Graduation 2023: Soaring on wings of liberal arts education

Published on 3 July 2023

UIC held its 15th graduation ceremony on 30 June, with nearly 1600 undergraduates and more than 900 postgraduates attending the ceremony. Since the Covid pandemic, it was the first year that their families and friends had joined them in person to celebrate their precious moment. Around 70,000 audience members shared the joy via a live video stream.

UIC's 15th graduation ceremony

Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Mr John Lee Ka-Chiu congratulated the graduates virtually.

Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Mr John Lee Ka-Chiu delivers a speech to UIC graduates

Mr Lee praised UIC's contribution to strengthening the bonds between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong while supporting the development of higher education and talent cultivation in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), and he welcomed the graduates to pursue their careers in Hong Kong.

"UIC has upheld the philosophy of liberal arts education, preparing students for a new era by equipping them with professional expertise and general competencies while cultivating in them an affection for our country and a global perspective. For nearly two decades, UIC has nurtured countless talents. I wholeheartedly appreciate UIC's endeavours," he said. (Read more: Speech by Guest of Honour - Mr John Lee Ka-Chiu)

Executive Vice-President of the University of Science and Technology of China Prof Pan Jianwei, Council and Court Chairman of Hong Kong Baptist University Dr Clement C.J. Chen, GBS, JP, and President and Vice-Chancellor of Hong Kong Baptist University Prof Alexander Wai, together with UIC President, Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences Prof Tang Tao, shared their high hopes towards UIC's graduates.

Prof Pan Jianwei gives a speech

Prof Pan Jianwei delivered a speech and commended UIC for its liberal arts education and emphasized the importance of a humanistic spirit. He shared his experience in scientific research and hoped students could be resilient to setbacks.

He said: "A liberal arts education not only emphasizes a rich array of knowledge, but also pays more attention to cultivating a humanistic spirit. Even modern scientific research that requires high specialization cannot be separated from the humanistic spirit."

"I would like to emphasize that while working hard is important, a calm state of mind is more important," he added. (Read more: Speech by Guest of Honour - Prof Pan Jianwei)

Dr Clement C.J. Chen, GBS, JP gives a speech

Dr Chen congratulated students on their graduation and well-rounded growth at UIC, and he also reminded the students to catch up with the world's development and keep learning and absorbing new knowledge.

"UIC is an exceptional international liberal arts college which aims to cultivate students' minds, personalities and ability to gain extensive knowledge actively," he said. "I believe that the education and training you received during your studies at UIC have equipped you with future-proof soft skills: an open mind, creativity, communication skills, problem-solving skills and a global perspective." (Read more: Speech by Guest of Honour - Dr Clement C.J. Chen)

Prof Alexander Wai gives a speech

Prof Wai encouraged students that the four-year college life had equipped them with the qualities to conquer challenges that lay ahead, and to be critical to and leverage advanced technology to build a better future for the world.

He said: "Now, more than ever, is the time to use the critical thinking skills you have learned at UIC to do your own research and come to your own conclusions about what you believe in."

"Count your blessings that you have been educated in this great institution, where understanding humanity is an eternal quest, and caring for humanity is fundamental to our educational ethos." (Read more: Speech by Guest of Honour - Professor Alexander Wai)

Prof Tang Tao gives a speech

Prof Tang Tao welcomed the graduates, their families and the guests. He hoped the graduates would continue to carry the treasures they gained at UIC, bravely embracing the era of technology and contributing to society with knowledge, perseverance and goodwill.

He wished them a grand future on the international stage, adding, "Only the creative individual is future-proof. In this sense, liberal arts education is the future of education."

"Teamwork, cross-disciplinary learning, adaptive capabilities, continuous self-learning and communicative competence—these are the essential attributes we try hard to instil in every UIC graduate. UIC's name has found legs around the world, wherever quality education is respected." (Read more: Address to the Graduates - Professor Tang Tao)

UIC graduates listen to the speeches

The ceremony was held in four sessions. Students lined up to receive graduation certificates and yearbooks from President Tang, UIC Vice President (Academic) Prof Zhou Yongming, Vice President (Research and Development), Dean of Graduate School Prof Jia Weijia and Deans of UIC's faculties and schools.

Prof Tang Tao presents a certificate of graduation to a UIC graduate

Prof Zhou Yongming presents a certificate of graduation to a UIC graduate

Prof Jia Weijia presents a yearbook to a UIC graduate

Dean of Faculty of Business and Management Prof Liu Wenbin presents a yearbook 

Executive Dean of School of Culture and Creativity Dr Jiang Wei presents a yearbook to a UIC graduate

Dean of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Prof Tze-ki Hon presents a yearbook to a UIC graduate

Associate Vice President (Internationalization), Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology Prof Pan Jianxin presents a yearbook

Four students were presented with the Excellent Graduate Award by Dr Clement Chen.

Dr Clement C.J. Chen, GBS, JP presents the Excellent Graduate Award to Yang Jie, Liu Wanru, Wei Yongzhi and Peng Yawei

Guests attending the ceremony

Six graduate representatives delivered valedictorian speeches.

Huang Shiyu of the Graduate School expressed her gratitude to UIC's liberal arts education and believes that her alumni will excel in the new era. (Read more: Graduation Speech - Huang Shiyu)

Jiang Qinghua of the Graduate School said UIC had led her to the industrial frontier and prepared her for the adventures ahead. (Read more: Graduation Speech - Jiang Qinghua)

Yang Xiaoman of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences said that she had learned to be critical, balanced, responsible, and ready for new challenges at UIC. (Read more: Graduation Speech - Yang Xiaoman)

Peng Siying of the Faculty of Business and Management suggested the graduates be self-determined and head towards their goals diligently. (Read more: Graduation Speech - Peng Siying)

Zheng Hanyu of the Graduate School admired the beauty of knowledge and cherished UIC's study life for the beautiful memories of teachers and friends. (Read more: Graduation Speech - Zheng Hanyu)

He Aien of the Faculty of Science and Technology thanked UIC for its international environment and abundant practice opportunities. (Read more: Graduation Speech - He Aien)

Students were also invited to perform at the ceremony.

By July 2023, the class of 2023 who applied for further studies have been admitted by elite universities and colleges, including Cambridge University, Oxford University, National University of Singapore, University of Pennsylvania, University of Edinburgh, Princeton University, Yale University, Nanyang Technological University and more.

Those who chose to pursue employment have received offers from big corporations like Big Four Accounting Firms, China Railway Group, Xiaomi etc.


Reporter: Cecilia Yu

Photographer: Season Li, Covee Wang, Kristen Jin, Li Bohan

Editor: Deen He

Updated on 4 July 2023