An engineering student testing out a robot.

IN view of globalisation, students pursuing higher education would be wise to look at institutions that could provide a global outlook yet have a good grasp of local knowledge and expertise.

This is what University of Hong Kong (HKU) has to offer.

Founded in 1911, the territory’s oldest university has over 9,000 international students from over 100 nationalities. HKU has been regarded as the best international university in Asia (the “Oxbridge of East Asia”, according to the Times Higher Education), and is ranked the 26th best university in the world (QS World University Rankings 2017).

“With a strong international outlook and a tradition of English language instruction, HKU attracts the best academic staff and the brightest students from the territory and around the world. The university is committed to nurturing talent and leaders, and to cultivating internationalism on campus.

“The university strongly supports international academic collaboration, and staff and student exchanges, with over 400 higher education institutions,” said HKU Centre for Medical Ethics and Law co-director Dr Philip S. L. Beh at the varsity’s open house in Kuala Lumpur recently.


University of Hong Kong (HKU), Centre for Medical Ethics and Law co-director Dr Philip S. L. Beh.

The event was held to introduce the university’s programmes. Beh, with academics of HKU’s Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Business and Economics, spoke to nearly 200 attendees about the specialties of HKU, course frameworks and admission information. The event also invited Malaysian students studying at HKU to share their experience.

Beh said HKU was pleased to announce a deeper academic collaboration with the University of Cambridge to nurture global engineering professionals.

Under the HKU-Cambridge Undergraduate Recruitment Scheme (Engineering and Computer Science), students can graduate with three degrees: one Bachelor degree each from HKU and Cambridge, and a Master of Engineering from Cambridge after five years of study.

This collaboration is an extension of the “HKU — University of Cambridge Joint Recruitment Scheme for Engineering”, a pilot scheme introduced in 2011.

“With the expansion of multinational engineering firms, there is an increasing demand for engineers with integrated engineering knowledge. It is certainly very exciting for students wishing to study in two of the world’s elite universities. The scheme aims to nurture future engineering professionals to have a global mindset, to be able to solve novel problems in a fast-changing environment, and to innovate and develop new solutions.

“Having an opportunity to study engineering in both Asia and the United Kingdom, students would be well prepared to manage sophisticated projects and develop the critical soft skills needed in the real world. Students will be exposed to specialised engineering technologies and will learn from some of the leading professionals in the world,” Beh said at the sidelines of the event.

He said the first batch of graduating students of the pilot scheme at Cambridge were successful and sought after by employers in the UK, Hong Kong and mainland China even before they graduated.

“Under this new scheme, students can obtain not only degrees from the UK and Asia, but also be eligible for professional accreditation in the UK and Hong Kong, subject to the usual institutional process.”

He added that HKU had incorporated articulation programmes in its biomedical scienced courses for undergraduates to branch out into a professional career, such as physiotherapist or veterinarian.

“In their third year, students choose from partner universities, like University of Sydney, and study first-year physiotherapy courses, or University of Edinburgh for first-year veterinary medicine courses. They come back to HKU to finish their final year and can continue pursuing the rest of their graduate degree after.

“After completion of biomedical sciences study at HKU, students can pursue a Master of Physiotherapy or Master of Diagnostic Radiotherapy at the University of Sydney. Animal lovers can pursue a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at the University of Edinburgh. These collaborations are tailored for students to explore interests and careers.”


HKU emphasises international exposure.

To apply for a place at HKU, students need to have strong STPM, A Levels or Unified Examinations Certificate results. The application for the September session is open.

Each year, HKU offers scholarships to outstanding international students. For the 2017-18 term, 21 Malaysian students received full tuition fee waiver or up to HK$186,000 (RM92,100). Over HK$14 million were awarded to Malaysian students last year.

Beh said HKU had nearly 100 per cent employment rate for 11 consecutive years given the robust job market in Hong Kong and China.

A Malaysian, Beh studied at HKU from 1976 to 1981 and worked for the Hong Kong government for 13 years before joining HKU in 1995.

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