Founded in 1991, the university consists of four main academic schools, offering programs in science, engineering, business and management, humanities and social science, along with the Interdisciplinary Programs Office, Fok Ying Tung Graduate School and Institute for Public Policy.
In recent years, the university is recognised as one of the best young universities around the world. It outdoes many of its counterparts in terms of rankings, for instance, the 2nd in the QS Top 50 Under 50 from 2015 to 2018 successively and also within the top 4th throughout 2012 to 2017 in Times's Best young universities rankings.
In the late 1980s the Hong Kong Government anticipated a strong demand for university graduates to fuel an economy increasingly based on services. Sir Chung Sze Yuen and the then Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Edward Youde, conceived the idea of another university in addition to the pre-existing two universities (HKU and CUHK).
Planning for the "Third University", named The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology later, began in 1986. Construction began at the Kohima Camp site in Tai Po Tsai on the Clear Water Bay Peninsula. The site was earmarked for the construction of a new British Army garrison, but plans for the construction of the garrison were shelved after the Sino-British Joint Declaration was signed in 1984.
Originally scheduled to finish in 1994, the death of Sir Edward in 1986 led to increased effort and allowed UST to open its doors early – in 1991. Several leading scientists and researchers took up positions at the new university in its early years, including physicist Leroy Chang who arrived in 1993 as Dean of Science and went on to become Vice-President for Academic Affairs. Thomas E. Stelson was also a founding member of the administration.
The project was criticised for surpassing the budget set forth by the Hong Kong Government and the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club. However, under the fund-raising efforts of its President, Woo Chia-wei, the first students enrolled in October 1991. By 1992, accommodation and athletic facilities were expanded to support about 7,000 students.
Several more expansion projects such as the construction of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Enterprise Center have since been completed. The library extension building, Lee Shau Kee Business Building (LSK), Lo Ka Chung Building, South Bus Station, Undergraduate Halls VIII and IX, Cheng Yu Tung Building (CYT) and the Conference Lodge, are the latest additions to the campus.
Established in 1991 under Chapter 1141 of the Laws of Hong Kong (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Ordinance), HKUST is one of the eight statutory universities in Hong Kong. It is an institution funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC).
The supreme governing body of the university is its Council, formed by a total of 27 members. Council members include university administrators, the chairperson of the alumni Convocation, an elected staff member, an elected full-time student representative, as well as 17 "lay members" not being employees or students at the university. Under the HKUST Ordinance, The Chief Executive of HKSAR possesses the power of directly appointing the chairman and vice-chairman of the Council, the Treasurer of the University, and not more than 9 of the lay members.
The Senate acts as the university's supreme academic body, responsible for making and reviewing the academic policies of the university. It is composed mostly of academic staff members but also includes the Students' Union president, an elected representative of the undergraduates as well as an elected representative of the postgraduates.
Being the supreme advisory body of the university, the Court is responsible for promoting the university's interests and to raise funds.
As with all other statutory universities in Hong Kong, the Chief Executive of HKSAR acts as the Chancellor of HKUST. Prior to the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong, this was a ceremonial title bestowed upon the Governor of Hong Kong.
The university is largely a campus university, occupying a 60-hectare site at the northern part of Clear Water Bay Peninsula in Sai Kung District, New Territories, Hong Kong, overlooking Port Shelter in Tai Po Tsai. The campus layout and architecture is based on a master plan submitted jointly by Simon Kwan & Associates and Percy Thomas Partnership, the winning entry to an architectural competition held before the university was founded.
As the campus has a sloped terrain, buildings and facilities are built on separate terraces carved out of the hillside, with the academic facilities occupying the top-level terraces, and undergraduate halls of residence and sporting facilities at the seafront. The terrace are connected by motor roads as well as a network of footbridges and elevators known as Bridge Link.
The countryside setting of the university contributed to the fact that HKUST was once the only public university in Hong Kong not being directly served by an MTR station, prior to the re-titling of the Education University of Hong Kong. The university is connected to the metro network through public bus routes including 91, 91M and 792M, complemented by a handful of minibus services, with Choi Hung and Hang Hau stations being the major feeder points.
Academic activities are mainly conducted in the Academic Building, which contains 10 lecture theatres (A-H, J-K), a multitude of classrooms, laboratories and administrative offices. The lecture theatres can accommodate classes of up to 450 students and offer audiovisual equipment. In addition, an information center and a souvenir shop can be found at the Piazza.
