Message from the Head of School

The School of Chinese has a long history of academic achievement. It was established at The University of Hong Kong in 1927, and it has since then remained committed to the promotion of Chinese heritage and the integration of Chinese and Western scholarship. Through the efforts of our founders and their successors, for over 90 years the School has built a fine tradition of scholarship and inquiry. We have become a leading international centre for research and education in Chinese language, literature, history, and translation. At present, the School of Chinese consists of three units: the School Proper, the Chinese Language Enhancement Programme (CLEP), and the Chinese Language Centre (CLC), which are all focused on the common mission of providing advanced Chinese education that is informed by cutting-edge research. We remain the only unit within the University where the medium of instruction is Chinese, including both Putonghua and Cantonese.

As the founding core of the School, the School Proper offers a great variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Chinese Language and Literature, Chinese History and Culture, and Translation. The Chinese Language and Literature programme features two main streams: the “language” stream focuses on the study and research of the Chinese language from the perspective of linguistics, while the “literature” stream focuses on topics in literary theory, creative writing, classical and modern Chinese literature as well as Chinese literary history. The Chinese History and Culture programme currently offers courses in dynastic history, religion, philosophy, history of the Chinese diaspora, modern and contemporary history, technology, legal systems and culture, as well as East-West cultural exchange. The Translation programme covers translation theory, language studies, translation criticism, and translation practice.

Our Chinese Language Enhancement Programme provides opportunities for enriching students’ knowledge of Chinese and sharpening their communication and writing skills. Our Chinese Language Centre provides courses in Putonghua, offered at eight different levels, as well as beginner and intermediate Cantonese courses. Our Language Centre also offers a selection of courses on Chinese culture for international students.

The School of Chinese has from its beginning given high priority to academic research, which we consider the foundation of the whole enterprise of education. I am particularly proud of our recent addition of Hong Kong Studies as an area of research focus, with its own professorial team. We continue to consolidate our reputation in Ming-Qing studies, or early Modern China. East-West historical comparison is another highlight, as is the study of gender and sexuality in Chinese literature. Located in Hong Kong, we have also achieved recognition for our important contributions to the study of translation in society, including legal interpreting. And our Hong Kong location means that our research in dialects and linguistics also attract worldwide attention.

The School plays a unique role in emphasising interdisciplinary engagement and outreach, which in turn positions it well for international impact. With a distinguished line-up of academic staff, talented researchers, and secure funding, the School’s achievements in the areas just mentioned has brought worldwide recognition for excellence. Our professors publish in the most prestigious journals of their fields, as well as publishing international scholarship in our own peer-reviewed Journal of Oriental Studies. Our efforts to continue conducting world-class research and making cutting-edge contributions to the intellectual vibrancy of Hong Kong include our ongoing recruitment of international talent from around the world. When you join the School of Chinese at the University of Hong Kong, whether as a student or a newly arrived professor, a conference attendee or an international visiting scholar, you can be confident you are joining one of the world’s most important cultural crossroads, a hub of interaction between East and West. Our mission is to nurture world-leading scholars committed to transcultural studies and propelling Sino-international intellectual exchange to new heights.