By Zhang Shuo, People’s Daily
The Guangzhou campus of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), officially known as the HKUST (Guangzhou), opened its new semester this September.
The new campus, sharing resources and complementary advantages with the HKUST, has upgraded the Hong Kong university to a new level.
Located in Nansha district of Guangzhou, the campus is the first legally-independent university co-established by the Chinese mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) since the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) was unveiled in 2019.
It is expected to foster innovative talents with international visions and better serve the construction of the GBA.
The Outline Development Plan for the GBA encourages the area to promote cooperation and development in education. It supports higher education institutions from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao in jointly operating schools, and encourages the joint development of academic programs, laboratories and research centers in fields where they have a competitive edge.
Over the past three years, educational cooperation in the GBA has made intensive and extensive progress. At present, a batch of cooperative programs between Hong Kong and Guangdong province are well underway, such as the Dongguan campus of the City University of Hong Kong, the Zhaoqing campus of the Hong Kong Metropolitan University and the Shenzhen branch of the University of Hong Kong.
The cooperation will help the three regions further share educational resources. The GBA has a strong economy and sees abundant innovation elements. As an internationalized region, it is home to a large number of higher education institutions.
Colleges and universities in Guangdong are engaged in a wide range of academic disciplines. They enjoy reliable student resources and sound local industrial development on their way to build first-class institutions.
Hong Kong is a hub of renowned and internationalized universities that enjoy strong research capabilities, while Macao boasts a batch of high-level and featured disciplines such as traditional Chinese medicine and tourism.
The three regions see the advantages of geographical proximity and cultural ties, which have laid a solid foundation for cooperation and development.
Enhancing the educational cooperation will help universities in Hong Kong and Macao tackle a series of challenges, such as a low level of industry-university-research institute collaboration, and a limited size of campuses. It will also help these universities better translate their scientific outcomes.
Besides, universities in the Chinese mainland can learn from the advanced experiences in school running, so as to nurture more world-class universities and disciplines.
Higher education is an important indicator of a country’s development and potential, as well as a powerful engine driving regional economic and social development. The high-quality construction of the GBA cannot be advanced without constant talent supply, which requires the GBA to further educational cooperation and build itself into a hub of education and talents.
In 2020, a development plan was issued on promoting educational cooperation in the GBA. The plan aims to build a synergetic development system of higher education in the GBA, and enhance collaborative innovation in scientific research for universities in the area.
According to the plan, the GBA will nurture a batch of world-class universities and strategic scientists by 2035. A number of original scientific achievements that can have a significant impact on the world’s technological development and the progress of human civilization will be created by then.
With those developments, the 11-city cluster will become a role model for the world’s cooperative and innovative development of higher education.
The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao cooperation in education will also help enhance the sense of patriotism of Hong Kong and Macao compatriots.
The Outline Development Plan for the GBA encourages students from Hong Kong and Macao to study in mainland universities. It also promotes cooperation in recruitment and employment, educational exchanges and skill competition among vocational schools in the three regions, and enhances cooperation on basic education.
The young people are the most vital and creative group in the society, as well as an emerging force driving innovative development. In recent years, educational exchanges between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and Macao have been prospering, and students from the two special administrative regions are seeing expanded channels of studying in the mainland.
Thanks to a series of major projects launched, more young people from Hong Kong and Macao have started businesses in the GBA and realized their dreams.
Innovations made to upgrade the models of educational cooperation between the mainland and the two special administrative regions help foster youth exchanges and enhance the sense of patriotism of the young people participating in national construction.
Today, Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao are constantly enhancing the alignment of rules and mechanisms.
New measures have been unveiled to support employment and entrepreneurship among the young people from Hong Kong and Macao in the GBA. More and more professionals from the two special administrative regions have obtained professional certificates in the mainland. The GBA’s capability in sci-tech innovation has been brought to a new level.
It is believed that as Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao keep expanding their cooperation in education, the GBA will definitely grow into a great model of comprehensive educational cooperation between the mainland and the two special administrative regions, and build a world-leading higher education system and an international demonstration zone of education.