Prior to 2013, offices and classrooms of all of the four schools were grouped under the same roof in the Academic Building. With the completion of the Lee Shau Kee Business Building (LSK) in 2013, most facilities for the School of Business and Management have relocated from the Academic Building. Opened in 2015, the Cheng Yu Tung Building (CYT) afforded the other schools with additional classrooms and laboratories.
Located at the southern tip of the campus, the Lo Ka Chung Building houses the HKUST Jockey Club Institute of Advanced Study (IAS). The adjacent Conference Lodge, managed by the hotel-operating arm of Chinachem Group offers on-campus accommodations for conference attendees and official guests of the university.
A total of nine undergraduate halls are located at the seafront and mid-rise terraces of the university campus. Also, the university provides 404 Senior Staff Quarters flats and 40 University Apartments flats to its eligible senior staff.
The HKUST Lee Shau Kee Library, part of the Hong Kong Academic Library Link (HKALL), occupies a central location of the campus. Connected to the Academic Building, it is accessible directly from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Atrium. It spans five floors with over 12,350 sq m of floor space, providing more than 3,674 seats as well as computing facilities. It offers a wide array of information resources, both local and remote. In addition to over 720,000 print and electronic volumes and a large collection of media resources, it provides access to more than 47,000 periodical titles, a large number of e-books, databases, and other digital information resources. The library also includes a 24-hour-capable Learning Commons which provides a technology-rich environment for active learning and education.
The library owns a collection of old maps of China and the rest of Asia, produced by Chinese and Western cartographers over the last 500 years. A selection of these maps, providing an insight into the history of international geographic knowledge, was published by the library in a limited-edition (1000 copies) volume in 2003.
The campus boasts 19 catering outlets including fast food restaurants, a Chinese restaurant as well as a bar; other ancillary facilities in the academic complexes include three banks, a bookstore, a supermarket, clinics (consisting of a medical clinic providing free outpatient service to all full-time students and staff, a student dental clinic, and a staff dental clinic) and Students' Union offices.
HKUST had been previously ranked Asia's No.1 by the independent regional QS University Rankings: Asia for three consecutive years between 2011 and 2013. It's one of the fastest growing institutions as ranked #2 by both Times Higher Education World University Rankings in 2017 and QS world's under-50 universities in 2018.The THE's World Reputation Rankings of 2017 considered it the third reputable in the territory, while it was first in the HKU Public Opinion Programme survey (2016). According to Global University Employability Ranking 2017, the University's graduates have the highest employment rate among universities in Greater China for 5 years in a row, ranked 12th worldwide. Besides overall rankings, a list of subject rankings of Hong Kong tertiary institutions is available to show the strength of its individual disciplines ranked by the above organisations.
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The overall academic organisation structure is as follows:
|School of Science (SSCI)||School of Engineering (SENG)||School of Business and Management (SBM)||School of Humanities and Social Science (SHSS)||Interdisciplinary Programs Office (IPO)||Dean of Students|
Within the School of Science are the Division of Life Science, the Department of Chemistry, the Department of Mathematics and the Department Physics. The School of Science emphasises the whole-person development and international exposure of students. Its undergraduate exchange program provides science students with international learning opportunities throughout their studies. The School has teamed up with over 60 exchange partners from regions including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Mainland China, and Japan.
The School of Engineering (SENG) is the largest of the 6 Schools within HKUST. It has 6 departments: Chemical and Biological Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electronic and Computer Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Logistics Management, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. It is the only education provider on chemical engineering in Hong Kong. The School provides more than 40 degree programs at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels.
In 2018, Times Higher Education World University Rankings in Engineering and Technology placed HKUST Engineering No.18 globally, the best ever position achieved by any local university since the establishment of this league table in 2010. QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017 - Engineering and Technology ranked HKUST No.15 globally which made SENG No. 1 in Hong Kong for seven consecutive years. SENG has over 100 exchange partner universities in 26 countries/regions in the world.
The Centre for Global & Community Engagement (GCE) is established as co-curricular program under the School of Engineering, engaging students to make contributions to the community and to broaden their international exposure. GCE supports individuals and student teams such as the HKUST Robotics Team to participate in international competitions.
HKUST's School of Business and Management (SBM) is branded the HKUST Business School. Its Kellogg-HKUST EMBA program has been ranked the world’s No.1 eight times (2007, 2009-2013, 2016-2017) by the Financial Times, while its full-time MBA program has been ranked the world’s Top 15 eight times. The School has been awarded AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accreditation since 1999.
There are over 140 faculties. The School offers degree programs– undergraduate, MBA, EMBA, MSc and PhD – and a range of executive education. 12 research centres are assigned to areas from business case studies and investing to Asian Financial Markets and China Business & Management. The School is also placed to leverage its international and regional knowledge base as Asia rises in significance in the global economy. A new purpose-built campus is in place to enable the School to develop further.
