HONG KONG, November 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) kicked off a series of celebration activities for its 80th anniversary on 25 November 2016. To mark the beginning of the year-long celebration, PolyU held in the morning the "International Forum: Nurturing Talent and Building Capacity in Supporting the Belt and Road Development" (the Forum) and in the evening "PolyU 80th Anniversary Launch Ceremony A Prelude to the Celebrations", gathering Senior management of about 10 universities from the mainland, Egypt, Italy, Kazakhstan, Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey and United Kingdom, as well as leaders in the local business sector. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161128/443154 ) (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161128/443155 ) Guest of Honour at the Forum, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, Secretary for Education of the Hong Kong SAR Government, commended PolyU for its efforts in the Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative, "I am pleased to note that PolyU has provided a very comprehensive answer by demonstrating what it has done to foster people-to-people bond under the B&R Initiatives. By launching a number of student programmes, PolyU has strived to enhance students' understanding on the latest developments of the B&R countries. All these would undoubtedly help build up a large pool of human capital with the skills, knowledge and global vision necessary to support the important B&R Initiative." At the Launch Ceremony, Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Chief Secretary for Administration, HKSAR Government, said that the development of PolyU over the decades is a remarkable story of academic growth and success. PolyU's rising international recognition and standing not only testify to PolyU's regional and international impact, but also exemplify the rapid advancement of higher education in Hong Kong. Chairman of the University Grants Council (UGC), Mr Carlson Tong, commended PolyU for its contribution to the development of Hong Kong and said, "Adhered to UGC-defined role statement, PolyU emphasises on application-oriented teaching, professional education and applied research and maintains strong links with various sectors, employers and the community." Professor Timothy W. Tong, President of PolyU, said, "PolyU has grown together with Hong Kong over the past eight decades in a fast-changing global landscape and answered to the call of the times appropriately. We not only embark on research to advance the frontiers of knowledge, but also create solutions to problems and change the world for the better." An anniversary theme song "Shape the Future", written and composed by PolyU's alumni, was presented on stage by C AllStar, a pop music group. The Launch Ceremony was followed by cultural performances by PolyU Choir and Orchestra, university students from the Mainland, Italy, Kazakhstan and Russia. That day also saw the opening of PolyU's Alumni Atrium, which is a new facility of an area of 250 square metres dedicated to the alumni community. It provides a spacious and comfortable environment for leisure, recreation and cultural activities through which alumni can cultivate friendships and foster exchange and partnerships with other members of the PolyU community.