Top US diplomat shares insight with students in new dialogue series
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The US Consul General in Hong Kong & Macau, Mr Kurt W. Tong, discussed the US education system, scientific and technological development, and the US’s position on globalisation with students and faculty members at the Inaugural Dialogue of the Dialogue Series with Consuls General (Series).
The event was organised by the Office of Vice-President (Student Affairs) at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and held on 22 November.
In the Dialogue Series, consuls general are invited to share the culture and latest development of their countries, providing opportunities for CityU students and faculty members to chat with diplomats.
The title for the first dialogue was “Globalisation and Your Future”.
Professor Way Kuo, CityU President, said in his speech at the event that CityU was committed to cultivating students' global perspectives. CityU students are offered ample opportunities to take part in global learning programmes and activities as a means of experiencing at first-hand cultures from other countries and regions.
He pointed out that the US higher education system was outstanding and could be seen as a model for CityU in terms of curriculum design, adding that the US was a popular exchange destination for CityU students.
In his talk, Mr Tong said that when he was 18, he and his parent had moved to Japan where his global vision and social skills had developed over the years, paving his way to becoming a diplomat.
He said freedom and the rule of law had shaped Hong Kong into a world-class city, a melting pot of world cultures, and he encouraged the younger generation to grasp the advantages of globalisation and equip themselves with innovative ideas and an adventurous spirit to become global citizens.
Globalisation had driven growth around the world and higher education had prepared students well for these changes, he said, commending that the new CityU Series would broaden students’ horizons. He also said that he appreciated the opportunity to talk with young people.
During the Q&A session, Mr Tong was asked about studying in the US and the US’s position on globalisation. Mr Tong responded by saying American universities welcomed talent from all over the world and that the US Consulate General in Hong Kong & Macau was happy to answer queries and provide information to those who wish to study in the US. He added that globalisation inevitably impacted different cultures and societies; therefore, higher education was needed to address these problems.
Before joining the US Consulate General in Hong Kong & Macau in 2016, Mr Tong was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the Department of State. He speaks Mandarin and Japanese. He has been a diplomat since 1990, including service in Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing and Manila.
Other guests attending the inaugural dialogue included Professor Horace Ip Ho-shing, Vice-President (Student Affairs), Professor Matthew Lee Kwok-on, Vice-President (Development and External Relations), Dr Ron Kwok Chi-wai, Dean of Students, and Professor Julie Li Juan, Head of the Department of Marketing.
Prior to the event, students from the BBA Global Business programme put up stalls and display boards in the University Concourse to promote US culture and provide information about US geography and demography as a lead-up for the event.