As a comprehensive, research-intensive, public university, the University of Hong Kong will offer a first-rate liberal undergraduate curriculum, outstanding preparation for professional qualifications, and excellence in postgraduate studies to a diverse and talented student population.

Multi-cultural student population and activities
Multi-cultural student population and activities

The University aims to attain international distinction as a leading academic institution committed to providing an intellectually stimulating environment for learning. We strive to achieve a nexus between teaching, learning and research by recruiting staff who excel both as researchers and as teachers capable of inspiring our students’ intellectual curiosity and passion for learning. We also aim to revitalize our curriculum through planning a 4-year undergraduate academic structure for implementation in 2012. The University will use this unprecedented opportunity to revisit and critically reflect on the curriculum, to reaffirm its goal of providing an excellent student-centred learning experience, and to renew its commitment to a university education distinguished by its global relevance and international outreach.

The University campus, including the planned opening of the Centennial Campus in 2012 and off-campus facilities, will also provide a 21st Century learning environment to support the development of innovative pedagogies, especially those incorporating the use of technology-supported and student-centred learning.

The Learning Commons in the HKU Centennial Campus (artist’s impression)
Student programme in global citizenship

In pursuit of our aim to enhance the student learning experience, we will implement the following strategic initiatives:


  • Strengthen efforts to recruit outstanding students, focusing on diversity in our student population

    As a leading international university, we must make academic excellence the fundamental criterion for student admission. We must maintain rigour in our recruitment exercises so that academically outstanding students will be selected. We will recruit from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and emphasize qualities of character and potential to make an impact on the world, so that these students might contribute to the larger society as responsible citizens.

    To prepare students for global citizenship, it is essential that an international perspective pervades the curriculum across the University. Explicit attention must be paid to the global relevance of our programmes if they are to be attractive to a diverse international student population.

  • Invest in curriculum reform

    The University will invest significantly in a new curriculum which will be partially introduced in 2010 and fully implemented in 2012 when we launch the 4-year undergraduate academic structure.

    The new curriculum structure will give students flexibility, choice and breadth of knowledge. In addition to enabling students to develop a strong disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge base, it will also nurture critical and independent thinking, develop effective communicators and team players, and produce imaginative and creative leaders. It must also inculcate moral values and ethical principles to guide their everyday action. These qualities are essential if our students are to be successful and responsible citizens of the 21st Century, and their attainment will be tracked through reformed student assessment processes.

  • Enrich the educational environment and enhance student support

    For the University to recruit the best undergraduates, we will enhance substantially our student support infrastructure to enable students to benefit from the enriched learning environment. Excellent academic advising, counselling and career services will be provided. There will also be increased emphasis on academic integrity and ethical development.

    We will provide more opportunities for students to have in-depth experiences internationally and in the Mainland, and ensure that these are supported financially. There will be expanded opportunities for experiential learning through partnership with government departments, non-government organizations and commercial enterprises.

    The provision of a variety of student residential places will be accelerated to support an intellectually vibrant living-learning environment.

through a vigorous recruitment campaign and through scholarships, we aim to increase quality intake of students at all levels and across all disciplines, attract the best students from around the world, improve the diversity of our student population aiming to reach a goal of 25% non-local student population, and balance student demography and student mix at undergraduate, taught postgraduate and research postgraduate levels
by affirming English as the medium of teaching and learning, we will strengthen the use of English as the lingua franca on our campus, and at the same time continue our commitment to enhancing the bi-literate and multilingual competencies of our students
through continuous revitalization of our courses, we will ensure the relevance of our curriculum to a globalized and ever changing world, and strengthen the development of generic intellectual skills to enhance the lifelong learning capability of our graduates
with the cooperation and input of all academic units, we will implement a new Common Core Curriculum as a unique HKU learning experience, and enhance the flexibility of the curriculum through an enabling structure that facilitates student choice
through agreements with our local and international partners, we will strengthen the elements of experiential learning and increase international and Mainland immersion opportunities such as exchange programmes and overseas internships
through providing a virtual learning environment that complements and enhances the experiential and face-to-face modes of learning, we will provide a richer and more diverse learning experience for our students
through promoting research-informed teaching, strengthening alignment between learning outcomes, content, pedagogy and assessment, and ensuring that learning goals and standards are clearly communicated to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, we will place due emphasis on the importance of teaching
by putting emphasis on international recruitment and bringing in academics with international teaching experience and a strong record of teaching competence, we will ensure the cultural diversity of our teaching staff and underpin teaching quality
through seminars, workshops and training courses, we will support the professional development of our teachers, and emphasize dedication to teaching and commitment to caring for students
through recognition and reward of excellence (e.g. awards, promotion, etc) and creating career paths for dedicated teachers, we will acknowledge staff for outstanding teaching and curriculum design
by reinforcing a student code of conduct, we will nurture a strong commitment to self-directed learning and a better learning environment for all students

The New Curriculum and Common Core

The New Curriculum and Common Core

The University is capitalizing on the unique opportunity of the education reform in Hong Kong, which involves the introduction of a new 4-year undergraduate academic structure in 2012, to revisit and renew the undergraduate curriculum both in terms of form and content. Extensive University-wide consultation has been a vital and integral part of the reform process.

The University Senate has endorsed six educational aims for the new curriculum, designed to enable students to develop capabilities in :

  • pursuit of academic/professional excellence, critical intellectual enquiry and lifelong learning
  • tackling novel situations and ill-defined problems
  • critical self-reflection and greater understanding of others, and upholding personal and professional ethics
  • intercultural understanding and global citizenship
  • communication and collaboration
  • leadership and advocacy for the improvement of the human condition

The overarching goal is to make available varied educational experiences and to structure them so that students engage with these experiences in meaningful and coherent ways throughout their undergraduate education.

Among the key elements of the new structure is the development of a HKU Common Core Curriculum, which will enable all students to explore human experiences in local, regional and global contexts using different modes of intellectual enquiry. Other key elements include: an enabling structure that facilitates student choice; strengthened language provisions in both English and Chinese; an emphasis on outcome-based student learning; increased provisions for international and experiential learning; enhanced academic induction and academic advising; and a capstone experience. By introducing aspects of the new curriculum from 2010, students will be able to benefit from some of these new elements before the territory-wide academic reform comes into full operation in 2012.