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The roots of The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong (HSUHK) stretch back to 1980 when Hang Seng School of Commerce (HSSC) was established, with funding from the S H Ho Foundation, the Ho Tim Charitable Foundation, Dah Chong Hong Limited, several Hang Seng Bank founding directors and Hang Seng Bank Limited. The institution was incorporated as a limited company by guarantee and has been operating independently of any other organisation. From 1980 to 2009, HSSC was a pioneering and leading provider of post-secondary programmes in business and related areas.
In response to the Chief Executive’s Policy Address in 2009 which highlighted the growing significance of quality private universities in Hong Kong, HSSC was re-structured in 2010 and became Hang Seng Management College (HSMC), a non-profit private university-level institution registered under the Post Secondary Colleges Ordinance (Cap. 320) to offer bachelor’s and above degree programmes in diversified disciplines.
After a rigorous international accreditation process, on 30 October 2018, HSMC was granted approval by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to change its title from “Hang Seng Management College” to “The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong”.
HSUHK aspires to be a leading non-profit private liberal-arts-oriented university in the region, recognised for excellence in teaching, learning and research, and for contributions to advancing our society and the world. HSUHK has five Schools (Business, Communication, Decision Sciences, Humanities and Social Science, and Translation and Foreign Languages), with around 6,000 full-time students and over 200 full-time academic staff members at present.
HSUHK offers a wide range of 4-year bachelor’s (honours) degree programmes and master’s degree programmes. Many of these programmes are unique and the first of its kind in the region. All programmes were accredited by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ) and recognised by the Governments of the HKSAR, Mainland China and Taiwan.
The “Liberal + Professional” Education Model
Adopting the unique ‘Liberal + Professional’ education model which incorporates the iGPS ‘desired graduate attributes’ framework, wherein ‘i’ stands for ‘Intellectual Competence’, ‘G’ stands for ‘Generic Skills’, ‘P’ stands for ‘Personal Development’ and ‘S’ stands for ‘Society Engagement’, HSUHK puts quality teaching and students’ all-round development as its highest priorities. HSUHK believes in the transformative power of this educational model, and its effectiveness in facilitating students’ realisation of their full potential.
‘Liberal’ means a broad-based and cross-disciplinary approach to connect knowledge domains, facilitate thinking, and solve problems. The University believes that the purpose of undergraduate education is not solely to help students acquire more knowledge and better job prospects after graduation, but also to cultivate their personal values, interests and transferrable core competencies, thus preparing them to become well-rounded responsible individuals who can meet future work and life challenges with confidence.
‘Professional’ means that although HSUHK’s educational approach is broad-based and cross-disciplinary, in view of the fact that most university graduates in Hong Kong tend to seek full-time jobs right after obtaining their first degree, many of HSUHK’s degree programmes also incorporate professional subject elements, with the aim of equipping students with the knowledge and skills required to enter into particular professions in the future.
As a self-financing institution, the University finds strength in its autonomy, flexibility and responsiveness to meet community and market needs by developing new innovative programmes, many of which are the first of its kind in Hong Kong.
In programme design, there is a good balance of major studies, common core curriculum and free electives; whereas ample development opportunities/activities form an integral part of students’ holistic educational experience. These opportunities/activities include valuable residential, internship, service-learning, leadership, global exchange and independent research experiences, etc. Students actively engage themselves in different learning opportunities so that they would know themselves better, broaden their global horizons, engage in continuous learning, boost their self-confidence, and realise their potential. The aim is to nurture young talents with critical thinking, innovative minds, caring attitudes, moral values and social responsibility.
HSUHK adopts many core liberal arts education elements in its education process. Some distinctive features include:
- A primary focus on undergraduate education;
- Platinum award-winning campus facilities with extensive bamboo features;
- Innovative degree programmes;
- A cross-disciplinary Common Core Curriculum;
- A Residential College System combining living with learning;
- Interactive small-class teaching;
- Close student-teacher relationships;
- Teachers’ guidance and mentorship for individual students in and outside classrooms;
- Extensive outreaching and experiential learning opportunities including service-learning, internships, international exchanges and independent research;
- Scholarships and bursaries amounting to around HK$20 million per year; and
- A full-time employment rate of close to 80% within four months of graduation.
Desired Graduate Attributes (iGPS)
The University aims to nurture students possessing the following ‘desired graduate attributes: iGPS’:
- Intellectual Competence (i): a solid foundation in relevant academic disciplines, and the ability to think critically, to solve problems analytically and proactively, and to engage in lifelong learning.
- Generic Skills (G): mastery of skills in:
- languages in both English and Chinese (Cantonese and Putonghua);
- the use of information technology and data analysis tools;
- interpersonal communication;
- teamwork and leadership.
- Personal Development (P): development of self-awareness, ethical values, emotion management, personal effectiveness, work attitude and character.
- Social Engagement (S): willingness to serve the community and a commitment to acting for the betterment of society.
The acronym iGPS also carries the symbolic meaning of ‘I’ and the ‘GPS’; with ‘I’ referring to the individual student and ‘GPS’ taking on the metaphor of ‘Global Positioning System’, which can guide the development of the student through the diverse educational experience at HSUHK.
Recognitions and Awards
With the concerted efforts of the University community, HSUHK has achieved a number of important accomplishments.
HSUHK obtained the ISO 9001 Certification in Quality Management System (QMS) on its degree programmes, as well as a full score of 5.0 in the CSR Index assessment on the University, both issued by the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency.
HSUHK was the first higher education institution in Hong Kong to receive the highest BEAM Plus Platinum recognition from the Hong Kong Green Building Council, with all of its four new buildings having received such recognition, which affirmed the University’s commitment to environmental protection and campus sustainability. With its extensive bamboo planting and use of bamboo building materials and furniture, the University is known as ‘Junzi University’, reflecting its aspiration to realise the virtues that bamboo personifies: integrity, humility, grace and resilience.
The HSUHK campus is among the 55 buildings in Hong Kong to receive the ‘GBA Low Carbon Buildings TOP 100 Award’ in 2022, showing the University’s effort in promoting low-carbon development in the region.
From 2014 to 2022, HSUHK has secured HK$310.78 million for implementing 230 projects from different external funding schemes or bodies. In the nine-year cumulative period since 2014/15, HSUHK received the highest funding amount and recorded the highest number of awarded research projects under the Research Grants Council’s ‘Competitive Research Funding Schemes for the Local Self-financing Degree Sector’.
HSMC/HSUHK is also the first and the only local higher education institution having received the “Outstanding School Social Responsibility Award” (university category) 2018 and 2019 from the Mirror Post, and the “Asia Excellence Brand Award 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021” from Yazhou Zhoukan.
HSUHK was listed among the top 200 universities globally for ‘Quality Education’ and ‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’ in the 2021 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, which reflected that the University was recognised as a pioneer in responsible management and sustainability education in the region.
HSUHK is listed the 7th (overall) in the ASEAN+ region, the 1st in the Greater China region, and the 1st in Employability as per the 2023 AppliedHE ASEAN+ private university assessment by the Singapore-based AppliedHE.
Additionally, HSUHK is also listed 18th in the ‘Best Business and Management Universities in China 2023’ assessment, as announced by Research.com, a leading academic research portal.
About HSUHK (for media use)
The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong (HSUHK) is a non-profit private liberal-arts-oriented university with five Schools (Business, Communication, Decision Sciences, Humanities and Social Science, and Translation and Foreign Languages) and over 6,000 full-time students. Adopting the unique “Liberal + Professional” education model, HSUHK aims to nurture young talents with critical thinking, innovative minds, caring attitudes, moral values and social responsibility.
Aspiring to be a leading private university in the region, HSUHK features a primary focus on undergraduate education, top-quality faculty members, award-winning green campus facilities, innovative degree programmes, unique residential college system combining living and learning, interactive small class teaching, very close student-teacher relationship, RGC-funded impactful research, and excellent student development/support services. HSUHK is listed the 7th (overall) in the ASEAN+ region, the 1st in the Greater China region, and the 1st in Employability as per the 2023 AppliedHE ASEAN+ private university assessment by the Singapore-based AppliedHE. It is also listed among the top 200 worldwide on “Quality Education” and “Decent Work and Economic Growth” in Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings 2021.