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Property sales dip 27.5%

The Land Registry recorded 3,189 sale and purchase agreements for all building units received for registration in February, down 27.5% compared with January and 46.7% lower year-on-year.   The total consideration for such agreements in February fell 32.9% from January, to $22.6 billion, while a 48.5% year-on-year decrease was recorded.   Of the agreements, 2,375 were for residential units, down 31.7% from January and 44.5% lower than a year ago.   The total consideration for residential units was $19.1 billion, a decrease of 31.3% compared with January and down 47.9% year-on-year.   There were 276,910 land register searches last month. http://dlvr.it/T3ZqYl

Govt focuses on nurturing talent

Established in 1963 by bringing together three colleges, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has strived for excellence over the past 60 years and become a forward-looking comprehensive research university to date. Its performance is recognised worldwide, notably by a record-high ranking of 38th in QS World University Rankings.   Day by day, CUHK nurtures quality talent; carries out ground-breaking research; and takes forward new projects, including setting up state-of-the-art scientific research facilities. The university's excellence is underpinned by a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes; a unique college system that delivers whole-person education; bilingualism; multiculturalism; and many more.   With the COVID-19 epidemic under control, our social and economic activities are progressively resuming as normal. We are now set to focus on economic development. As the cradle of talent, post-secondary education provides a strong impetus for it; and CUHK is certainly one of the key players.   The current-term Government spares no effort to support the higher education sector in strengthening Hong Kong's talent pool. In the coming five years, our target is that 60% of the students from the University Grants Committee (UGC)-funded universities, including CUHK, will be studying subjects relevant to Hong Kong's development of the “eight centres” under the National 14th Five-Year Plan, and 35% studying STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) subjects.   With innovation and technology as our top priority, we will progressively increase the number of publicly-funded research postgraduate places to 7,200 in the 2024-25 academic year. Together with the uplift of the over-enrolment ceiling of such places to 100% from 2021 onwards, the capacity of the UGC-funded universities in enrolling research postgraduate students will increase by over 50%. This will lay a solid foundation for the universities, including CUHK, to conduct extensive scientific research and nurture talent.   Also, we will launch a Research, Academic & Industry Sectors One-plus Scheme worth $10 billion. The scheme will drive co-operation among industry, academic and research sectors to further promote “1 to N” transformation and commercialisation of research outcomes. We believe CUHK's research outcomes will benefit from such a scheme.   Looking beyond our city, the future of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is just as promising. I am glad that CUHK has been expanding its footprint in the bay area over the years, with a number of education and research platforms set up.   I am equally excited by the double major programme to be jointly launched by CUHK and CUHK-Shenzhen, nurturing talent in interdisciplinary data analytics as well as specific disciplines like science, engineering and business.   Chief Secretary Chan Kwok-ki gave these remarks at the 60th Anniversary Commencement Ceremony of the Chinese University of Hong Kong on February 12.
http://dlvr.it/SjKpWM

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