Home About HKMU President’s Message Speeches

2023 Inauguration Ceremony for New Undergraduate Students

Address by Professor Paul LAM Kwan-sing, President

29 August 2023


Dear Students and Colleagues,

I would like to welcome everybody to Hong Kong Metropolitan University and offer a warm greeting to all our new students.

At HKMU, our goal is to provide top-quality education to all our students and help them develop successful and meaningful careers. Ultimately, we want to make sure they become upstanding members of our community.

In addition to reminding you to make good use of your time, study hard, and make lasting friendships, I would like to share some personal thoughts with you.

Traditionally, our university organised one series of graduation ceremonies towards the end of the year (usually in November). This year, we organised a new series of graduation ceremonies in July, and we will have a second series towards the end of this year. This new arrangement was introduced to facilitate the participation of our students, especially non-local graduands, and allow them to collect their graduation certificates in July before they leave Hong Kong.

In fact, we introduced the Graduation Ceremony this summer as a result of feedback from students. So during your time at HKMU, if you have suggestions to improve the operations of the university, do let my colleagues know. They are all sitting on the stage now.

Just a month ago, as I was sitting on the stage watching the graduation proceedings, several thoughts went through my mind.

First, several students received the HKMU Council Medal, which is awarded to the top student of each cohort of Honours graduates. I could see that the recipients of the award and their family members were very happy with and proud of the students' achievements.

I wondered whether the students worked with the aim of winning the award or whether it just happened as a result of four years of hard work?

At one point in my career I was Vice-President (Student Affairs), and my colleagues and I did a simple study. We wanted to find out what the main factors were that control the final grade or overall GPA of a student at graduation.

Our analysis discovered two interesting results:

The graduation GPA was not related to the public examination results when the students entered the university.

But the graduation GPA was related to the examination results of the first semester and the results of the first year at the university.

So my advice to you is to work hard when you are at the first year.

“A good beginning is half the battle”. It is true!

While sitting on stage, I also noticed that when the names of certain students were called, there were loud cheers and applause from the floor. Some of these were from the family members, and that was understandable. However, some cheers and applause were from fellow students and clearly directed to two to three classmates of each graduating class.

I was told later that many of these “popular” students were “student leaders”, who helped organise events and activities, assist their fellow students in course registration, and provide general support to them. They also voiced out student concerns to the departments and Schools. Overall, these student leaders had a positive impact on the student community, and I trust, probably have great interpersonal, communication and leadership skills.

Who do you think will be more successful in the future: the recipients of the Council Medal or the “Student Leaders”?

In fact, you don't have to choose. You can aim to achieve both since you are in the fresh start.

Of course, in reality, some of you will be more academically inclined, while others are natural leaders.

The important thing is to understand your strengths, set yourself a goal and move towards it step by step. It may be a long-term or even a life-long process.

I hope that the time you spent at HKMU and the education you receive here will play a significant role in this process.

We will accompany you all the way and support you in whatever way we can. But you remember that ultimately you are the driver!

Best wishes to you. Thank you!