The Spirit of HKUST's Rapid Development
The Spirit of HKUST's Rapid Development
  • Reporter Lee Ji-a
  • 승인 2014.02.14 22:29
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Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) ranked 34th in the World University Rankings and first in the University Rankings: Asia 2013 by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). How did the university advance to first place in just 21 years? The Postech Times interviewed Professor Sung Kim (CSE), an HKUST for about five years. He explained the strengths of HKUST and the plan of his department.
Bilingual campus
To bring world-class talent, there should be no difficulty for foreigners living on or near campus. So in HKUST, all lectures are in English. Even Korean professors talk to Korean students in English. Official documents, emails and signs are also all written in English so that people who do not know Chinese can live without difficulty. He said “To make a bilingual campus, other things such as notices, as well as lectures have to change together in English.”
For Deep Research
In Hong Kong there is no big industry company so HKUST can not get support from the company. It may seem like a potential weakness, but it has become a benefit. Universities in Korea, including POSTECH, have received support from companies and the companies have required universities to research areas that will increase their income so graduate students research to increase the company’s income than what they want. But HKUST can research only what they want according to the conditions of its fund. Professors make a research list and if students apply to one field, undergraduate students can research. If they want to research other areas, HKUST supports them. He said “To get Nobel Prize, professors have to research deeply for five to ten years, and the research must have an impact.” But in Korea, professors have to write a certain amount of theses per year to get support. Many universities recognize theses submitted to major journals as same as those submitted to minor journals, which nobody sees. Then numerous theses are published, but their impact is trivial. So HKUST only recognizes theses submitted to major journals and in the pertinent department. They plan to make a system that evaluates professors based on quality rather than quantity. HKUST enables professors from assistant to full to concentrate on only research.
HKUST also holds many conferences to conflate two fields and make a new department including two fields. So professors work together and HKUST saves seats for professors every Wednesday to share their opinions over a meal.
To Get Smart Students
China has a population of about 1.3 billion. Only a few students from each province can enter HKUST. They must be very smart to break through the enormous competition. To attract these smart students, Hong Kong supports them and helps them come to Hong Kong easily.
Prof. Kim said, “The Dean said to me, ‘I will make you the best professor in five years.’ I decided on HKUST because of his confidence. The confidence comes from specific reasons and it was very wonderful.” HKUST is not so concerned about its ranking from other institutes. It just tries to focus on becoming the best it can.