Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Motto in English
|To learn and to apply, for the benefit of mankind|
|Established||1937, as Government Trade School|
1947 , as Hong Kong Technical College
1972 , as Hong Kong Polytechnic
1994 , granted university status
|Chancellor||Carrie Lam (as Chief Executive of Hong Kong)|
11 Yuk Choi Road, Hung Hom,
9.46 hectares (0.0946 km2)
|Colours||Red and grey|
|Hong Kong Polytechnic University|
|Cantonese Yale||Hēunggóng Léihgūng Daaihhohk|
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)[note 1] is a public research university located in Hung Hom, Hong Kong. The University is one of the eight government-funded degree-granting tertiary institutions in Hong Kong. Founded in 1937 as the first Government Trade School, it is the first institution to provide technical education in Hong Kong. In 1994, the Legislative Council of Hong Kong passed a bill which granted the former Hong Kong Polytechnic official university status.
PolyU consists of 8 faculties and schools, offering programmes covering applied science, business, construction, environment, engineering, social science, health, humanities, design, hotel and tourism management. The university offers over 160 taught programmes for more than 25,800 students every year. It is the largest public tertiary institution in terms of number of students. As of 2020, the university ranks 25th in Asia by THE, 15th in young universities by THE, and 75th internationally by QS.
In 1937, the Government Trade School was founded at Wood Road, Wan Chai. The school was the first publicly funded, post-secondary technical institution in Hong Kong. Under G. White, the then principal, it ran classes in marine wireless operating, mechanical engineering and building construction. The campus was a three-storey high Victorian architecture, and commonly referred to the “Red Brick House” by the locals. After World War II, the Government Trade School became the Hong Kong Technical College in 1947, offering both full-time and part-time courses. In 1957, the new campus of the college located in Hung Hom was constructed. It was opened by Sir Alexander Grantham, the then Governor of Hong Kong.
In 1965, Sir Chung Sze-yuen suggested to establish a polytechnic in Hong Kong to provide post-secondary technical education. Dr Tang Ping-yuen was appointed by the government at the chair of the Polytechnic Planning Committee in May 1969. On 24 March 1972, the Legislative Council passed the Hong Kong Polytechnic Ordinance and the institute was established. Sir Chung assumed the first chair of the Polytechnic Board of Directors (later renamed Polytechnic Council in 1978). The Polytechnic's mandate was to provide professional-oriented education to meet the need for qualified workers. The Institution launched its first five degree programmes in 1983, and introduced its first MPhil and PhD programmes in 1986 and 1989 respectively.
In 1994, the University gained approval from the University and Polytechnic Grants Committee (UGC) for self-accreditation of degree programmes, without the restrictions from the Post Secondary Colleges Ordinance. On 25 November 1994, the institute granted full university status and changing its name to The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and it adopted today's university emblem.
PolyU's main campus, in Hung Hom, Kowloon, was designed by a team led by James Kinoshita from P&T Group in 1972. It has over 20 buildings with red-brick walls, many of which are inter-connected and raised one floor above the podium, creating sheltered open-air spaces for multi-purposes such as logistics and parking. Apart from buildings named after donors, the rotundas which connects the buildings are identified in English letters (from cores and blocks A to Z, without K, O and I). It is one of the largest and densest educational campus in the world.
Block Z is the eighth phase of the campus expansion project. It is situated across the northwestern side of the main campus, separated by Chatham Road. It can be accessed through a pedestrian tunnel or a 80-meter-long footbridge, which was proposed in 2016 and built in 2019.
In addition to classrooms, laboratories and other academic facilities, the university provides a multi-purpose auditorium, recreational and catering facilities, medical facilities, as well as a bookstore and banks. The Jockey Club Auditorium began operation in 2000, its balcony and main floor seating accommodate up to 1,084 persons. It is specially designed as a multi-purpose venue for the hosting of conferences, seminars, ceremonies, corporate meetings, as well as the increasing number of cultural activities and performances, operas, chamber music, dramas, dances, film shows, variety shows, mini concerts and etc.
There are multiple sports facilities, including two swimming pools (Block X and Michael Clinton Swimming Pool), 2 indoor sports grounds (Shaw Sports Complex and Kwong On Jubilee Sports Centre), an outdoor sports ground (Keith Legg Sports Field) with basketball and soccer fields and jogging track, 2 outdoor tennis courts, and a joint-sports centre.
The Innovation Tower is located at the northwestern side of the university campus. This 15-story building provides 15,000 square metres of net floor area. It houses facilities for the School of Design, including exhibition areas, multi-functional classrooms and lecture theatres, design studios and workshops, as well as a communal lounge. The tower was designed by Zaha Hadid.
