degree recipients are: Professor Chung K. Law, Robert H. Goddard Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University; Professor Harry Lee, Chairman of TAL Group; Professor Xie Heping, President of Sichuan University; and Mr George Yong-Boon Yeo, Vice Chairman of Kerry Group.

The Congregation has sent forth altogether 171 Doctor of Philosophy, 27 discipline-based Doctor's degree, 80 Master of Philosophy, 3,918 Master's degree, 4,969 Bachelor's degree, 63 postgraduate diploma and certificate and 1,491 sub-degree awards.

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