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Education a meaningful investment

November 21, 2017

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung

The world is going through a phase of rapid urbanisation and globalisation. While this will improve the livelihood of people all over the world, we are also presented with new challenges, including the risk of emergence and spread of existing and new zoonotic diseases. The global scientific community has to gear up for the challenges ahead by adopting a more holistic approach in health risk management, which can be achieved by further developing the One Health concept to help us consider the health of humans, animals and the environment as an integrated whole.

 

The establishment of One Health Tower is therefore a timely and wise move. Located in the tower, City University's College of Veterinary Medicine & Life Sciences will maximise the use of the university's veterinary medicine and life sciences expertise to achieve the aims of promoting inter-disciplinary research under the overarching theme of One Health and integrating knowledge discovery, clinical care and knowledge translation. I am most impressed by the college's aspirations to pursue excellence in research in order to safeguard the community against zoonotic diseases, improve food safety standards, promote aquaculture and enhance animal welfare in Hong Kong and the region. I also commend City University on its determination and vision to blaze the trail and open Hong Kong's first veterinary medical school. You are, indeed, a pioneer in every sense of the word. And on this note, I must pay tribute to CY Leung, who initiated the idea when he was Chairman of the Council (of CityU). The idea was very much Mr Leung's brainchild when he presided over the council.

 

However, this pioneering move would not have been possible without the generous support from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The Jockey Club has long been making substantial and generous donations to various charity and community projects in Hong Kong, with education being one of the key areas of donation. And I can add that, as the former Secretary for Labour & Welfare, I must pay warm tribute to the Jockey Club for investing a lot in our social development as well as helping the poor people of Hong Kong. So they invest not just in education, but across the whole spectrum of the community. You are really hugely generous on that score. In line with its long and proud tradition of investing in education to nurture talents to reinforce Hong Kong's competitiveness, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust has pledged to donate $500 million to City University for this new building project. More importantly, this generous donation is the largest single gift that the University has ever received, and is also one of the top 10 largest ever donations made by the Charities Trust. The new building will be officially named Jockey Club One Health Tower. It will become the home of the university's College of Veterinary Medicine & Life Sciences and house the collaboration between veterinary and biomedical scientists under the One Health paradigm.

 

Thanks to the concerted efforts of researchers and unstinting contribution of donors, we can always take great pride in the remarkable achievements of our universities in the academic domain. We recognise that government expenditure in education is the most meaningful investment in our future, and we will continue to give full support to the researchers and students of local universities. In particular, to build a wider research talent pool to drive the development of an innovation and technology-based economy, the new-term Government announced already that the Government will inject $3 billion into the Research Endowment Fund to provide studentships for local students admitted to UGC-funded research postgraduate programmes, thereby incentivising more local students to engage in research work in support of the development of innovation and technology.

 

On this note, I would like to thank profusely the Hong Kong Jockey Club once again for your generous donation to the higher education sector and for our younger generation. I am sure that, with the enormous support from the Jockey Club and the expertise and resources available at City University, the College of Veterinary Medicine & Life Sciences will see great success and contribute to the well-being of our community and the region as a whole.

 

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung gave these remarks at the Jockey Club One Health Tower naming ceremony at City University on November 21.



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