Here I am on the 16th floor of a hotel overlooking Victoria Harbour, ships going back and forth, a maze of highways, and hidden behind high apartment buildings I can even spot mountains! If it had not been raining now, I would have posted a picture with a gorgeous sunset. But this has to wait for another time.
Hong Kong welcomed us at 1 am this morning after a more than 9 hour-long flight from Helsinki. It was dark and ice cold when we left Helsinki early on Sunday morning, and at least 20 degrees C warmer in Hong Kong, but still far colder than I had thought it would be.
After a few hours sleep it was time for our first university visit and a full day at Hong Kong’s City University (or City U as the university is called). Meetings with the president and vice president of the university and with professors and researchers representing different departments had been scheduled for the morning. Luckily I did not forget to bring my name cards this time (as compared to so many times before on trips to Asia) and managed to collect at least eight cards in exchange.
Many of the faculty members we met expressed a great interest in establishing an exchange with Stockholm University. Many also mentioned that City U students could broaden their horizons by taking courses at SU and learn more about Sweden as a whole. I was struck by the positive picture they had of Sweden, given that today’s Sweden certainly no longer is what it once used to be. I was close to saying that the rosy Sweden picture is no longer true, but then it struck me that we still have loads and loads of advantages compared to so many other countries, both in Europe and elsewhere.
The exchange of faculty and the hope for future joint research projects was also a topic of discussion, since there seem to be many areas of common interest. For example, the Guy Carpenter Asia-Pacific Climate Impact Centre seems like an interesting partner for the Bolin Centre for Climate Research and the Stockholm Resilience Centre.
One of the departments we visited was the Department of Media and Communication and its Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, where new visual technologies allow the visitor to experience the fantastic more than 1000 year old mural paintings and statues in one of the many Chinese caves. The Department of Media and Communications educates and trains students in all aspects of e.g., journalism, photography, filming, and what ever is needed today to become a successful media person.
As always in Asia, delicious lunches and dinners are a must! Tonight’s dinner was on the 27th floor with a great view on the illuminated skyline.