The past year, globally, and in Hong Kong, has been unique for all the challenges we have faced. Although COVID-19 has turned all universities into virtual universities, we are especially proud of the way our School faculty has maintained an excellent quality of education and engagement with our students.
Great works are sometimes born of an age of chaos and crises. Under the gloomy pandemic, our faculty and students have drawn on their expertise and talents to launch timely projects, including three journalism seminars and five community projects, as part of the university-wide “Beat the virus, BU & I”, a campaign which aims to bring the community closer during this difficult time.
With the hard work and dedication of our staff and faculty, we have even made this year a more memorable one by making four new records of our own. Global University Film Awards (GUFA) has placed our School on the world map with 2,503 entries from 104 regions worldwide, making it the most global university event in this part of the world. Moreover, six academics have won funding from the Research Grants Council this year, accounting for more than half of the RGC grants awarded to the sector in this round, showcasing the School’s broad-based strengths in film, communication studies, and journalism. The HKBU FactCheck Service, the first systematic fact-check service operated by an independent academic institution in Hong Kong, was launched in December last year. Our biggest gift for the past year was the donation of $50,000,000, the largest single donation our School has received thus far, from one of our own, Dr Raymond R Wong, our former head of the then Department of Communication.
While we are excited about the forthcoming series of initiatives this year, including the inaugural edition of Global Storytelling: Journal of Digital Moving Image and Asia-Pacific Journalism Review, the launch of Narrating New Normal Graduate Student Symposium and the first double degree programmes with the University of Queensland in Australia and the University of Missouri in the United States respectively, our hearts are always with the recent graduates who will need to find their way in the midst of a devastating pandemic and a terrible recession. BUhub is designed to connect HKBU stakeholders on an easy-to-use platform with its initial aim of matching jobs for our fresh graduates. Furthermore, the School’s Master’s Experience 2020 allows our fresh graduates to sit in on up to five taught master’s courses, so that they can be more equipped for their further studies and the job market.
With the unwavering support from our alumni and friends, we hope that we will get through this together. Years from now, when we look back on 2020, all the difficulties we have encountered will have only transformed us into a stronger community.