The School of Humanities and Social Science supports interdisciplinary academic training and research in fields including anthropology, economics, geography, history, innovation studies, languages, linguistics, literature, music, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, and visual art.
The interdisciplinary programs bring together two or more different fields of study, offering a great opportunity for students with more than one interest to integrate their abilities. Programs are referenced to Hong Kong’s needs and global trends to ensure relevance, with strong input from business and industry to keep training and skills in line with market demand. Research projects in partnership with industry and the community are encouraged through the Dual Degree Program in Technology and Management and Risk Management and Business Intelligence Program to allow full engagement of the students with the community.
On 25 January 2007, the HKUST officially named its graduate school in Nansha as HKUST Fok Ying Tung Graduate School/ HKUST Fok Ying Tung Research Institute in a ceremony that combined the official opening of the graduate school and the ground-breaking of its Nansha campus.
The HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) at HKUST champions collaborative projects across disciplines and institutions. It forges relationships with academic, business, community, and government leaders. The inaugural lecture of the IAS organised was given by the noted physicist Prof. Stephen Hawking in June 2006.
As of December 2016, HKUST enrolled 9,334 undergraduates and 4,874 postgraduates, with over a third of the total enrollment being non-local (not holding Hong Kong citizenship). In terms of student population, the School of Engineering is the largest among the university's four schools , hosting 35% and 43% of HKUST's undergraduates and postgraduates respectively; this was followed by the schools of Business and Management (35%/30%), Science (22%/18%), and Humanities and Social Science (2%/5%).
A total of 2,430 local students were admitted to undergraduate programs offered by the university in 2015/16. The university saw the graduation of 2,203 undergraduate students, 461 research postgraduates and 1,913 taught postgraduates in the same academic year, amounting to a total of 4,577 degrees being conferred.
All full-time registered UG students and in-time[note 1] full-time HKUST research postgraduate students (RPgs) of the University are eligible to apply for student housing. Under the current policy, all local UG students are provided at least one semester of hall residence in their first year of study, whilst their non-local counterparts are provided at least two years of residency.
The nine on-campus undergraduate halls provide a total of 146 bed places in single rooms, 3,094 in double rooms (twin + bunk) and 792 in triple rooms. Another 512 bed spaces in double room in the HKUST Jockey Club Hall in Tseung Kwan O are provided for undergraduates and 1080 places in single or double rooms are for Research Postgraduate Students (RPgs) and Visiting Interns.
|Name of hall||House SA or equivalent system||Remarks|
|UG Hall I
|█ The Undergraduate House One Students' Association, HKUSTSU (社一)||First student residence in HKUST|
|UG Hall II
|█ Vertex, House II Students' Association, HKUSTSU (翱峰)|
|UG Hall III
|█ Glacier, House III Students' Association, HKUSTSU (冰川)|
|UG Hall IV
|█ Vista, House IV Students' Association, HKUSTSU (嶄越)|
|UG Hall V (PG Hall II)
|█ Endeavour, House V Students' Association, HKUSTSU (卓毅)|
|UG Hall VI
|"Living Learning Communities" (LLCs) system, implementation by the "Connection Team" formed by student residents ||opened in 2004 as "New Hall"|
|Chan Sui Kau and Chan Lam Moon Chun Hall (UG Hall VII)
|"Living Learning Communities" (LLCs) system, implementation by the "Leadership Team" of student residents||opened in 2009
donated by industrialist Dr Chan Sui-kau
|UG Hall VIII
|No House SA formed, events organised by the Organizing Team formed by student residents ||opened in 2013|
|UG Hall IX
|The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Jockey Club Hall
|-||opened in 2016|
There are also off-campus accommodations available. 15 apartments in Tai Po Tsai Village(TPT308 and Wan's Lodge) and 6 apartments in Sam Long Village (SL Apartments) are rented by the University to accommodate 126 TPgs.
On 27 April 2012, research postgraduate students organised a sit-down strike to raise the voice of the voiceless and reiterate the concerns of the research postgraduate students about the serious housing issue.
Formed in 1992, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Students' Union (HKUSTSU) is an organization independent from but recognized by the university administration. The union is governed by four independent statutory bodies, namely the Executive Committee, the Council, the Editorial Board and the Court. All undergraduates and postgraduates are eligible for membership in the union, although this is not compulsory.
The Students' Union oversees over 100 affiliated societies catering to students engaged in different academic disciplines, residential halls, sports and interests.
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