HKBU President encouraged freshmen to embrace the unknown at Convocation

Tuesday, 5 September 2023


Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) welcomed a new cohort of around 1,000 students for the 2023-24 academic year at its 68th Convocation today (5 September). In his address to the freshmen, Professor Alexander Wai, President and Vice-Chancellor of HKBU, encouraged them to embrace the unknown and reach for the stars.

The Convocation initiated the freshmen’s journey of academic pursuit and personal growth at HKBU. It also introduced them to the vibrant campus life and infinite opportunities in the University.

In his address, Professor Wai said that technological advancements have taken the world by storm, and AI-driven technology will impact every sector and individual in the community. He told the freshmen that they should embrace the unknown, and underscored the importance of curiosity to our quest for knowledge. He said that central to the pursuit of knowledge is the art of asking questions – a fundamental key to unlocking the treasures of understanding.

Professor Wai also encouraged the freshmen to embrace technology and think out of the box by making a habit to ask, “why not?”. He used examples to illustrate: “The curiosity to explore the unknown is something you will see very often among our HKBU faculty. My colleagues re-imagined what it is like going to the cinema, or how a musical performance can be conducted in the future, and their imagination resulted in two brilliant art-tech projects: the ‘Future Cinema Systems’, and the world’s first symphony orchestra where HKBU students performed on stage with an AI virtual choir, AI media artists and AI dancers.”

“HKBU has a rich heritage in culture, humanities and the liberal arts. With the support of science and technology, and the dedication and expertise from our outstanding teaching and research faculty, you have the best of both worlds to become the all-rounded talent the world needs, and the change you want to see,” Professor Wai said.

Professor Wai quoted the renowned physicist Albert Einstein: “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new” to inspire the freshmen to reach for the stars and get back on their feet when they stumble.

The Convocation also featured a session for the freshmen to meet with the alumni. It helped the new joiners to familiarise themselves with the University’s history, ethos and mission. The freshmen were also led to recite the Student Charter with the pledge to develop a proactive attitude towards learning, seek various kinds of learning opportunities for holistic development, and build a character that upholds the highest ethical standards.

Please click here for Professor Wai’s full speech.

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