• Overview
  • What the World Needs
  • What is Cross-disciplinary?
  • Academic Structure
  • Hubs and Thrust Areas
  • Teaching and Learning Innovation
  • Pedagogy
  • Medium of Instruction
  • Quality Assurance & Enhancement
  • Academic Calendar
  • Faculty Profiles
  • University Forum


We aim to empower our students the essential ability to create effective interventions for real world challenges of the 21st century

Formally established in June 2022, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou)(HKUST(GZ)) is a cooperatively- run higher education institution between the Chinese mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. HKUST(GZ) charts new territories in cross-disciplinary education, pedagogical strategies reform, and scientific research and innovation results transformation, aiming to serve as a role model of the mainland-Hong Kong integrated educational development and become a world-famous high-level university, endeavoring to nurture future-oriented, high-end leaders of the academia and industry who are committed to the common good of humankind.


What the World Needs

The World Needs Cross-Silo Leadership

At the frontier of innovation, HKUST is continuously looking for breakthrough in education, research and knowledge transfer. While we have been moving to an era of technological advancement and digitalization, the world remains beset with many emerging complex global problems. The solutions to the most pressing global issues, however, could no longer be derived within a single conventional discipline. Many of the major trends and cutting-edge technologies, such as Big Data, Design Thinking, Microelectronics, Sustainable Energy, Bioscience, and Fintech are advancements made possible by linking different fields of studies. The ability of bridging diverse knowledge from multiple disciplines is an essential quality of our future leaders. While our new generation sees the urgency to make a positive impact on the world, our mission is to train versatile talents with critical mindset to foresee and identify problems, as well as to gear them with the competency to tackle the problems by leveraging their cross-disciplinary thinking and skills.

To deal with the escalating challenges on all fronts - economic, social, technological and environmental, it is important to prepare our graduates to be citizens of the knowledge society who possess the competencies of Critical Thinking, Creativity, Communication and Collaboration. Seeing the need for a more holistic and integrative approach in higher education, HKUST(GZ) will adopt forward-looking pedagogical strategies to nurture students with essential competencies, local commitment and global vision required in the complex reality of the world today. We strive to deliver education strongly anchored to the needs of not only Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area and China but also the global landscape beyond. In particular, our vision is to produce high-end leaders of the academia and industry tomorrow who are committed to the common good of humankind.


What is Cross-disciplinary?

Cross-disciplinary in education and research is an integrative approach in which collaborative efforts of any form occurs between multiple disciplines. While the importance and needs of cross-disciplinary learning have been recognized by almost all academic and industry leaders; and many variations, such as multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary, have been proposed and advocated, the effectiveness of cross-disciplinary learning has been hindered by the traditional curricula which are normally siloed along conventional disciplinary lines.

As each discipline usually has a set of well-founded rules or viewpoints, collaborators are expected to respect diverse perspectives from other disciplines to achieve collective thinking. Cross-disciplinary learning is a holistic approach best suitable for graduates to become adaptable lifelong learners.

HKUST(GZ) is well poised to adopt a cross-disciplinary approach which will enhance students’ creative thinking, empower them to build their own ideas, cultivate their ability to engage with the social life so as to identify and solve real-world problems. It will deliver learning experiences which focus on the higher capabilities demanded by the brave new world.


Academic Structure

Academic Structure for Cross-disciplinary Education, Research and Knowledge Transfer

To align with the holistic and integrative approach, HKUST(GZ) adopts the unique Hub structure which facilitates Cross-disciplinary Education, Research and Knowledge Transfer in its Guangzhou campus. This unique academic structure at HKUST(GZ) is underpinned by the rich heritage of research excellence and hallmarked by cutting edge innovation built in the three decades at HKUST. HKUST in her beautiful Clearwater Bay campus has been delivering academic and research excellence with its four Schools (Science, Engineering, Business and Management, Humanities and Social Science) which comprise solid and well-established disciplines organized around well-defined subject areas, providing ideal environment to foster talents with deep insight inside segregated disciplines. With the mission of encouraging collaborative efforts among four Schools, the Interdisciplinary Programs Office (IPO) was established in 2008. In July 2023, it was renamed as the Academy of Interdisciplinary Studies (AIS), providing a platform without rigid boundary to support faculty at all levels to develop interdisciplinary education and research endeavors in emerging areas, with involvement of industries. AIS has played an important role for HKUST to address policy challenges in Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area, East Asia and the world, such as sustainability and public policy. HKUST has also established five inter-disciplinary cluster areas in (1) Data Science, (2) Sustainability, (3) Autonomous Systems and Robotics, (4) Public Policy and (5) Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship.

Buttressed by the rigorous commitment to cross collaboration in academic disciplines in Clearwater Bay campus, HKUST(GZ) will advance the concept of an interdisciplinary platform to the next level. On the solid foundation built in the Schools/AIS, the Guangzhou campus comprises four Hubs that serve as nexus among disciplines. Under each Hub, there are a few Thrust Areas which represent the key emerging areas for directions and foci of research. These non-conventional Hubs of Function, Information, Systems, and Society and their Thrust Areas strive to cut across disciplinary and organizational boundaries, emphasize interaction and synergy, and create holistic knowledge beyond disciplines.

