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University of Hong Kong

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) is the oldest tertiary institution in Hong Kong and has classes conducted in the English language. Its motto is Sapientia et Virtus and 明德格物 in Chinese. The University is consistently ranked as one of the best universities in Asia.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Campus
3 Organization
4 Students
5 Ranking
6 Faculty
7 Non-Faculty Academic Units
8 Sports, Clubs and Traditions
9 Student Accommodations
10 Students Services
11 Libraries
12 Future Development
13 Famous Alumni
14 External link


Evolved from the Hong Kong College of Medicine (established in 1887), the University was officially founded in 1911 with the construction began on March 16, 1910, with Sir Frederick Lugard, the then Governor of Hong Kong, laying the foundation stone. An official opening was held in 1912, and the first graduation ceremony in December 1916. The first women were admitted in 1912.

From a modest beginning of only three faculties (Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Engineering, and Faculty of Arts), the university now embodies almost all the major areas of teaching and research.

The University held its first Congregation with 23 graduates and 5 honorary graduates in December 1916. There were more than 2,000 students in 1961, its golden jubilee, four times the number in 1941. The number of admitted students boosted after the government's decision to expanding the tertiary education in 1989. As of 2001 there were more than 14,300 students.

During the World War II, the university was closed temporarily.

The University faced its biggest crisis in 2000 when Robert Chung Ting-yiu, director of the Public Opinion Programme of the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at HKU, alleged that he had received political pressure from Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa through the then Vice-Chancellor, Prof Cheng Yiu-chung, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof Wong Siu-lun, to discontinue his public opinion polls on the popularity ratings of Tung and his government. Although the allegations were denied by Tung and HKU, a controversy erupted over the question of political interference in academic freedom. HKU set up a three-member panel led by Justice Noel Power to investigate Chung's claims. After 11 days of open hearings in August, the panel concluded that there were what it called covert attempts to pressure Chung into discontinuing his polls. Both Prof Cheng and Prof Wong resigned just before the university council met on September 9 to vote on whether or not to accept the panel's report.

Prof Ian Davies stepped in as Vice-Chancellor for about one year before a world-wide search selected Prof Lap-Chee Tsui as the new head of the University in 2001.

2001 marked the 90th Anniversary of the HKU. Growing with Hong Kong: HKU and its Graduates - The First 90 Years was published by the University Press in 2002 at $350.It is a impact study about HKU's gradates in different field of Hong Kong.


The university's main campus covers about 16 hectares of land in the Bonham Road/Pokfulam area of Hong Kong Island. The university also operates the Kadorrie Agricultural Research Center, which occupies 9.5 hectares of land in the New Territories, and the Swire Institute of Marine Science on the southern coast of Hong Kong Island.


The University's Chancellor is Tung Chee-hwa, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong. The Vice-Chancellor is Professor Lap-Chee Tsui, and the Pro-Vice-Chancellors are Professor C. F. Lee, Professor J. G. Malpas, Professor J. A. Spinks and Profess H. Tong. The academic staff population is over 800.


The student population of the University (including postgraduate students) was around 14,400 in 2001-2002, including over 5,300 postgraduate students.

Most of the undergraduate students admitted through the Joint Univerisity Programmes Admission Scheme (JUPAS) Website for the local Form 7 students while others will be admitted by Non-JUPAS scheme and Early Admission Scheme(EAS)


According to the Asiaweek, the University of Hong Kong is ranked the third in 2000 based on multi-disciplinary among other Asia's best universities. The business school is ranked the second for MBA course, after the Chinese University of Hong Kong, in Asiaweek Magazine Asia's Best University Survey 2000.


The university comprises 10 faculties, with the following teaching departments and programs:

The School of Professional and Continuing Eduation (SPACE) is under the University of Hong Kong, which provides different levels of programmes on a wide range of subjects, and runs programmes without subsidy from the government. SPACE has recently envolved into a community college-type institution.

Non-Faculty Academic Units

Apart from 10 faculties, there are also several study centres which are not under the faculties. These sometimes provide study programmes and courses to students and are listed as follows (soucre:

Sports, Clubs and Traditions

Students' societies and clubs can be categorized into four main groups: faculty societies (departmental societies come under them), interest clubs (categorized under the Independent Club Association, ICA) and sports clubs (under the Sports Association, SA) and students' association of Halls. All these organizations form the Hong Kong University Students' Union (HKUSU). Union Council (
Website) is the highest authority. The Council is second only to the General Meeting and the General Polling of the Students' Union in authority. In addition, the HKUSU has several publications, including Undergrad and the newspaper Campus Bi-weekly. It broadcasts progammes by the Campus TV.

Student societies includes:

Student Accommodations

Residential Halls

Halls marked by * are non-residential.

Lady Ho Tung Hall was demolished and rebuilt in 1998 in order to meet with the increasing demand of residential places for girls.

Established in 1914 in memory of the first missionary to come to China, Robert Morrison (1782-1834), Morrison Hall, located at Hatton Road, was pulled down in 1968. A rebuilding plan of the Hall, which will provide about 300 places for male students, was released in 2001 and the construction is expected to finish in 2005.

According to a news report on 30 Sept 2003, 900 hostel places will be available in the future. Pressure on the places will be relieved from 1.5 (1 student gets the place out of 1.5 students) to 1.2.

Consultation concerning the Hall Education and its future development was opened and organized by the working group under the Committee on Student Affairs in 2002. The consultation came to the second stage in the fall of 2003.

Students Services

The university provides other services to meet students' personal needs. There are many services deparments in the university - some of the most popular are as follows:


The university has seven libraries, including the Main Libraries, which provide a pool of up-to-date resources (printed and online). It also organizes activities such as "Book on Talk", as well as regular displays on certain theme such as "snacks in Hong Kong 70'".

Future Development

In 2003 the HKU management panel set a development strategic plan aiming at leading HKU to be one of the most competitive and well-known universities in the world by 2008.

Besides putting effort on academic research and development, it also aims at promoting the continuity of education in the public, through better linkage between the University and the SPACE.

HKU tries to establish better alumni and external network for the financial sustainablility of the development. (source:[1])

Due to huge budget deficit faced by the goevrnment, Now it proposes the cut in expenditure on the Education Sectors, about 10%, in these five consecutive years.

Famous Alumni

See also:

External link