Our History

The University of Hong Kong (or HKU, as it is familiarly known to students, staff and alumni) is the oldest tertiary education institution in Hong Kong.

March 16, 1910

Sir Frederick Lugard, the then Governor of Hong Kong, laid the foundation stone for the University.

March 30, 1911

The University was first incorporated in Hong Kong as a self-governing body of scholars by the University Ordinance.

March 11, 1912

The University was officially opened, and Arts, Engineering and Medicine became its first Faculties. The Faculty of Medicine evolved from the Hong Kong College of Medicine, founded in 1887. Of the College's early alumni, the most renowned was Dr Sun Yat-sen, often regarded as the founder of modern China.


The University held its first congregation, with just 23 graduates.


It was ten years after the founding of HKU that women students were admitted for the first time.


Queen Mary Hospital opened and has served as the University's teaching hospital since then. Before the outbreak of the Second World War, which would bring academic activities to a halt, there were four Faculties - Arts, Engineering, Medicine, and Science.


The study of architecture was first introduced to the University.


In response to the demands of a rapidly changing society, a Department of Extra-Mural Studies was established in 1956 to provide continuing adult education.


When the University celebrated its golden jubilee, it had more than 2,000 students, four times greater than in 1941.


The Faculty of Social Sciences was established.


The Law Department was established.


The Faculty of Dentistry, based at the Prince Philip Dental Hospital, was established. It remains Hong Kong’s only faculty for training dental professionals.


Both Architecture and Education became fully-fledged faculties, and in the same year a separate Law Faculty was created.


The Department of Extra-Mural Studies became the School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKU SPACE) and remains Hong Kong's largest tertiary-level institution for continuing education.


The University’s tenth faculty, the Faculty of Business and Economics, was established.


The Centennial College was established by the University of Hong Kong as an independent college offering self-financed degrees accredited by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications.