Hong Kong Polytechnic University


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Age: 74

History: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University was founded in 1937 as the Government Trade School - the first publicly funded, post-secondary techical institution on the island. It later became Hong Kiong Technical College, before finally being established as a polytechnic in 1972. With approval for self-accreditation of degree programmes, it finally assumed full university status at the end of 1994.

Address: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Ambience: Due to its location right in the middle of the city centre, and the fact that the campus offers a wide range of services and amenities for students and staff, PolyU, as they call it, is always busy. For the culturally-minded, there's a Culture Promotion Committee which dedicates itself to promoting culture and arts - it organizes over a hundred programmes and performances each year including dance, theatre, visual arts, flim and video, orchestral music, literary arts and many more. There is also an International Student Association which is a body run by international students on campus to organize activities for themselves.

Vital statistics: PolyU has the largest student community among publicly funded universities in Hong Kong, with over 28,000 students. Additionally, more than 1,000 international students are present from over 40 countries each year, including 550 exchange students from over 200 universities in 25 countries.

Added value: PolyU offers more than 170 academic programmes at undergraudate and postgraduate level, some of which are unique in Hong Kong: Design, Engineering Physics, Environment and Sustainable Development, Fashion and Textiles, Geomatics, International Shipping and Transport Logistics, Medical Laboratory Science, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Physiotherapy, Radiography and Veterinary Nursing.

Its graduates are regarded by recruiters as the “most preferred”, with the highest practical value among local university graduates. It is also the only university in Hong Kong which implements a mandatory work-integrated education component as part of the curriculum requirement and a “Preferred Graduate” Development Programme to facilitate work-based learning.

Easy to get into? Undergraduates will need good A-level equivalents, while postgraduates will require a decent Bachelor's degree from a recognised institution. A reasonable standard of English is also a must.

Are there scholarship opportunities? Two types of scholarships on offer - academic and non-academic. Academic scholarships are awarded to students for their outstanding academic merit and overall performances. Non-academic scholarships are for those with outstanding achievements in other areas such as winning awards in international competitions. Recipients of both types of scholarship awards will receive up to HKD140,000 per annum to help cover tuition fees and living expenses.

Glittering alumni: Vivienne Tam, fashion designer; Raman Hui, Oscar-winner and supervising Animator for "Shrek".

Transport links: China and the rest of Asia are easy to reach because Hong Kong is so centrally located. The PolyU campus is also located right in the heart of Hong Kong; key districts and major attractions are all within a few minutes’ walk or by public transport.

Who's the boss? Professor Timothy W. Tong, PhD.

Overall ranking: Ranked 166th= in the 2010 QS World Universities Ranking.

Nightlife: Hong Kong's night life is world-renowned, catering to all tastes, from bars to neighbourhood pubs and funky nightclubs to sophisticated wine bars. Drinks are surprisingly cheap, too.

Cost: Tuition for a full-time Bachelor's is HKD100,000 per academic year, payable with two equal instalments before the start of each semester.

Any accommodation? They lay on guaranteed accommodation for international undergraduate students at their halls of residence, costing HKD40 (around £3) per room per night. Alternatively, they offer managed residences or you are welcome to look for your own accommodation.

Cheap to live there? It is true that Hong Kong is a fairly expensive city, but not much more so than any other major international cities like London or Tokyo.

Prospectus: www.polyu.edu.hk/study; polyu.international@polyu.edu.hk