Teaching and research hotel
The Hotel Icon was officially opened in September 2011. The hotel is wholly owned by the university as a teaching and research hotel of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management.
Hung Hom Bay and West Kowloon Campus
Hung Hom Bay Campus and West Kowloon Campus are the two satellite campuses which host the College of Professional and Continuing Education. The College is formed by two subsidiaries, the Hong Kong Community College (HKCC) and School of Professional Education and Executive Development (SPEED).
Established in 2001 under the auspices of PolyU, HKCC is a self-financed post-secondary institution which offers associate degree and higher diploma programmes spanning the domains of arts, science, social sciences, business, health care and design for senior secondary school leavers. HKCC classes are conducted at the Hung Hom Bay and West Kowloon.
|Faculties and schools|
|Faculty of Engineering|
|Faculty of Construction and Environment|
|Faculty of Business|
|Faculty of Applied Science and Textiles|
|School of Design|
|Faculty of Humanities|
|Faculty of Health and Social Sciences|
|School of Hotel and Tourism Management|
|College of Professional and Continuing Education|
As of 2020, the university had 915 sub-degree students, 14,961 undergraduate students and 10,369 postgraduate students. Higher diploma, Bachelor's degrees with honours and all postgraduate programmes, in a total of over 150 are offered through 8 faculties, and schools, including Faculty of Applied Science and Textiles, Faculty of Business, Faculty of Construction and Environment, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Faculty of Humanities, School of Design and School of Hotel and Tourism Management.
PolyU Graduate School, established in September 2020, oversees the administration of research postgraduate education of the university, but the academic supervision of students is still managed by the respective faculties, schools or department.
College of Professional and Continuing Education (CPEC), founded in 2002, is a subsidiary of the university. As of 2019, the college had 13,032 students. It is formed by Hong Kong Community College (HKCC) and School of Professional Education and Executive Development (SPEED), which both of them offers self-financed degree and sub-degree in the name of the college.
As of 2020, PolyU employed 1,182 academic faculty members and 1,504 research staff, with additional staff at the CPEC. The faculty includes scholars such as Swedish Systemic functional linguistics C.M.I.M. Matthiessen, electrical and electronic engineer Philip Chan, mechanical engineer Timothy W. Tong. Some politicions in Hong Kong serve as faculty in PolyU, including current or former member of the Legislative Council Fernando Cheung, Lau Siu-lai, Helena Wong and Cheng Chung-tai.
PolyU's research focus areas include: aerospace, aviation, big data and AI, food safety, health science, infrastructure monitoring, intelligent construction, sustainability and smart city. To facilitate the implementation of cross-disciplinary research through collaborations among faculties and schools and other local and overseas institutions and partners, PolyU established a wide variety of research laboratories, institutes and centres, e.g. the Aviation Services Research Centre with Boeing.:
Pao Yue-kong Library
The PolyU Library was established on 1 August 1972. Two centres operated until 1976 at Hung Hom and Quarry Bay, merging into the present building in 1976. It was named after shipping entrepreneur and philanthropist Yue-Kong Pao in 1995.
In 2014, there were over 2.77 million of library holdings in total, with nearly 600,000 electronic resources. The six-storey library provides 3,900 study spaces and is equipped with a 24-hour study centre and audio-visual information areas. In 2017, the library has renovated its 3/F & 4/F and named it as i-space which contains services such as VR Experience Zone, Internet of Things (IoT), Laser Cutting / Engraving, 3D Scanning, Book Scanning, Large Format Printing, Vinyl Cutting and 3D Printing. There is also area for video production on 3/F such as One button studio and Digital Studio.
Rankings and reputation
|Global – Overall|
|ARWU World||201-300 (2020)|
|QS World||75 (2021)|
|THE World||129 (2021)|
|USNWR Global||170 (2021)|
|Regional – Overall|
|QS Asia||25 (2021)|
|THE Asia||24 (2020)|
|USNWR Asia||20 (2021)|
In 2020 PolyU ranked 75th in the QS World University Rankings and 129th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings internationally. In the QS "Top 50 Under 50" list of world's top young universities (2020), PolyU ranked 6th in the world, 3rd in Hong Kong. Times Higher Education's 200 Under 50 World University Rankings 2016 ranked PolyU 19th in the world.
The Faculty of Applied Science and Textiles is ranked 51st-100th in the subject of statistics and operational research, QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020.
The Faculty of Business is ranked 51st-100th in the subject of business and management studies, QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020. 51st-100th in the subject of accounting and finance, QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020. 34th in the subject of business and economics, THE World University Rankings by Subject 2020. 1st in shipping research in the world, based on 2016 to 2018 data from Thomson Reuters' ISI Web of Science. 55th in the Top 100 World Rankings of Business Schools by University of Texas at Dallas, based on research contributions to 24 leading business journals from 2012 to 2016.
