HKUST: HKUST2.0 to Drive Complementary and Collaborative Development of Its Hong Kong and Guangzhou Campuses

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) will collaborate with the soon-to-open HKUST(GZ) under a “Unified HKUST, Complementary Campuses” framework. Students of HKUST and HKUST(GZ) can take courses offered by both campuses, with credits mutually recognized and automatically transferable. Under such system, HKUST undergraduate students admitted to the HKUST(GZ)’s Red Bird MPhil Program can obtain both the bachelor and master degrees in five years, instead of six.

The Guangzhou municipal government hosted a press conference today on the opening preparation of HKUST(GZ). Deputy Secretary General of Guangzhou Mr. MA Shu, Director of Guangzhou Education Bureau Ms. CHEN Shuang, HKUST(GZ) President Prof. Lionel NI, HKUST President Prof. Wei SHYY, HKUST President-designate Prof. Nancy IP, Guangzhou University (GZU) President Prof. WEI Minghai and Deputy District Mayor of the Nansha district government Mr. OUYANG Jianhua talked about the latest progress of the new Guangzhou campus.

HKUST(GZ) President Prof. Lionel Ni said, “HKUST(GZ) is the first legally-independent university co-established by the Mainland and Hong Kong since the State Council issued the ‘Overall Plan for Deepening Globally Oriented Comprehensive Co-operation amongst Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao in Nansha of Guangzhou’, and it is the first such university co-established between the Mainland and Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan regions since the ‘Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area’ was announced back in February, 2019. Having born at this critical period of time, we feel the grave responsibility bestowed on us. HKUST(GZ) will fulfill the fundamental duties of an educator to uphold high morality and to contribute to the development of Nansha, the Greater Bay Area, the country, and the world.”

HKUST Council Chairman Mr. Andrew LIAO Cheung-Sing said, “Constructing a high-quality education system is one of the initiatives mentioned in the country’s 14th five-year plan, with HKUST and HKUST(GZ) building a ‘HKUST 2.0’ together, we will nurture innovative talents for the Greater Bay Area and beyond. I am delighted to see the two campuses driving collaboration at full speed. On behalf of HKUST, I would like to extend my gratitude to the Governments of Guangzhou and Nansha district, our partner institution GZU, as well as our local and global collaborators. Let us all look forward to the official opening of HKUST(GZ) in September.”

HKUST President Prof. Wei SHYY said, “In just 30 years, HKUST has risen to become one of the top universities in the world because of innovative thinking and our motivation to continually improve. Now, we will plant our concept of an innovative cross-disciplinary pedagogy into the soil of HKUST(GZ). While the two campuses are separate legal entities, and financially independent, we will maintain consistency in the academic standard, as well as faculty and program quality, while creating synergy by sharing resources and complementing each other’s strengths so that our students can seize the opportunities arising from this innovation and technology era.”

HKUST President-designate and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Prof. Nancy IP Yuk-Yu said she is full of confidence and expectations with “HKUST 2.0”. “Once our new campus in Guangzhou opens in September, we will have expanded capabilities and resources, and wider expertise, all of which will be available to our members on both campuses. The faculty, staff, and students of the two campuses will work together to create a new chapter of HKUST, and make greater contribution to our country and the Greater Bay Area (GBA) in terms of education, scientific research and knowledge transfer.”

As the countdown has begun for the HKUST(GZ) Opening, HKUST and HKUST(GZ) are pushing forward a complementary and synergetic system in order to create the best synergy. For instance, students of HKUST and HKUST(GZ) can enroll in courses and degrees offered by both campuses – upon fulfilment of the requirements set out by both Senates, no separate application will be required for course credit transferal. Apart from attending the courses online, in the future students may also attend mixed-reality classes, as well as co-create and connect with their peers at the other campus, in meta-classrooms now under planning in both campuses. Eventually, students of HKUST and HKUST(GZ) will also have the chance to participate in physical campus exchange and other activities, such as entrepreneurship or internship programs, in the Greater Bay Area. Specific arrangements such as number of exchange places and accommodation will be further determined.

These plans and mechanism aim to create a mutually-beneficial and natural exchange platform to enhance competitiveness for students of the two campuses. As course credits are readily transferable, undergraduate students at HKUST could join HKUST(GZ)’s Red Bird MPhil Program at their fourth year and can complete and obtain relevant degrees for both their undergraduate study at HKUST and postgraduate study at HKUST(GZ) in five years under a “2+1+2” framework. The Red Bird MPhil Program, an M Phil program that nurtures future leaders, has drawn great attention upon its launch this year, with 250 students being admitted as its first cohort.

Embracing the motto “first-class people bring first class people”, HKUST has attracted a great number of talents from top universities around the globe since its founding in 1991. Many professors who joined HKUST in its founding days are now engaged in passing on the torch, and bring HKUST’s internationally-recognized academic standard and assessment system into HKUST(GZ). Upon its opening, HKUST(GZ) will be home to 150 founding faculty members, who can join through a joint academic appointment system offered by both HKUST and HKUST(GZ).

Furthermore, all Central Research Facilities at the campuses – including the Intelligent Autonomous Driving Center and Brain and Intelligence Research Institute now under planning, or the Cryo-EM Facility at HKUST, which brings revolutionary breakthroughs for structural biology, will be available for research teams from both HKUST and HKUST(GZ). This will not only maximize utilization of R&D resources, but will also create a collaborative environment for both campuses. Meanwhile, the “Dual Tutor Scheme” for postgraduate students at HKUST(GZ) will also apply to PG students at HKUST. Students of the scheme will be guided by two faculty members, each of different expert areas and from either HKUST and HKUST(GZ).

HKUST(GZ) will offer 15 postgraduate degrees in areas including advanced materials, intelligent transportation, and microelectronics starting September 1 this year, while admission of undergraduate students will begin next year (2023). The first three undergraduate programs to be offered by the HKUST(GZ) are artificial intelligence, data science and big data technology, as well as smart manufacturing. Admission applications from domestic and foreign students are welcomed.

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