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The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is a public research university in Shatin, Hong Kong formally established in 1963 by a charter granted by the Legislative Council of Hong Kong as a comprehensive research university with a global vision and a mission to combine tradition with modernity, and to bring together China and the West.
It is the territory's second oldest university and was founded as a federation of three existing colleges – Chung Chi College, New Asia College, and United College – the oldest of which were founded in 1949.
CUHK is organized into nine constituent colleges and eight academic faculties including Arts, Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Science, and Social Science. It remains the only collegiate university in the territory. CUHK offers more than 150 major and minor programs in the framework of a basically four-year undergraduate curriculum. Some 210 postgraduate programs leading to master’s and PhDs are offered through the Graduate School.
The university operates in both English and Chinese, although classes in most colleges are taught in English. Four Nobel laureates are associated with the university, and it is the only tertiary institution in Hong Kong with recipients of the Nobel Prize, Turing Award, Fields Medal, and Veblen Prize sitting as faculty in residence.
CUHK’s students are hailed locally from Hong Kong and non-locally from China and over 50 countries abroad. The international mix of the student body is further enhanced by the presence of exchange students from CUHK’s partner institutions around the world, making the campus a culturally diverse environment.
CUHK has been consistently regarded as a member of the top three higher learning institutions in the territory by various university rankings. In particular, it has continuously been the top Hong Kong institution in the ARWU, which is based on awards and research output, including those league tables in 2006, 2010, 2011, and 2013.
HKU Public Opinion Programme survey (2012) gave it the 2nd place. Besides overall rankings, a list of subject rankings of Hong Kong tertiary institutions is available to show the strength of its individual disciplines ranked by the above organizations. The university came 118th in the world by US News & Report. China's Alumni Association placed it among the "6-Star Greater China's Universities" (the highest level) and it was ranked fourth in the Association's 2014 Ranking of Institutions with the Most Best Disciplines in HK, Macau and Taiwan. CUHK received eight Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Awards (Science and Technology) from the Ministry of Education (MoE) in 2014, including two first-class awards and five second-class awards in Natural Sciences, making it the institution receiving the highest number of awards in the local tertiary sector. CUHK was ranked as world's #49 in 2019 in QS ranking.
CUHK business school was ranked 17th in the Financial Times EMBA rankings, and its MBA program was placed 27th worldwide in the Global MBA Rankings (2013) and 94th in the Economist's 2012 ranking.
Despite a short history of 36 years as of 2017, CUHK's medical school was ranked as world's #49 in 2014 and #47 in 2016 in QS ranking. It has built abundant specialty research centers and hailed constant research innovations by its faculty. The medical school curriculum also places a heavy emphasis on bioethics and humanity in medicine and has built this course track in collaboration with Columbia University. CUHK is expecting its first and only private hospital to finish construction in 2021. The hospital's philanthropic mission is to provide affordable and quality health care to serve local Hong Kong citizens and it will help admit and treat public hospital patients to ease the burden of overflow beginning in its 5th year of operation.
The University Library System (ULS) comprises seven different libraries and several special collections. The largest library in the University Library at the Central Campus, which recently underwent a significant renovation and building expansion. The other six libraries are the Elisabeth Luce Moore Library, Ch’ien Mu Library, Wu Chung Library, Architecture Library, Li Ping Medical Library, and Lee Quo Wei Law Library.
Among the collections housed by ULS includes the Hong Kong Studies Archive, Hong Kong Literature Collection, Chinese Overseas Collection, Nobel Laureate GAO, Xingjian Collection, Nobel Laureate CY Yang Archive, American Studies Resource Collection, and Modern Chinese Drama Collection.
CUHK also houses the Chinese University of Hong Kong Art Museum, which houses "a wide range of artifacts illuminating the rich arts, humanities and cultural heritage of ancient and pre-modern China."
A new 800 square meters (8,600 sq ft) Museum of Climate Change, the first such museum in Hong Kong, opened in December 2013 in the Yasumoto International Academic Park building. Funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, the 100 exhibits on display illustrate the effects of climate change. The museum is open to the public free of charge. Also in 2013, the University Gallery opened in the central library to showcase the history of the school in light of its Golden Jubilee anniversary.
The quality of teaching and learning at CUHK receives high commendations in the quality audits carried out by the UGC in 2008 and 2015.
CUHK is the only university in Hong Kong that offers a collegiate system. The nine Colleges of CUHK offer a plethora of non-formal learning opportunities to complement the formal curricula, nurturing students’ interpersonal skills and cultural sensitivity, and building up their confidence and sense of social responsibility.
Given its geographical location, traditions, and ties, CUHK enjoys special advantages in the study of Chinese language, culture, economics, among others.
CUHK currently adopts a strategic plan in five fields of academic inquiry: Biomedical Sciences, Chinese Studies, Economics & Finance, Geoinformation & Earth Sciences, and Information Sciences. Different specialties in engineering (electronic, information, automation, among others.) command world-leading positions. Its Business School, Law School, and Medical School are reputable training grounds for professionals in their respective fields as well as centers of seminal research.
Despite the stipulation of using the Chinese language as the principal medium in the university's ordinance, CUHK has emphasized the importance of both English and Chinese. However, most classes still adopt English as the main language of instruction.
CUHK students receive the benefits of a generalist education and gain specialist knowledge and skills in their chosen major fields. The success of its general education program did not go unnoticed. It received the Exemplary Program Award for Improving General Education from the Association for General and Liberal Studies (AGLS) in 2015, as well as the Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee (UGC) Teaching Award in 2016.
A good number of CUHK graduates pursuing further studies are accepted by prestigious overseas institutions of their choice. The graduating class finds themselves much welcome by local employers and multinational companies and 80% of them are able to secure employment within the first year of their graduation. CUHK graduates are consistently highly rated in government and private employer surveys.
A network of over 220,000 CUHK alumni reaches into all professions and sectors—financial, IT, entrepreneurial, education, civil service, to name but a few. The alumni are an unfailing resource for current students, providing mentorship opportunities, career guidance, and even an early career launch.
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