A public research university founded in 1911, the University of Hong Kong  (HKU) is one of the top universities in the world.

Although not officially established until 1911, the University of Hong Kong can trace its origins way back to 1887 with the founding of the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese, which officially became Hong Kong University’s medical school in 1911.

The British Governor of Hong Kong at the time, Sir Frederick Lugard, felt a new university was necessary for the city. The school initially began as all-male but began including females in 1921.

The school has two different mottos, one in Latin and one in Chinese. The Latin motto translates in English as “Virtue and Wisdom.” The Chinese motto translates to “illustrious virtue and the investigation of things.” The school’s mascot is the lion and its color is dark green.

Rankings and Facts

The University of Hong Kong is an extremely well-regarded and prestigious university. Since its founding, it has become not only one of the best universities in Asia but also one of the best in the world according to multiple trusted publications.

Times Higher Education placed the University of Hong Kong 36th in the world and 4th in Asia in their 2019 rankings. QS World Rankings put the university 25th in the world and 5th in Asia. The Economist ranked the MBA program as 25th in the world and 1st in Asia.

Student Attendance

There are nearly 30,000 students attending the University of Hong Kong, with about 17,000 of them being undergraduates and 12,000 of them being postgraduates. A huge percentage of the students are also international students, with almost nearly a third of them being non-local.

The university also has an exchange program where over 1,000 students every year choose to study in a different university (schools available in over 40 different countries as part of the program) as part of their Hong Kong University degree. The campus has 20 different dorms for students.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Famous Alumni

As one of the most prestigious universities in the world and Asia, the University of Hong Kong has a lot of famous alumni. Perhaps most famous or notable would be Dr. Sun Yat-sen who was the founder of the Republic of China and was a graduate of the Hong Kong College for Chinese, the school that became a part of the University of Hong Kong in 1911.

A number of politicians and government officials attended the University of Hong Kong, including Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (Chief Executive of Hong Kong), Anthony Leung Kam-Chung (former Financial Secretary of Hong Kong), Michael Suen (former Secretary for Education), Rita Fan (former President of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong), and Regina lp Lau Suk-yee (former Secretary for Security of Hong Kong), among others.

There are many other notable alumni, including legal professionals (like Andrew Cheung Kui-nung who is a permanent judge of the Court of Final Appeal), entertainers (like Kay Tse On-kei), and business leaders (like Joseph Yam Chi-kwong who is the former CEO of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority).

Other Facts

The Second World War forced the university to close for several years after the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong damaged many of the buildings on campus.

University of Hong Kong (HKU) Acceptance Rate

The University of Hong Kong is very competitive to get into. The University of Hong Kong has a quota for international students, and because of the large demand from Chinese and Indian students, the acceptance rate has gone down. It is estimated that the acceptance rate is 10%.

It differs widely according to your financial ability. If you can pay the tuition fee, the acceptance rate will go up. Otherwise, it will go down. There are scholarships available for international students. If you want to know more, visit the University of Hong Kong Scholarships Page.


I hope that this article on the University of Hong Kong acceptance rate was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.