A grand total of 1249 students graduated from UIC this year, and the majority of them came to the new campus to celebrate with their families and friends at the 9th Graduation Ceremony on 16 June.

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The 9th Graduation Ceremony and Honorary Fellowship Conferment took place at the University Hall on the new campus
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The University Hall on the new campus

Also on the day, Dr Polly Suk-Yee CHEUNG, Ms DONG Mingzhu, Professor HE Xiantu, Professor Martin STRINGER and Mr Heinrich WANG were conferred UIC Honorary Fellowships.

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‘Special class’

This year was extra special as it was the first time the University Hall on the new campus (2000 Jintong Road) was being used. There was also live streaming of the ceremony for graduates’ relatives and friends.

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UIC President Prof Ng Ching-Fai gave a speech

UIC President Prof Ng Ching-Fai welcomed everyone and expressed his feelings as well as how happy and proud he was with all the graduates before congratulating them in his address.

President Ng gave a speech about how they are the special class as they are the first ones to experience the new campus. President Ng went on to say they were also the first part of the ‘631’ model for admissions reform in Guangdong. He told the students about a famous line used by English poet John Donne, “‘No man is an island,’ and the same can be said of a university and country. To share and to integrate may be regarded as the themes of development in contemporary China.” He finally wished them well in their future and welcomed the graduates back anytime to the new campus.

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The ceremony consisted of three separate sessions for graduates from different programmes throughout the day. Vice President Prof Zee Sze Yong presented them with graduation certificates at the first session, and Vice President Prof Zhang Cong did his part at the second and third session. Deans of the divisions, Prof Mei-hwa Sung, Prof Stephen Chung, Prof Stella Cho, as well as interim dean Prof Aaron Chiu handed out graduation booklets, My Days at UIC, as a souvenir to the graduating students.

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President Ng with a graduate
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Vice President Prof Zee Sze Yong and Vice President Prof Zhang Cong presented students with graduation certificates
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Prof Stella Cho, Prof Mei-hwa Sung, Prof Stephen Chung and Prof Aaron Chiu gave graduation booklets to the graduating students

Honorary Fellows

Five distinguished individuals that consisted of a breast cancer specialist, a President of a huge Chinese manufacturing company, a theoretical physicist, a Pro-Vice-Chancellor of a well-known UK university, and a renowned artist were conferred by UIC for Honorary Fellowships this year.

The honorary fellowships were awarded to Dr Polly Suk-Yee CHEUNG, a prominent breast cancer specialist and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Hong Kong; Ms DONG Mingzhu, Chairperson of the Board and President of Gree Electric Appliances Inc. of Zhuhai; Professor HE Xiantu, a Chinese theoretical physicist and Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences; Professor Martin STRINGER, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Academic of Social Science, Arts and Humanities at Swansea University; and Mr Heinrich WANG, a renowned artist in Taiwan and founder of the modern porcelain brand “NewChi.”

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Mr Cheng Yan Kee, BBS, JP, Chairman of the Council and the Court of HKBU, presided over the conferment
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 (From left) Professor He Xiantu, Ms Dong Mingzhu, Mr Heinrich Wang, Dr Polly Suk-Yee Cheng and Professor Martin Stringer

The Honorary Fellowship is an honour bestowed on distinguished contributors to the mission of UIC for their sustained commitment to the development of education and society.

A press conference took place before the five individuals were given the honorary fellowships. This gave the media a chance to interview the fellowship recipients and hear their wise words on their fields of expertise.

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The media asked the honorary fellowship recipients questions during the press conference

Professor HE Xiantu gave a vote of thanks and highlighted three points for the graduates. The first point was to be grateful to their college, teachers and parents. He then went on to explain that being honest and enterprising is important, before finally finished his speech by saying “Imagination is to have a dream or a lofty ideal in your mind. For the great rejuvenation of our country and the realization of the Chinese Dream, I think your generation will play a big role in this great age.”

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 Professor He Xiantu gave a speech

Bright future

As at the beginning of June, around 50% of the graduates have chosen to continue their studies in various institutions. About half of the students who will be going abroad for further studies have enrolled and received offers from top 100 ranked universities such as the University College London, The University of Manchester, Nanyang Technological University as well as Columbia University.  Also some students are going directly into employment at the Big Four accounting firms, as well as Ogilvy and Chinese internet giant Tencent.

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Tang Muming, a graduate from the Financial Mathematics programme, received an offer from Cornell University to study her Masters in Biostatistics and Data Science. “The Most significant change that I have made for myself at UIC was learning how to work with team members and how to be confident,” she said.

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CHEN Hao of the Environmental Science Programme provided a graduation speech during the first session. He spoke about how he changed his attitude and decided to focus on building a strong foundation first. “I made good use of every moment to study. I tried to improve my English so that I could understand better what the teachers talked about. Through the whole person education, I have been developing a well-balanced character,” he mentioned during his speech.

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 Chen Hao, Huang Yun and Sherry Gao all gave speeches at the graduation ceremony

HUANG Yun, a graduate of the Management of Human Resources, gave a graduation speech at another session. “UIC has also created for us an open, dynamic, and interactive learning environment in and beyond the classroom,” she said. “We strongly endorse the UIC mission of guiding its students in achieving a ‘whole-person’ and ‘liberal arts’ education mindset, which represents a search for knowledge, a quest for truth, and most importantly, a commitment to achieving these ideals.”

Sherry GAO, a graduate from the Contemporary English Language and Literature programme, also provided a graduation speech where she said “We may possibly face a new environment with challenges and difficulties in the years ahead. Yes, life is definitely going to become a little ‘shaken up and stirred’, but of course we must cope with this change as we always do.”

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First graduates with Minor Programme 

For the first time, 15 students graduate with a Minor in Music, which was the first minor programme that UIC has offered since 2015.

"The Minor Programme in Music has been a great success, with a very high graduation rate," said Director of the programme Dr David Walters. "Many of our students have told us that they enjoyed the opportunity to explore in more depth different types of music and musical ideas and feel that they gained considerably from the experience of performing in concerts."

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The day was considered a success and gave everyone a real glimpse of the new UIC campus and the things to come.

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The University Hall

Reporter: Samuel Burgess (MPRO)
Photographers: Liang Jianhao, Lancy Zhang, Chamy Zhou, Deen He,
Cheryl Chen, Yang Qihui, Dou Qilin, Wang Keyan
Editor: Deen He
(from MPRO, with special thanks to the ELC)

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