A bird's eye-view of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou). (Photo/website of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou))
The Ministry of Education has approved the establishment of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou), the third cooperatively-run higher education institution between the Chinese mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The approval came just days ahead of the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland on Friday and marks more education exchanges between the mainland and the region.
Operated by Guangzhou University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the HKUST (GZ) combines quality education resources of the mainland and Hong Kong and will explore cutting-edge cross-disciplinary academic structure and innovative talent cultivation modes, the ministry said in a release on Wednesday.
The university will further push for higher education reform, promote education integration between the mainland and Hong Kong and contribute to the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, it said.
The university has three undergraduate majors covering artificial intelligence, data science and big data technology, and intelligent manufacturing engineering. It also offers 15 postgraduate majors covering advanced materials, intelligent transportation and micro-electronics.
The first class of students is expected to study at the university in September.
The 1.1-square-kilometer campus is located adjacent to Qingsheng station on the high-speed Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link. It takes just 30 minutes to travel there from Hong Kong West Kowloon railway station.
Previously, the ministry approved the establishment of Beijing Normal University Hong Kong Baptist University United International College in 2005, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen in 2014.
It also gave preparatory approval to City University of Hong Kong (Dongguan) recently, which can apply to the ministry for official approval for establishment after the preparations are finished.
Thanks to its strengths in higher education, Hong Kong has consistently been a popular choice among mainland students who want to pursue higher education outside the mainland.
Meanwhile, a special plan started in 2012 allows mainland universities to recruit Hong Kong applicants based on their performance in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education test, without sitting the national college entrance examination, or gaokao.
The number of mainland institutions covered by the plan has doubled from 63 in 2012 to 129 this year.
Chan Sze-lai, a Hong Kong postgraduate student at Tsinghua University's School of Journalism and Communication, got her bachelor degrees in English and economics at Sichuan University.
Born in 1997, the year Hong Kong returned to the motherland, she said she wants to work in the culture and communications sector after graduation to bring young people in Hong Kong and the mainland closer and improve the national identity of young people in Hong Kong.
"All Hong Kong young people can enjoy their own stage to shine as long as they grasp the great opportunity presented in the new era and contribute to the development of Hong Kong and the nation," she said.