Below is the response of Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) to the 2023 Policy Address delivered by the Chief Executive today (25 October):
Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) supports the Policy Address’ proposal to double the non-local student quota of publicly-funded post-secondary institutions to 40%. Professor Alexander Wai, President and Vice-Chancellor of HKBU, said that together with other measures such as increasing the quota of the Belt and Road Scholarship by 50% and UGC’s injection of an additional HK$100 million into the Funding Scheme for Mainland and Global Engagement and Student Learning Experience, it will help universities enrol more students from different countries and regions. It will also further promote the internationalisation of Hong Kong’s higher education sector, and help attract overseas talents with diverse cultural backgrounds to Hong Kong in the long run.
In addition, the Policy Address proposed the development of the Northern Metropolis University Town. Professor Wai stated that HKBU will actively explore ways to leverage the policy to further deepen its collaborations with the Mainland and overseas institutions in different aspects such as research, innovation and technology, as well as the nurturing of talents.
Professor Wai also welcomes the series of recommendations proposed by the Government to consolidate and enhance Hong Kong's development as outlined in the 14th Five-Year Plan, which includes supporting the “Development Plan for Shenzhen Park of Hetao Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Co-operation Zone”, developing the innovation and technology zone, establishing a public R&D service platform for biomedicine in support of the development of the Hetao Co-operation Zone, and establishing the third InnoHK cluster. It is believed that with the support of the nation, Hong Kong will possess a solid foundation to become an international innovation and technology centre.
The Government recommended to promote the transformation and commercialisation of R&D outcomes from universities through the Research, Academic and Industry Sectors One-plus Scheme, and increase the maximum funding provided for the Technology Transfer Office of each specified university to HK$16 million. It is believed that the measures can facilitate universities’ knowledge transfer efforts, and encourage innovation and start-ups. Attracting more renowned Mainland and overseas start-up services agencies to set up their operations in Hong Kong will also offer more collaboration opportunities for start-up businesses.
On the Government’s support to the “Development Plan for Shenzhen Park of Hetao Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Co-operation Zone”, and collaboration with the Shenzhen Municipal Government to foster the synergistic development of the Hong Kong Park and the Shenzhen Park such as providing travel convenience for R&D personnel, facilitating cross-boundary capital flow within the Hetao Co-operation Zone, and facilitating exchanges on data and samples, these relevant measures are conducive to the collaboration between researchers in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, and enhancing the synergy among the research, academic and industry sectors. Professor Wai pointed out that Hong Kong has always demonstrated robust development in the field of biomedicine, and the measures will inject new momentum to further strengthening the research capacity in this area.
The Government will establish the third InnoHK cluster focusing on advanced manufacturing, materials, energy and sustainable development. It will help bring together top research talents to bolster Hong Kong’s status as an advanced scientific research platform.
Humanities and culture is one of the key strategic development areas of HKBU. Professor Wai said that the University is encouraged by the Government’s solid commitment to promote the development of cultural and creative industries. The Policy Address suggested to inject a total of HK$4.3 billion into the Film Development Fund and the CreateSmart Initiative, establish the Cultural and Creative Industries Development Agency, launch the Filming Financing Scheme for Mainland Market and the Hong Kong-Europe-Asian Film Collaboration Funding Scheme, launch the Signature Performing Arts Programme Scheme, and increase the provision for cultural exchanges. These initiatives will play an active role in promoting Hong Kong’s cultural and creative industries. It is believed that the measures are conducive to the strengthening of international exchange and the nurturing of talents, broadening the horizon of and collaboration opportunities for the film industry, and offering bright prospects for industry professionals and young people who want to develop a career in the relevant fields.
Regarding the development of Chinese medicine, HKBU welcomes the formulation of a comprehensive Chinese Medicine Development Blueprint for release in 2025 as stated in the Policy Address, which will provide a clear direction for collaborations among service providers, academic institutions and other stakeholders in Hong Kong’s Chinese medicine sector. Furthermore, Professor Wai pointed out that as the operator of Hong Kong’s first Chinese Medicine Hospital, HKBU will provide full support to the Government on expediting the Hospital’s preparatory work.
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