Published: 10:28, January 13, 2022 | Updated: 10:30, January 13, 2022
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New mainland campus to help push cross-disciplinary learning
By ​Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou

By providing entrepreneurs with new technologies to help grow their businesses, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou) will become a powerful engine driving the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area through innovation, according to a senior professor at the university.

"The Guangzhou campus is well placed to push the frontiers of cutting-edge technologies, expand the application of emerging industries and devise new business models," said professor Lionel M. Ni, who is also president designate of the Guangzhou branch.

During a video speech at the GBA Development Forum (Guangzhou) & Vision China event, Ni said the HKUST Guangzhou campus is expected to become a cradle for forward-looking talent and creative industry leaders with knowledge to share, who are able to adapt to future technologies, emerging industries and social change.

The campus will open its doors in September in Guangzhou's Nansha district.

The Ministry of Education and the Guangdong provincial government have issued a plan for advancing higher education cooperation in the Greater Bay Area, with the aim of making it the home of a number of the world's leading universities by 2035.

"We will create an innovative academic framework to facilitate cross-disciplinary education," Ni said.

According to Ni, the HKUST campuses in Guangzhou and Hong Kong will complement each other without duplicating academic programs, giving faculty and students access to multiple disciplines and allowing them to explore new frontiers in cross-disciplinary research and discover new solutions to global problems.

To create a rich experience, students at the HKUST Guangzhou campus will be required to participate in cross-disciplinary research methodology and core design-thinking courses in the form of project-based learning.

"We will accelerate innovation in knowledge transfer as we are all aware of the effectiveness of collaboration across industry, academia and research," the professor said.

Citing DJI, a pioneer in the field of unmanned aerial vehicle technology, Ni said there has been a rapid growth in the number of businesses established, funded or incubated by HKUST professors, students and alumni.

Founded in 2006 by Frank Wang Tao, a Chinese mainland alumnus of the HKUST, DJI has become one of the world's leading drone manufacturers, with a 70 percent share of the global civilian drone market.

"The opening of the HKUST Guangzhou campus will be a leap forward in our development blueprint for the Greater Bay Area," he said.