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    Faculty of Humanities - where Language, Culture
    and Science converge
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In 2018, the Faculty of Humanities of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University is celebrating its 10th anniversary. In fact, the Faculty has reached a momentous milestone with its constituent units celebrating 10, 20 and 30 years of academic excellence. 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the inception of Department of Chinese Culture, the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Chinese Language Centre, English Language Centre and General Education Centre, as well as the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies (formerly Department of Chinese, Translation & Interpretation) and Department of English. The two language departments were re-organised from the Department of Languages, which was established back in 1973.

Energetically creating synergies among language, culture and science in education and research, the Faculty strives to excel in applied language sciences and bilingual China studies. We are also rapidly advancing in the fields of speech therapy, language and cognitive neuroscience, and healthcare communication. Besides, the Faculty continues to play a significant role in enhancing students’ language ability, and their understanding of the nature and cultures of human beings.

10+ signifies the Faculty’s contributions and achievements beyond 10 years. Looking to the future, 10+ also signifies many more success stories to come.

Throughout the year, the Faculty will be celebrating its anniversary with a variety of events. We invite our students and alumni, colleagues, friends, partners and the local community to celebrate this special year with us.

The Faculty of Humanities Logo

Words of Appreciation from Dean

Dean's photo
Professor CHU Hung-lam, Dean, Faculty of Humanities I would like to thank the academic, teaching and supporting staff members from our departments and centres for their devotion and dedication, which have helped the Faculty nurture a wealth of talents and yield fruitful achievements since its debut a decade ago. In addition to contributing to the international research community and local education sector in the areas of linguistics, bilingual studies and Chinese culture studies, the Faculty has helped the humanities grow and blossom in this technologically-oriented University. In the times to come, we shall continue to work together wholeheartedly and unceasingly to put into practice the motto of PolyU: To learn and to apply, for the benefit of mankind.

Event Calendar

In 2018, the Faculty will be celebrating its anniversary with a variety of events. We invite our students and alumni, colleagues, friends, partners and the local community to celebrate this special year with us.

contributions and achievements

FH is recognised worldwide. FH has gained worldwide recognition for its academic excellence, as reflected in the high university rankings. In Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, the subject of linguistics – the discipline in which a majority of FH staff members are engaged – is constantly ranked among the top 50 in the world, and stood at 34th in 2017. In the broader area of arts and humanities, PolyU is ranked among the top 20 in Asia.
FH conducts high-standard research. According to the result of the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) conducted by the Research Grants Council, 45% and 60% of our research in the fields of linguistics & language studies and history respectively are judged to meet the standard of either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.
FH departments have nurtured about 15,000* graduates since 1976 (when the first programme was launched). We have a well-recognised track record and experience in nurturing highly effective, creative and seasoned professionals in language and communication or Chinese culture, who can contribute to the advancement of their professions as well as the community at large.

* Excluding graduates from the School of Design (and its predecessor).
FH students received awards in major interpreting and language contests, and have been named "The Most Outstanding PolyU Student" twice in the last ten years.
FH is committed to teaching excellence. Our academic staff members won numerous teaching awards, including the University Grants Committee Teaching Award and the President’s award.
FH contributes to establishing a truly international and intercultural learning environment at PolyU. The Faculty attracts a good number of international staff members and students. Currently, FH staff members hail from over 20 different countries/regions and research postgraduate students from 17 different countries/regions. Our four-year undergraduate programmes are designed to allow room for students to gain international experience. For the cohort that graduated in 2016/17, over 40% of our four-year undergraduate students had participated in an outbound exchange and 60% an overseas internship during their study.

In addition to Chinese and English, the Faculty offers minor programmes and subjects in French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish to strengthen students’ multilingual and multicultural competencies.

FH is connected internationally. We have established joint research centres, partnerships and exchange programmes with leading universities/organisations in the world. This World Partners Map shows our connections at a glance.

The Faculty, in collaboration with eleven partner institutions, was granted the first Erasmus Mundus mobility programme in Hong Kong, which supported about 170 staff/student exchanges. In 2017, the Faculty was one of the two key members of a funded Erasmus+ programme hosted by Free University (Freie Universität) of Berlin.
FH serves the entire University. Our Chinese and English language centres are the sole providers of language courses to all PolyU students. In 2017, around 55% of the University’s CAR (general education) subjects were offered by the Faculty.
FH supports the society. In addition to offering programmes that meet societal needs, FH provides services to different communities by offering a wide range of service-learning subjects, including language teaching, language arts projects, helping primary students with specific reading difficulties, applying Chinese culture in modern daily life, and looking at social issues such as cultural heritage preservation and social poverty in developing countries. We also provide professional and research-led consultancy. In terms of knowledge transfer, we host Education Bureau-funded projects on curriculum development and pedagogy research for Chinese teachers teaching non-Chinese speaking students. Our Speech Therapy Unit provides therapy services to both adult and child clients with communication and swallowing disorders.

