At this time, when the final list of new students comes out, I feel a rush of excitement and expectancy, as I will soon be seeing new faces on our campus.
A new crop of students gives us a sense of renewal. Coming into HKUST, you are entitled to feel a sense of pride, because it is one of the world’s top universities.
The University has taken great care to provide an education worthy of your ambitions. I urge you to select courses and activities that help develop your personal attributes and abilities. In this fast-changing, interconnected world, a university education is no longer just a program for career preparation.
One of the hallmarks of an educated person, and as a university student you should certainly see yourself as such, is care for the world around you — its environment and the common problems we face. A university education is a privilege. With this privilege comes a challenge to extend yourself to a world larger than your own.
Your undergraduate years are perhaps the most precious in your life, with the freedom and opportunity to explore who you are and what you are meant to be. I invite you to open yourself to this new culture of possibilities. Reach out to fellow students and teachers who have come from far-off cities or countries. Learn to embrace different cultures and values.
Above all, make friends and make things happen. HKUST soars because of what we can achieve individually and collectively. May your next four years here be filled with promise, adventure and fulfillment!
Tony F Chan