Architecture school should provide an environment to explore issues alongside practical skills and professional training. Ideally, there will also be opportunities to work with faculty and students in fields that complement architecture. Add a campus situated at an international city and you have The University of Hong Kong.
Located on the island of Hong Kong, HKU’s program is not one single entity but rather, it is a consortium under the Faculty of Architecture, what other universities refer to as a “college.” The Faculty of Architecture includes the departments and divisions of Architecture, Real Estate and Construction, Urban Planning and Design, Landscape Architecture. In addition, it also runs the Shanghai Study Centre. Sited in Shanghai, it provides a public arena for conferences, houses a public gallery. Interdepartmental as well as inter-university studios are also conducted there.
This is a dynamic program located in a city that is a hub of urban reinvention and renewal. In fact, HKU provides a unique opportunity for students to explore crucial issues such as conservation and density in urban design. Towards that end, HKU’s Architecture Department offers both a Bachelor of Arts in Conservation as well as a Master of Science in Conservation. Their collective purpose is to explore practical architectural strategies and policies that can be implemented locally, nationally, and globally. These are all performed under the umbrella of the Architectural Conservation Program, and works with UNESCO and the Hong Kong Institute of Architectural Conservationists to provide education for BA, MS, and PhD students. Professionals, and students from all over the world. This is important in widening the policy and practical discourses beyond the narrow solutions that might result if participants heralded from a single region.
Students can also apply for regular B.Arch and M.Arch degrees which are 3 and 2 years, respectively. These studio-based programs are complemented by available courses in all of the other Faculty of Architecture departments. As part of the curriculum, undergraduates can spend one semester at the aforementioned Shanghai Study Center. There, students acquire yet another perspective on urban and global issues. This is not a one-off study abroad program, but rather, is an integral part of the curriculum for students in all of the Faculty of Architecture departments.
And while many programs do offer a course or two in Real Estate and Construction or Landscape Architecture, that the Faculty of Architecture has separate departments with dedicated faculty for each area means that students receive more than just a cursory survey. Here, crossing disciplines means students have access to faculty who specialize in Transport and Policy Planning, Urban Planning, Urban Design, Design and Management, and Construction Project Management, all degree programs that are housed under the four main Faculty of Architecture departments. The breadth and depth offer students many opportunities to widen their skills, a necessary requirement to succeed in today’s economy.
For students interested in applying, here are the details. Tuition for international students is the equivalent of US$16,875 for those who need a visa. Local students pay HK$42,100 or US $5,263 per year. Applying is done online. Once one is admitted, there are several scholarships available to both local and international students. The faculty includes over The faculty includes over 40 full- and part-time professors, as well as tutors and teaching assistants. Facilities include the standard CAD, Digital Fabrication, and Wood workshops and labs.