19 March 2013

CUHK Signs Final Agreements with Shenzhen University and Shenzhen Government
Inaugurating the Development of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen

With the staunch support of Shenzhen University (SZU) and the Shenzhen Municipal Government, The Chinese University of Hong Kong has started the planning of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen. The planning of this collaborative initiative with SZU was approved by the State Ministry of Education (MoE) in October last year. After rounds of deliberation, CUHK signed two Final Agreements with SZU and the Shenzhen Government respectively to fine-tune details of the collaboration, inaugurating the development of various areas of CUHK(SZ).

The establishment of CUHK(SZ) is an initiative to help nurture future generations of university graduates who are international in outlook, learned in the disciplines they follow, upright in their character, and committed to serving the needs of society, all of which will have profound impact on educational reform in China. It is an initiative that will capitalize on the strengths of Hong Kong and Guangdong Province, and by means of collaboration in the areas of education, technology and culture, it will promote the long-term social and economic development of the PRD region. 

According to the Agreements, CUHK(SZ) is a non-profit-making institution of higher education with the status of an independent legal entity whose constitution will be legally instituted. The University will uphold academic freedom, foster an open academic environment and will be managed according to democratic principles. The governing body of CUHK(SZ) is its Governing Board, to be chaired by the Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK who will have a casting vote. The President of CUHK(SZ) is responsible for its management, under the leadership of the Governing Board. CUHK(SZ) will shortly begin various areas of institutional development, including academic planning, faculty recruitment, designing organizational structure and campus development.

CUHK(SZ) is located in the Longgang District of Shenzhen, encompassing a campus area of around one million square metres (100 hectares), half of which is buildable area and the rest is green belt area. The construction of new buildings will start within a year and the renovation of the existing eight buildings on the site is expected to be completed by end of 2013. Student admission will be launched in phases with an ultimate student population of 11,000, of whom 6,000 will be undergraduates and 5,000 postgraduates. Intake of the first batch of undergraduate students is expected to commence in 2014.

The Senate of CUHK is responsible for the assessment and approval of academic programmes at CUHK(SZ), advising on matters in relation to teaching and learning, as well as quality assurance for degrees, diplomas, certificates and other academic qualifications. The academic disciplines and programmes at CUHK(SZ) are planned according to thorough studies in international trends in higher education and research on the socio-economic development of South China as well as the Greater China region, with the established strengths of and complementarity with CUHK taken into consideration. After thorough research and studies, CUHK(SZ) will phase in programmes of various disciplines including Science and Engineering, Management and Economics, and Humanities and Social Science to meet international trends in higher education and the needs for the socio-economic development of mainland China. Undergraduate students of all disciplines are required to complete core programmes based on those currently offered in CUHK. These include a variety of General Education courses to draw on CUHK’s distinctive tradition of whole-person education. CUHK(SZ) students who have satisfied the prescribed requirements will be awarded a degree of CUHK. In line with the practice of most mainland tertiary institutions a graduation certificate will also be issued in accordance with the regulations of MoE for students who have satisfied relevant statutory requirements.

CUHK(SZ) is financially independent, with no cross-subsidy from the Shatin campus of CUHK. The major sources of operating funds are tuition fees, donations, subsidies from the Shenzhen Municipal Government and other subsidies for scientific research. All operating funds will be used for Shenzhen campus purposes, including construction of infrastructure and facilities, teaching and research, as well as student scholarships.

CUHK formed a Task Force in October 2009 to explore the possibility of establishing a campus in Shenzhen. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Shenzhen Municipal Government in 2010 and a Framework Agreement was signed in 2011. The University set up various committees in April 2012 to discuss and contribute ideas to academic, campus development, personnel and financial planning issues of CUHK(SZ). On many occasions the University has engaged its staff, students, alumni and academic faculties for consultation and exchange of information, to report on progress, and the valuable views gathered have been useful for the University in refining the plan. CUHK(SZ) will draw upon CUHK’s traditions of academic excellence. No effort will be spared to ensure that the teaching quality at CUHK (SZ) is on a par with that of the Shatin campus, so that it will become a preferred research university located in Shenzhen, firmly rooted in China, and endowed with a global vision.