Home About HKMU President’s Message Speeches

The 31st Congregation

Address by Professor Paul LAM Kwan-sing, President

29 November 2022


A warm welcome to our students, parents, and colleagues to this memorable occasion.

Today, we have gathered to congratulate our HKMU students for successfully completing their degree programmes at the School of Nursing and Health Studies.

Today marks the culmination of years of hard work, late nights, stressful deadlines, and, I hope, high grades!

I am sure there were moments when you felt like the assignments and assessments would never end, but today you can truly congratulate yourselves on a job well done.

You did it!

As you begin the next chapter of your life, as the proud holders of brand new HKMU undergraduate degrees, I would like to share two thoughts. I share these thoughts in the hope that they will add value to your graduation and make you think more deeply about the significance of this day.

Over the last few years, I have noticed something significant. An increasing number of job applicants that I come across tend to hold more than one degree in addition to other qualifications. So is one degree not enough these days?

I don't want to worry you, but in fact, a four-year undergraduate programme is not likely to prepare you for the rest of your life.

You will need to learn new skills and master new technologies rapidly. You will have to innovate and create new knowledge, absorb further information, and adapt to new environments.

Therefore, you will have to subscribe to the idea of life as a journey of continuous learning, unlearning and relearning, upskilling and reskilling.

The other point that I wish to stress is that life doesn't always go smoothly. You will inevitably face difficult or unpleasant situations at some stage. For example, you may feel that the promotion you deserve, because of your diligence and expertise, was unfairly denied to you.

I have had to manage such situations in my career, mentoring colleagues who felt that they had not been treated justly. I can recall the following episode. Two of my former colleagues were both excellent and deserved to get promoted. But, for some reason, they both failed to do so.

One of the two became very frustrated at being overlooked for promotion and decided to give up and just do the minimum amount of work until it was time to quit.

The other person, who was in precisely the same situation, instead of quitting, continued to work hard and perform professionally and diligently out of a sense of pride. That person continued to have a positive influence on everybody in the team.

Who do you think would get promoted in the next round? The answer is obvious, of course.

The ways that we respond to crises, bad luck, and disappointments define who we are. Life can seem very unfair at times. You might not get what you want, what you have worked for, and what you genuinely deserve.

But is it wise to simply give up and allow yourself to get depressed? Or is it better to push on, continue to be professional, pragmatic and ready for future challenges?

Everything happens for a reason; ultimately, we should not blame others for the consequences of our actions. If the world seems to be against us, we must make our own way in life.

As you commence your new life, I hope you will consider taking another qualification at HKMU to maintain your skills and knowledge. HKMU continues to develop rapidly.

For example, you may know that we are relocating our administrative offices to rented office space in a grade A commercial building in Kwun Tong to free up space for teaching, learning and extracurricular activities at our Homantin campuses. We are also working on a plan to build our fourth campus in the area opposite the HKMU Jockey Club Institute of Healthcare.

And so I hope that if you return to your University, either as a student, staff member or casual visitor, you will discover a modern, innovative and vibrant university that will make you proud.

Once more, I would like to congratulate all the students graduating today. I wish to thank your parents and family members, who have given you such high levels of support over so many years and express my deep respect for your teachers who have guided you so skillfully towards this day.

I wish you every success in the future, and I hope to see you all very soon again.