The Faculty of Construction and Environment is ranked 19th in the subject of civil and structural engineering by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020. 22nd in the subject of civil and architecture/built environment by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020.
The Faculty of Engineering is ranked 51st-100th in the subject of engineering – electrical and electronic by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020. 51st-100th in the subject of computer science and information systems, QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020. 96th in the subject of engineering and technology, THE World University Rankings by Subject 2020. 98th in the subject of computer science, THE World University Rankings by Subject 2020.
The Faculty of Health and Social Sciences is ranked 31st in the subject of nursing by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020. 96th in the subject of social sciences, THE World University Rankings by Subject 2020.
The Faculty of Humanities is ranked 45th in the subject of linguistics by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020. 101st-125th in the subject of humanities, THE World University Rankings by Subject 2020.
The School of Design is ranked 15th in the subject of art and design by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020. It is also among top 3 design schools in Greater China, according to Business Week (Oct 2009 issue) and top 25 design schools in the world and is the only selected design school in Asia, according to Business Insider magazine (Dec 2012 issue).
The School of Hotel and Tourism Management is ranked 1st in the subject of hospitality and tourism management by the ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2020, 1st in the category of commerce, management, tourism and services, University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP) 2019/20, 7th in the subject of Hospitality & Leisure Management, QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020. and 2nd in research and scholarly activities among institutions specializing in hospitality and tourism, according to the World Ranking of Top 100 Hospitality and Tourism Programs by Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research (Nov 2009 issue).
There are two student halls of residence buildings provided by the university, in Hung Hom Bay and Ho Man Tin. The residential halls include:
- Hung Hom Bay – Research Postgraduate: Boyan Hall (19,20/F). Undergraduates: Kaiyuan Hall (17,18/F), Wuhua Hall (15,16/F), Chengde Hall (13,14/F), Wuxian Hall (11,12/F), Lizhi Hall (9,10/F), Lisheng Hall (5,6/F), Minyin Hall (3,4/F). Female residents: Xuemin Hall (7,8/F).
- Ho Man Tin – Co-ed halls for both all students: 3-7/F (Purple), 5-9/F (Blue), 10-14/F (Green), 12-16/F (Yellow), 17-21/F (Orange), 19-23/F (Red), 24-25/F is warden's floor.
The university also provides three off-campus housing sites, located in Sham Shui Po, Mong Kok, and Tsim She Tsui. It offers around 250 residential places at urban areas, as an accommodation option for non-local students.
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Students’ Union (HKPUSU) is a student-run organization that is autonomous from the University administration for promoting the interests and welfare of full-time undergraduates (excluding postgraduate and College of Professional and Continuing Education students).
- Table Tennis
Democracy wall controversy
The university's faculty-led Student Discipline Committee, with the support of the university council chairman Lam Tai-fai, expelled one student and suspended another for one year in response to an October 2018 incident arising from a dispute over postings by students on the "Democracy Wall" bulletin board then managed by the students' union. The students had posted messages in commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the "Umbrella Movement" democracy occupation protests of 2014 and calling for Hong Kong independence from the CCP-ruled People's Republic of China. Another two students were ordered to serve terms of community service. The students had been ordered by management to take them down.
The evidence called at the disciplinary committee hearing, at which the students were denied legal representation, included video footage in which the students were observed shouting and knocking on doors. It was alleged that they had made defamatory comments, assaulted a staff member and damaged property, all of which accusations were denied by the students. The university described their behaviour as "unruly". Among them were a former student union leader, an elected member of the school's governing council and a former external vice-president of the student union. No avenue for appeal from a decision of the committee is available.
Numerous pro-democracy groups, including more than a dozen legislators and 19 student organisations, protested the decision of the committee. The 90,000-strong Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union described the punishments as excessive.
2019 campus siege
In November 2019, the university was occupied by protesters as part of the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests; confrontation with the Hong Kong Police Force occurred from 17 November to 19 November. On 16 November, police attempted to enter the campus, but failed as protestors barricaded the entrance and used petrol bombs to attack them. The police then blocked all exits of the university campus and requested all protesters inside to surrender. On 18 November, the police attempted to enter the campus again using tear gas, rubber bullets, bean bags, and sponge grenades. Protestors responded by throwing petrol bombs at police. The university has been described as being a battleground during the conflict. The university was later sealed off by police, only several protesters managed to escape. This resulted in a 3-days long standoff. More than 280 protesters were injured while more than 1,000 persons were arrested.
- The university itself only spells its short form as "PolyU"; other spellings such as HKPU is incorrect.
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...In the past week, Polytechnic University has turned into a "battleground" as the long-running Hong Kong protests become more violent...'
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