Hong Kong University: What it's really like
Find out more about HKU
Want to study at an Asian university in an exciting city centre? HKU could be for you!
The University of Hong Kong at a glance:
|Undergraduate course length||Four years for most degrees|
|Courses||The university has ten faculties, spanning subjects from architecture to business, and dentistry to law.|
|Great for||Students who want to have a lot of flexibility over their major, minor, and subject choices.|
|Not for||Students who prefer to have more structure put in place for them when it comes to their degree pathway.|
Gerald, who is currently a student at HKU, tells us what it’s like to study there.
What is the University of Hong Kong (HKU)?
HKU is the oldest tertiary education institution in Hong Kong, and it’s located close to the heart of the city. It has 34,000 students studying a wide range of disciplines. The teaching style depends on the course, but classes are usually taught in a large lecture theatre before breaking out into smaller tutorial groups for a more personalised teaching approach.
Why apply to HKU?
The main reason I applied to HKU was that I think Asia as a location has an excellent long-term future in terms of career opportunities. So I think that due to the university and Hong Kong’s prominence, and connections to mainline China, it basically puts Asia – and by extension, the world! – at your fingertips when it comes to getting a career after graduating.
If you’re an international student, living in Hong Kong itself is a great reason to apply. It’s such an exciting city, with so much going on and so many opportunities for you to step outside your comfort zone. I feel like I’ve grown so much living and studying here. Plus, it’s one of the safest cities in the world.
Who isn’t the right fit for HKU?
It’s tough to say who isn’t the right fit, since HKU is so accommodating to its students. But because HKU offers a lot of flexibility in terms of its major, minor, and class choices, students need to have independence and decision-making skills to be able to adapt here. So it may not be suited to someone who would prefer to have a rigid structure put in place for them.
Any application tips?
As HKU is a high ranking institution, one of the most important things for potential students to know in advance is to aim high in your grades at school or college. Otherwise, preparing your Personal Statement and any details of your extracurricular activities well in advance will be helpful. There are lots of useful tips on HKU’s YouTube channel on applying successfully.
Keep in the loop on HKU’s expectations and deadlines as well. Things do change, so make sure you have the right information and can adapt your application appropriately.
What’s the location like?
The main campus of HKU is in the centre of Hong Kong, so it’s a city-based university. It’s very easy to get to from public transport, and from the university you can probably reach most of the biggest parts of Hong Kong within 30 minutes. The public transport system is really efficient and cheap here.
Since the university is so central, there are cafes, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and museums all on your doorstep. And, because it’s on Hong Kong Island, which is on a mountain, you can even take a hiking trail next to the university if you want to escape to a more rural setting.
What facilities does HKU have to offer?
Each faculty at HKU has its own building dedicated to its subjects: so for sciences for example, there’ll be labs; for social sciences, facilities like theatres; and for engineering, facilities include a VR lab for experimenting with games and metaverse research. There are also the classrooms and lecture theatres you would expect at most universities.
Elsewhere you’ll find study spaces across campus, like libraries and green spaces. On the social side, there’s a free gym as well as sports facilities both on campus and locally. There’s a range of restaurants and other eateries across the campus as well.
What is the accommodation like?
The housing at HKU is probably one of the most unique aspects of HKU, and one of my favourite things about the university. Fun fact: one of the halls of residence was originally a castle!
Some halls are directly on campus, but the majority are spread around locally. The halls themselves are split into two main types: the residential colleges and the university halls. Each hall has its own traditions and cultural celebrations, giving you a sense of belonging wherever you live.
Hong Kong is notorious for its high rent prices, but the halls here are very affordable compared to living elsewhere in the city.
How does HKU meet the needs of students with different accessibility requirements?
HKU has a very accessible campus, making it well suited for students with physical disabilities. For those in need of mental health support, the university has a free counselling service and lots of supportive resources.
When it comes to financial support, not only is the housing subsidised to make it affordable, but HKU offers lots of scholarships and are very transparent about their requirements for those.
Want to explore more Asian universities? Remember, Unifrog’s Shortlisting tool can help you put together a list of great potential courses.
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