Stanford accepting student applications for new Hong Kong program

In autumn 2019, the Bing Overseas Studies Program will launch a new program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where Stanford students will be able to choose from 15 courses, ranging from China Under Mao to Fintech and Entrepreneurship in China.

When the first cohort of Stanford students arrives at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) next autumn, they will immediately become part of the campus community, joining other undergraduate students in the university’s classrooms and student residences.

aerial view of Chinese University of Hong Kong

The campus of the Chinese University of Hong Kong is set on a hillside overlooking Tolo Harbour. (Image credit: Chinese University of Hong Kong)

The Stanford contingent will also join students, faculty and staff riding the university’s shuttle buses – and using its skywalks and express lifts – to move around the 340-acre campus, which is located on a steep hillside overlooking Tolo Harbour.

“One of the most striking things about the campus of the Chinese University of Hong Kong is its geographical beauty,” said Ramón Saldívar, the Burke Family Director of Stanford’s Bing Overseas Studies Program (BOSP), who made several trips to the campus. “With its sea views and mountain views, it’s a beautifully situated green campus.”

Saldívar said the Stanford delegation that chose CUHK to host the new overseas studies program was impressed by the university’s academic focus, which encompasses the liberal arts, as well as and science and technology.

“One other feature that immediately made CUHK stand out for us was the extraordinary care and attention it pays to the quality of its undergraduate education,” he said, adding that students affiliate with one of its nine colleges when they enroll in the university.

Under the Stanford in Hong Kong program, up to 25 Stanford students will spend the first quarter of the 2019-20 academic year studying and living at CUHK.

A vibrant learning experience

Saldívar, who is also a professor of English and of comparative literature at Stanford, said the new program will offer students a vibrant learning experience in Hong Kong, which is a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China. The former British colony, which reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, is governed under the “one country, two systems” principle, which promises the city a high degree of autonomy for 50 years.

“With its compelling history in the postwar and postcolonial era, Hong Kong is a unique site for studying international finance and the emergence of global cities, investigating the development of regional economics, exploring the depth and breadth of Sinophone culture and history, literature and the arts, and analyzing the ongoing challenges to creating a new political system alongside that of the People’s Republic of China,” he said.

Stanford, which announced plans in early 2018 to establish a new overseas studies program at CUHK, finalized the agreement in October. The new program is a successor to the Stanford in Beijing Program, which closed in June 2017 due to low enrollment.

Stanford is now accepting student applications for the new program.

From China Under Mao to Fintech and Entrepreneurship in China

In Hong Kong, Stanford students will be able to choose among 13 courses offered by CUHK faculty members, including China Under Mao, Science and Technology in China, Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Society, East Asian Film Genres in a Globalizing World, and The Rise of China in the Global Context: Diplomacy, Trade and Soft Power.

Chinese University of Hong Kong Main Library - Learning Garden 1

A view of the Learning Garden at the Chinese University of Hong Kong main library. (Image credit: Chinese University of Hong Kong)

The classes will be taught in English. The program will not have a foreign language prerequisite, but Mandarin language courses will be available to the Stanford students.

In addition, Stanford students will be able to enroll in a lecture course and an independent study course offered by Chuck Eesley, a Stanford professor of management science and engineering who will serve as faculty-in-residence in Hong Kong.

Eesley’s courses – Fintech and Entrepreneurship in China and Comparative Analysis of Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Fintech in Hong Kong and Silicon Valley – will also be open to CUHK students.

“In Fintech and Entrepreneurship in China, students will have a unique opportunity to work on mentor-guided team startup projects at the intersection of financial and technology, and to get feedback from successful Stanford alumni in the finance and startup communities in Hong Kong,” Eesley said.

“Those who sign up for independent study will learn how Hong Kong and China broadly have been transforming from an agriculture and manufacturing economy to an entrepreneurial society. They will compare the institutional environment that has made this transition possible in unique ways in China and the United States. We will also visit government officials, investors and tech companies in Hong Kong, Shenzhen – a major city that links Hong Kong and the mainland – and Beijing.”

With the opening of the new program in Hong Kong, Stanford will offer 11 quarter-length programs in locations around the world, including Australia, Cape Town, Kyoto, Santiago and Paris. The Bing Overseas Studies Program also offers short-term Overseas Seminars and Faculty-Initiated Programs in various locations during the summer.