All research postgraduate students will be co-supervised by at least two supervisors from different disciplines. This mandatory requirement is to ensure the cross-disciplinary thinking in research topics. When the faculty strengths in the new campus are in place, one supervisor will be from HKUST(GZ), while the other supervisor may be from another Thrust Area in HKUST(GZ), or HKUST Clearwater Bay or from an external organization.

While Function and Information work together and provide the fundamentals to build Systems that supports Society, the Hubs are all interconnected to ultimately bring impact to the community. A cycle that facilitates recursive advancement is formed where the feedback from the community returns to Systems via Society and reaches Function and Information. These Hubs complement the four pillars of academic strengths established by the Schools in Clearwater Bay to show fast response to new problems and needs, thus making significant impact on the non-academic communities.


Hubs and Thrust Areas

HKUST(GZ) starts to offer world-class undergraduate education in 2023.

HKUST(GZ) adopts the Hub structure which facilitates Cross-disciplinary Education, Research and Knowledge Transfer. Combining hard, natural and soft sciences, each of the four Hubs comprises a few thrust areas. Central to the academic framework is the enquiry-based cross-disciplinary active learning model which blends enquiry-based and problem-focused experiential learning.

The academic structure is planned to be sufficiently agile so as to respond promptly to the needs and challenges of the rapidly changing world. While the four Hubs will remain for a longer time, the Thrust Areas will be reviewed on a timely basis. The resulting model below reflects the actual needs of the real-world problems, giving no rigid disciplinary boundaries for the thrust areas as they keep evolving and not belonging to just one particular Hub.





Teaching and Learning Innovation

With the acceleration of the new round of technological revolution and industrial upgrading, HKUST(GZ) has developed a unique talent nurturing paradigm that integrates knowledge, ability, and literacy in order to develop "composite innovation and entrepreneurship leading talents" capable of embracing the rapidly changing demands of the era of big changes. HKUST(GZ) aims to remove discipline-specific obstacles and integrate disciplines through a variety of organizational innovations in talent cultivation.



Enquiry-based Cross-disciplinary Active Learning Model

Central to the academic framework is the enquiry-based cross-disciplinary active learning model which blends enquiry-based and problem-focused learning to prepare our students to be future leaders and technology entrepreneurs. It aims to provide high quality and transformative learning experiences for the young talents, enable them to address the real-world needs and predict beyond in potential markets and industry, and to create social impact.

Our post-graduate students will conduct cross-disciplinary research and be engaged in different levels of collaborations to formulate problems and create effective solutions which often require cross-disciplinary knowledge.

It is anticipated that the ability of cross-disciplinary problem solving will be developed through team collaboration in the form of projects. All MPhil and PhD students in HKUST(GZ) are required to take one of the following two project-based courses:

According to their research interest and background, they can choose between the courses on Cross-disciplinary Research Method which focuses on using various approaches to perform quantitative and qualitative analyses through real-world examples, and Cross-disciplinary Design Thinking which focuses on user-collaborative design methods for generating inclusive product solutions that integrate stakeholder and product functionality perspectives. Students will also be required to take a core course from their Hub and at least another core course from one of the other three Hubs.

Through in-depth discussions over the whole project development, students will be equipped with the needed capabilities – the abilities to think creatively, to integrate ideas boldly, to solve problems innovatively, and to work collaboratively - in addressing the multifaceted challenges of the increasingly complex world.

The enquiry-based cross-disciplinary active learning model has already been piloted in the MPhil program launched in September 2019. Building on the learning experience, it will be further developed to become the overarching pedagogy in the curriculum of MPhil and PhD programs of all Thrust Areas in four Hubs in the 2020 cohort and onward.

Under the holistic and integrative approach, HKUST(GZ) will launch programs which will not duplicate the existing ones offered by the Clearwater Bay campus. It will focus on cross-disciplinary thematic programs to complement those in the Clearwater Bay campus.


Medium of Instruction

To nurture our graduates to be the cross-cultural leaders in the globally competitive world, English is the medium of instruction.


Quality Assurance & Enhancement

As a Hongkong-Chinese mainland collaborative university, HKUST(GZ) complies with dual quality assurance regulations, respectively from Hong Kong QAC through governing HKUST’s degree awards and Ministry of Education requirements on education delivery in Chinese mainland. Under this overarching structure and to fulfill the educational vision and objectives, a Quality Assurance and Enhancement Framework is designed and deployed, setting out the approaches to ensuring a quality student learning experience and rigorous academic standards of awards, by which this variety of mechanisms is articulated. The Framework is composed of many elements that have formed a basis for the quality assurance measures from HKUST for many years, along with consideration of local arrangements in HKUST(GZ) to reflect the local aspiration and situation. The Framework is presented by five systematic and interrelated elements, including regulations and policies, procedures, reviews and enhancement measures, with the oversight through the academic governance bodies at various level of the University.