Established in 1991, HKUST is now a globally respected university and contributes both locally and internationally to talent development, new knowledge and societal interests. Being international is an intrinsic element of the HKUST spirit. The University was founded on the principle that education, original scholarship, and the development of society are integrally linked and best pursued together. We believe that humanity’s advancement is generated through the fostering of an international community and the nurturing of individuals through holistic education, original research, and knowledge transfer into the wider society. 

Continuing Commitments: We are in a time of great challenges, in Hong Kong as well as around the globe. A campus supporting openness, diversity and mutual respect is our highest priority. We must join hands in upholding our core principles and values, by exercising individual and institutional integrity, promoting our international standard, and improving our gender distributions as well as enhancing cultural diversity. Facing all these issues and needs, there is an additional demand on resources, both human and financial. Given the current and future challenges, some members have been encountering elevated financial and mental stresses. The University will continue to place a high priority to provide financial relief for those in need as well as to support mental-wellness via peer sharing and professional counseling. We will also continue the substantial partnership established with our external supporters in these areas.

Embracing New Era: Impacted by the pandemic, we have adapted and sought to optimize teaching arrangements, based on the valuable input from our faculty, students and staff through technological backing and multiple innovative arrangements. Such efforts will continue as we not only are under unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning but also should continue to innovate and improve with the hard-learned lessons in recent past. On the research front, in addition to substantial government support, we now see that a growing number of private enterprises are seeking close collaboration with HKUST in different areas, motivated by mutual interest in advancing frontiers of science and technology. Such partnership will help propel Hong Kong and the region to innovate and to transform its societal and economic landscape.

Signature Themes of the Future: Sustainable conduct, both locally and globally, is a paramount topic of forever impact. At HKUST, in addition to commitments of cutting down energy, water and waste, there is a self-expectation that we should make strong contributions to address the issues based on science and technology, as well as policy, human behavior and psychology. The Sustainable Smart Campus “as a Living Lab” initiative, with substantial commitments of the University’s resources has been gaining momentum, and will be encouraged to further scale up for comprehensive experimentation. Members of HKUST have created impressive marks in intelligent industrialization including robotics, big data, renewable energy and new materials. There are highly recognized enterprises related to personal drones, autonomous water vehicles and cars, FinTech, electronics and biomedical technologies which were founded by our alumni and faculty. Riding on these achievements, we will also develop energetic frameworks to support these endeavors with a goal of advancing and supporting human capital from birth to the end. Under these three themes, our Strategic Plan is aimed at addressing the future of living, the future of work, and the future of people.

Resetting Our Academic Framework: HKUST is well-positioned and will continue to enthusiastically support members to pursue curiosity-driven investigations in any disciplines within our established academic scope. Such activities may be fundamental with no immediate prospect for practical adoption. In parallel, the University is motivated to facilitate mission-encouraged research and learning in response to numerous challenges and opportunities of great societal implications. We recognize that the success of such pursuits requires expertise across disciplines along with necessary institution-wide structures and resources. It is impressive that with the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the world, members of HKUST have stepped up and made numerous highly recognized contributions to help address the needs. Such societal missions can provide long lasting satisfaction and substantial encouragement to our research and teaching scope. A primary focus of this Strategic Plan is the conceptualization and implementation of the dual support of both curiosity-driven and mission-encouraged pursuits, in systematic manners, through reimagined academic programs and structures. Clearly, increased resources and new physical infrastructure are necessary to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration and to promote world leading ambition to our entire HKUST community. A system-wide framework is needed to address new frontiers and world-wide challenges beyond merely adjusting the existing framework.

Unified HKUST - Complementary Campuses: The establishment of HKUST(Guangzhou) creates an exceptional opportunity for new resources, organizational structure and physical settings needed for the systematic development of cross-disciplinary programs in concert with the disciplinary-oriented efforts on our Clear Water Bay campus. We envision a unified university system that capitalizes on the aforementioned duality while promoting two complementary campuses without duplicating academic programs, which are of separate legal entities of independent finances with no cross-subsidization. 

Under the Unified HKUST-Complementary Campuses umbrella, academic structures and degree programs are differentiated, the overall infrastructures substantially enlarged and updated, and courses and central research facilities open to students and researchers both ways. Even though the two campuses are of separate legal entities and financial frameworks, faculty are encouraged and supported to collaborate and co-supervise students, and students will have opportunities to pursue degrees offered by both campuses. This way, members of both campuses will freely choose their research topics and related studies with University’s overall enlarged scope, with more flexibility and better support. Accordingly, HKUST will continue to advance its role as a globally leading institution, and our faculty and students will find an encouraging atmosphere for their passions and interests to better develop their potential. 

Upholding Core Principles: Ever since our founding days, HKUST’s position in teaching, learning, research and academic pursuits has remained the same. These fundamentals are repeatedly validated by our regular conduct as well as through internationally-benchmarked objective measures. We remain steadfast in our support for academic freedom, (see examples below) and scholarly endeavors:

We are determined to contribute our utmost efforts to the future of Hong Kong and beyond.

Strategic Objectives: With the above reasoning, the University deems it critical to reflect, assess and reinvent our approaches in achieving our objectives while responding to the new circumstances. As such, HKUST will move forward as and by: 

  • A University of talents 
  • An international leader in education and research
  • Incorporating innovation and entrepreneurship in our spirit
  • An exemplar of best-in-class standards, practices, and operations
  • A champion of diversity

In the new University Strategic Plan, our underlying aspirations not only set out to sustain and advance HKUST as a trendsetter in both education and research landscapes for the long term, but also address the evolving needs and challenges facing society.