News Centre

27 May 2018

An Open Letter from Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK

27 May 2018

Dear Colleagues and Students,

I am saddened by the news that one of our year 4 students has recently taken his life. We have no idea what has led the student to choose to end his life this way but believe that he must have gone through a period of helplessness. While we will try to learn more about the cause of this tragedy, we will continue to keep the support and caring system of the University under review.

While the pain of this tragedy is felt by the loved ones of the deceased and members of the University alike, it is also a reminder that we must not stop thinking what more can be done to prevent similar tragedies from happening again.

As members of the CUHK family, we should lend a helping hand to those around us who may be in need. We should be ready to open our eyes, our ears and our hearts. A kind word, a warm handshake or a pat on the shoulder would be like a flash of light in the darkness, a lighthouse on the shore or a life buoy in a stormy sea. Even though we might not fully understand their difficulties and be able to offer solutions, our care would show them that there is always a way out.  

My dear students, if you are in trouble or in distress, do know that you are not alone. Your friends and family, the student wellness counselors, your teachers in the Colleges, Faculties, Departments, psychiatric consultation in the University Health Service, and the 24-hour emotional support hotline are all there to help and support you.

It has been one of my top priorities to enhance students’ resilience and problem-solving ability. A positive psychology programme for all undergraduate students is scheduled to be piloted in the next semester. Empirical evidence has shown that people who harbour positive emotions achieve better life outcomes including but not limited to physical and mental health, work performance, supportive relationships, and effective coping. In the new programme, students will not only learn practical behavioural, cognitive and social skills that enhance their positive emotions, but also learn to identify and leverage their own virtues and strengths in their daily life. These skills will help our students build resilience and confidence that enable them to rise above life’s challenges that they may face.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased student. I also call upon members of the University to stay vigilant in rendering support to those in need. Call us (3943-7208), email us (, visit our website ( ) or visit the Wellness and Counselling Centre at 2/F, Pommerenke Student Centre whenever you require support. There are counsellors on duty to handle urgent cases. You can also call the 24-hour emotional support hotline at 5400-2055.

Very sincerely,
Rocky S. Tuan
Vice-Chancellor and President