FH Milestones

The Faculty’s departments have a long history in language education. Our history as a formal department can be traced back to 1973. We focused on Chinese, English, Japanese and translation at the beginning, then gradually offering more languages including French, German, Korean and other European languages. In addition to serving the whole University, we also offer applied language sciences and bilingual China studies programmes that evolve along with societal needs. In 2008, the Faculty entered a new era when the Department of Chinese Culture was established and the Faculty renamed as the Faculty of Humanities. Over the years, the Faculty has established widely recognised professional and research centres. Recently, our research has expanded from language and cultural studies to related areas including speech therapy, language and cognitive neuroscience and healthcare communication.

  • 1937
    Government Trade School opened
  • 1947
    Government Trade School renamed as Hong Kong Technical College
  • 1972
    Hong Kong Polytechnic established
  • 1973
    Department of Languages established (offering service teaching in English, Chinese Translation and Japanese)
  • 1976
    • First full-time course offered , i.e. Higher Diploma in Translation and Interpretation
    • French added to English, Chinese and Japanese as a service teaching subject
  • 1977
    Department of Languages was one of the departments under the Division of Commerce and Design
  • 1978
    First joint full-time programme offered, i.e. Higher Diploma in Trilingual Secretarial Studies with the Department of Business and Management Studies
  • 1979
    German added to English, Chinese, Japanese and French as a service teaching subject
  • 1982
    Spoken Mandarin (Guo-Yu) in addition to written Chinese
  • 1986
    Division of Communication comprising the Department of Languages and Swire School of Design established
  • 1987
    First bachelor's degree programme offered, i.e. Bachelor of Arts Degree in Language and Communication
  • 1988 (30 years)
    Department of Chinese, Translation and Interpretation and Department of English founded
  • 1989
    • The Centre for Translation Studies established with donation from the Wei Lun Foundation
    • First MPhil degree programme by research in Chinese Linguistics offered
    • First bachelor’s degree programme with honours offered, i.e. BA (Hons) in Chinese and Translation Studies
  • 1990
    The Centre for Professional and Business English established with the support of the Hong Kong Language Campaign
  • 1991
    • First Master of Arts programme offered, i.e. MA in English Language and Applied Linguistics
    • PgD in English for Professions launched
  • 1992
    • Faculty of Communication established with three academic departments, namely Department of Chinese, Translation and Interpretation, Department of English and Swire School of Design
    • English Language Study-Centre established under ENGL
  • 1993
    MA in Chinese Linguistics, MA/PgD in English Language Studies launched
  • 1994
    Hong Kong Polytechnic renamed as The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, officially attained University’s status
  • 1995
    • Department of Chinese, Translation and Interpretation was renamed Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies
    • First PhD programme offered
    • MA in English Language Teaching launched
  • 1996
    • Centre for Independent Language-Learning established under Department of English
    • PgD in Chinese Linguistics launched
  • 1997
    • Undergraduate curriculum revamped with the inclusion of English as a mandatory subject and the implementation of a credit-based system
    • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Chinese and Bilingual Studies Alumni Association established
  • 1998 (20 years)
    • Chinese Language Centre, English Language Centre and General Education Centre established within the Faculty
    • Written Chinese, Putonghua and general education became mandatory subjects
  • 2000
    MA in English for the Professions launched
  • 2001
    PgD in Translating and Interpreting, PgD in Japanese Studies for the Professions launched
  • 2002
    The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Department of English Alumni Association established
  • 2005
    MA/PgD in Chinese Language and Literature, MA in Translating and Interpreting, MA in Japanese Studies for the Professions, BA(Hons) in Bilingual Studies launched
  • 2006
    • Chinese name of the Faculty revised to 語文及傳意學院 ; English name retained as Faculty of Communication
    • Research Centre for Professional Communication in English established
    • MA in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language launched
  • 2007
    BA(Hons) in English for Business and Professional Communication launched
  • 2008 (10 years)
    • Renamed from Faculty of Communication to Faculty of Humanities
    • Department of Chinese Culture founded
    • BA(Hons) in Chinese and Bilingual Studies, BA(Hons) in English Studies for the Professions launched
  • 2009
    The HK PolyU-PKU Research Centre on Chinese Linguistics founded
  • 2010
    • First Chinese Culture programme launched, i.e. MA in Chinese Culture
    • MA in English Language Arts launched
    • Korean added as a minor programme
  • 2012
    • First professional doctorate degree programme launched, i.e. Doctor of Applied Language Sciences
    • Faculties of Humanities Postgraduate Alumni Association of PolyU established
    • Broad Discipline of Language, Culture and Communication launched
  • 2013
    • Speech Therapy Unit opened
    • First speech therapy programme launched (Master of Speech Therapy)
  • 2014
    • Confucius Institute of Hong Kong placed under the Faculty of Humanities as an Institute with an academic purpose
    • BA(Hons) in Bilingual Interdisciplinary Chinese Studies launched
    • Minor in European Studies launched with Spanish, Portuguese, French and German
  • 2015
    • MA in Bilingual Corporate Communication launched
    • MA in Japanese Media and Communication launched
    • First MOOC launched (English@Work in Asia)
  • 2016
    • Speech and Language Science Laboratory opened
    • BA(Hons) in Language and Speech Sciences launched
  • 2017
    • International Research Centre for the Advancement of Health Communication established
    • MA in English Studies for the Professions launched

(Sources of information: University Prospectus and Graduation Ceremony House Programmes, Administrative Notes, PolyU 65 Years of Education and Innovation commemorative album, Research Office)

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