205 Congregation

shaky from the outset, as reflected by the extreme heterogeneity of views expressed through six different judicial opinions in a 5:4 Supreme Court vote in the landmark case Regents of University of California v. Bakke in 1978. The US Supreme Court may soon hear another case – Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College. It is a lawsuit about discrimination against Asian-American applicants in Harvard’s student admissions process. Many have come to believe this case could be the final coda of affirmative action in university admissions in America. So, like all vexed problems, there are no easy answers. But one thing is for certain: reducing this complex social problem by executive fiat that is thinly veiled real politik would be wrong and unfair for all. HKUMed will continue offering 75% of our total quota to JUPAS candidates. We will also reflect more deeply what undergraduate medical education by 2050 should become, thus how we go about it in a better way that is fit for purpose and with student wellbeing at its centre. We will not carve out an elitist subprogramme and pre-label a small minority of high school leavers as destined to become medical leaders. Because in effect, that would condemn the majority of medical students to belonging to a future working class of doctors subsumed from the outset of their medical journey simply because they score a couple of points lower on their DSE examinations. Hong Kong already suffers from extreme inequalities, we must not add to it. A university education is supposed to bring intergenerational mobility, not restrict opportunities based on birth and breeding. President Xi Jinping’s clarion call for ‘common prosperity’ should be our guide to resolving this conundrum. University admissions is a symptom, not a cause. As the father of modern pathology and social progressive Rudolf Virchow, whose birth bicentenary we just celebrated last month, once said: Medicine as a social science, as the science of human beings, has the obligation to point out problems and to attempt their theoretical solution; the politician, the practical anthropologist, must find the means for their actual solution. New opportunities for a new era Three important new developments will fundamentally change the future health and health care landscape of Hong Kong. They are the establishment of the Hong Kong Genome Institute, the development of the Hong Kong Academy of Nursing and its constituent colleges coupled with recently reformed nursing career pathways at the Hospital Authority, and the soon-to-be commissioned Chinese Medicine Hospital. In response, we are strategically rolling out complementary human capital training opportunities. Respectively, we will be launching a refreshed bachelor’s in bioinformatics next September to produce the necessary analytic minds who will go on to decode the peta bytes of multi-omics data coming out from the Hong Kong Genome Institute. We have also admitted our first intake of BNurs students on the advanced leadership track, that is targeted at those who aspire to become specialist nurse consultants or even articulate into a double degree programme with MBBS. Based on the success in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise in which our School of Chinese Medicine was ranked top out of the three local schools for the first time, we are redoubling our efforts in preparing the next generation of clinicianscientists in Chinese medicine under the leadership of the incoming Director. Building dreams, realising possibilities Finally, please allow me the opportunity to give thanks. HKUMed has for the first time in our 135-year history been recognised as one of the top 20 medical schools in the world, according to the latest authoritative Times Higher Education ranking. This would not have been possible without the collective dedication and hard work of our students, alumni, faculty colleagues, researchers, teachers, professional and administrative staff, and indeed all those who have come before us. Your alma mater owes each and every one of you a heartfelt ‘thank you’. Today’s HKUMed has been able to aim a little higher and reached a little further because we stand on the shoulders of giants who have blazed the way – from Sun Yat-sen to the latest laureates of ‘China’s Nobel’ the Future Science Prize. This Congregation marks the official start of our 135th anniversary celebrations. They will be bookended by this and the next Congregation in the summer of 2022. I will be hosting four Dean’s 135th Anniversary Lectures by national and global luminaries throughout the year. We will also be commissioning a series of permanent art exhibits to celebrate our most important achievements, for each School and Department. Publicly displayed succession rolls honouring all current and former emeritus and chair professors, heads of departments, faculty board chairmen and deans will be installed in prominent locations around campus. We will organise heritage walking tours of the Sun Yat Sen Historical Trail and the Sassoon Road campus for alumni and members of the public to learn more about our history and works. The HKU Medical Alumni Association will be organising a football tournament and our Student Wellness Team will be hosting ‘HKUMed Games’ and e-sporting events. COVID-19 has taught us how to work virtually, so we will also celebrate through an enhanced social media presence. There will of course be the obligatory HKUMedbranded mementoes and paraphernalia for you to purchase as gifts. First in Hong Kong and amongst the top 3 in Asia and top 20 in the world on our 135th birthday. Bravi friends and colleagues – well done! With our rich heritage and present achievements, we must strive onwards and upwards ever more, ultimately for our patients, our communities and humanity. 10