Propelling student innovation and entrepreneurship at UNNC

28 November 2019

The fourth session of the first UNNC Advisory Board meeting concluded recently, having sparked a lot of debate about student extracurricular development and entrepreneurship.

The First Advisory Board was established to give advice on the University’s priority growth areas and it supports its development both financially and strategically. Members of the board have mixed fields of expertise covering education, business, healthcare, sports and more.

Meeting once a year, board members keep a close eye on the University development. At this year’s session, many members made specific suggestions as to where the University should go next, in order to deal with the emerging challenges of the fourth industrial revolution.

Provost Nick Miles presented a University progress report to the board, during which he mentioned student achievements over the past year. Last month, Architectural Environment Engineering student Fu Yu won the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) President’s Award for his predictive building control solution. Earlier this year, two business students Juncheng Shen and Zhefan He won awards at the 2019 Global Grand Challenge Summit (GGCS) for their innovative proposals for gynecological health improvement and post-surgery recovery respectively.

Developing student innovation and entrepreneurship is a long-standing mission of the Advisory Board.

Hong Kong-based businessman and philanthropist Dr Li Dak Sum has provided opportunities for the development of the incubator named after him, which is now an innovation hub for students and alumni to explore entrepreneurial ideas and establish businesses. It provides a full range of services and resources to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurship and has so far supported 28 start-ups covering e-commerce, insurance, the environment, biomedical engineering and more.

UNNC President Yang Fujia, Chair of the Board, initiated the establishment of the Dream Scholarship, which recognises students for outstanding achievements in extracurricular activities in pursuit of their dreams. 

GGCS winner Juncheng Shen won the 2018 Dream Scholarship. Although an undergraduate, Juncheng started his online course evaluation project and attracted backing from over 1,000 online users in just two weeks.

Another Dream Scholarship awardee, Hao Zhong dedicated himself to social service. During his time at UNNC as an International Studies student, Hao worked as a volunteer at a refugee care centre in the Danish capital, Copenhagen where he became motivated to further explore the fight against inequality.

Philanthropic support has also helped enrich the student experience as well as advance research. The Si Yuan Guest Professorship - sponsored by Dr Thomas T. T. Chen - has enabled hundreds of scholars and industry leaders from across the world to deliver public lectures on campus.

Thanks to other schemes such as the LI YIP Yio Chin Scholarship, Hybribio Scholarship, Chung Hon Dak Scholarship and Tu Haiming Scholarship, hundreds more students have received support for their studies at UNNC.