Hong Kong Shue Yan University

Hong Kong Shue Yan University (HKSYU or SYU) is a private liberal-arts university on Braemar Hill, North Point, Hong Kong. Founded in 1971 as Hong Kong Shue Yan College (香港樹仁學院) by Henry Hu and Chung Chi-yung, it was unilaterally recognised as the first private university by the order of the Chief Executive on 19 December 2006. According to QS World University Rankings 2023, it ranked #351-400 in Asia.

Hong Kong Shue Yan University
Hong Kong Shue Yan University Campus Logo
Former names
Shue Yan College
Motto in English
Cultivating virtues of benevolence; broadening horizon and knowledge
Established1971 (as Hong Kong Shue Yan College)
2006 (granted university status)
ChairmanDennis Ting
PresidentHenry Hu
ProvostHu Yao Su
Academic staff
Undergraduates5,132 (2014–15)
10 Wai Tsui Crescent, Braemar Hill
North Point
Hong Kong
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese香港樹仁大學
Simplified Chinese香港树仁大学
Cantonese YaleHēung góng syuh yàhn daaih hohk
Hong Kong Shue Yan College
Traditional Chinese香港樹仁學院
Simplified Chinese香港树仁学院
Cantonese YaleHēung góng syuh yàhn hohk yuhn


Hong Kong Shue Yan College was founded on 20 September 1971 by Dr Henry H.L. Hu, then Legislative Councillor, and Dr Chung Chi-Yung, a prominent educationist.

In 1971, Dr Chung resigned from her post as faculty head of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the then Hong Kong Baptist College and planned to establish a kindergarten. However, her husband, Dr Hu, suggested founding a university instead and invested his savings from his work as a barrister in it, purchasing a three-story house at Sing Woo Road, Happy Valley as campus. They were concerned that provision for tertiary education in Hong Kong was made for less than 2% of the relevant age group and also that the Cultural Revolution in mainland China would undermine traditional Chinese values.

The government of Hong Kong at the time was interested in the prospects of an independent, private liberal arts school, and granted a piece of land at Braemar Hill to construct a permanent campus in 1978. The construction was completed in September 1985, and various additions to the campus were constructed after that time.

Due to Shue Yan's refusal to follow the government's model and plan for higher education in return for government funding in the late 1970s, Shue Yan development was often restricted. Shue Yan's unrelenting position to offer four-year programmes meant that it had to operate as a truly private institution, without any government funding. Because of this, Shue Yan cannot meet the three-year university degree requirement and has to refer itself as a college rather than a university. However it provided an opportunity to access higher education for students who were unable to secure a place at a local university.

In 2000, the Education Bureau of Hong Kong provided a fund of HKD 4.6 million for academic accreditation. In 2001, Hong Kong Shue Yan College passed the academic accreditation of the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications and was allowed to offer three courses leading to different Honours bachelor's degrees. In the same year, the Hong Kong Government amended the Post Secondary Colleges Ordinance (Cap 320), allowing accredited post secondary colleges to award degrees under the approval of the Chief Executive-in-Council. Hong Kong Shue Yan College thus became the first private tertiary education institute in Hong Kong that can award Honours bachelor's degrees.

On 19 December 2006, the Executive Council passed a resolution to recognise and accredit Hong Kong Shue Yan College as Hong Kong's first private university, with immediate effect. Hong Kong Shue Yan College subsequently rectified its name to Hong Kong Shue Yan University. It was the first time a university had been established via Executive Council resolution. All other universities in Hong Kong have been established by ordinance approved by the Legislative Council of the HKSAR.

As there is a shortage of government-funded degrees, there were plans for SYU and the OUHK to participate in JUPAS as alternatives for students. While the OUHK has accepted and designed some programmes specifically for such students since 2006, SYU announced they would not be participating in JUPAS in the foreseeable future. SYU become the only university in Hong Kong that declined to join JUPAS and UGC.

In January 2007, the HKSAR government offered a one-time grant of HKD200 million (although possibly less) to establish a general development fund for SYU. The University may use the interest to support its academic development and improve the campus facilities.


The SYU campus is situated on Braemar Hill on Hong Kong Island, and offers a view of the Victoria Harbour. The land the campus rests on was granted by the Hong Kong Government in 1978, with the first building completed in 1985.

The campus consists of four parts:

  • Education and Administration Complex (教學行政大樓)- Completed construction in 1985, the complex is 11 stories high and houses classrooms, computer labs, lecture halls, ceremony halls, cafeterias, sports facilities, and staff offices.
  • Library Complex (圖書館大樓)- Completed construction in 1995, the complex is 19 stories high, and houses the campus library, car park, conference hall and apartments for academic staff.
  • Residential & Amenities Complex (宿舍文康大樓)- Completed construction in 2005, the complex is 29 stories high, and houses student dormitories, student services, swimming pool, sports facilities, café, conference rooms, and multipurpose facilities. The student union and student activities center are also housed in this complex.
  • Research Complex- Completed construction in 2016.


Bachelor of Arts with Honours

  • Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Chinese Language and Literature
  • Economics & Finance
  • English Language and Literature
  • History

Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours

  • Counselling & Psychology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Bachelor of Commerce with Honours

  • Accounting (Professional Recognition: HKICPA, United Kingdom's ACCA, CIMA, AIA, Canadian CMA, CGA)
  • Law & Business

Bachelor of Social Work with Honours

(Graduates of the BSW Programme are eligible to apply for registration as Registered Social Workers with the Social Workers Registration Board.)

Bachelor of Business Administration with honours

  • Financial Services & Planning Concentration
  • Marketing Concentration
  • Human Resource Management Concentration
  • China Business Studies Concentration
  • Corporate Governance Concentration

Master of Social Sciences in Counselling Psychology

  • Counselling Psychology

Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies Programme

  • Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies
    • hosted by the Department of English Language and Literature


Academic Departments at SYU are grouped in faculties

Faculty of Commerce

  • Department of Accounting
  • Department of Business Administration
  • Department of Economics
  • Department of Law and Business

Faculty of Arts

  • Department of Journalism and Communication
  • Department of Chinese Language & Literature
  • Department of English Language & Literature
  • Department of History

Faculty of Social Sciences

  • Department of Counselling and Psychology
  • Department of Social Work
  • Department of Sociology


Hong Kong Shue Yan University has partnerships with universities in UK and Australia. The universities are University of Stirling, University of Wollongong, and University of Leicester. Split-degree programmes are offered, where the first two years are spent at SYU and the latter two in the overseas universities.

In 2013, the university also entered into collaboration with Birkbeck, University of London. The Trans-jurisdictional Legal Theory and Policy Research Centre enables scholars from both participating universities to develop comparative research projects and visit each other's institutions to teach. Up to 15 students per year from Shue Yan University are admitted onto the Qualifying Law Programme (LLM) at Birkbeck.

See also

  • Category:Alumni of Queen's College, Hong Kong
  • List of universities in Hong Kong

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