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SOAR Youth Leadership Programme (SOAR) is a 1-year credit-bearing programme jointly organised by PolyU and Peking University. Students at the two universities are required to complete designated leadership courses and training and to learn more about environmental sustainability, economic development, cultural diversity, innovation, social responsibility and global perspectives by visiting and engaging in service learning in countries along the Silk Road.

SOAR was developed from two programmes: Global Youth Leadership Programme, organised jointly with Peking University in 2013-15, and Silk Road Leadership Programme, implemented in collaboration with Peking University and Xian Jiaotong University in 2015-16.


Programme Objectives

To nurture students’ abilities in the following areas.
S erving Heart
O pen-mindedness
A spiration
R espnsibility


Programme Outcomes

Students who complete SOAR Youth Leadership Programme should be able to:


  • Acquire the concepts of Service Leadership 
  • Understand the importance of the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Have an enhanced awareness of social and global issues
  • Attain and increase problem analytical and solving skills, and the ability to be self-aware and self-reflect
  • Design basic service plans and proposals


  • Improve service plans and project designs with regard to the needs of target audience
  • Obtain basic research methods
  • Attain and increase various leadership competences
  • Have concepts on social innovation and social betterment


  • Plan and implement social projects
  • Serve in cross-cultural settings with global awareness
  • Work with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures
  • Visualise, act on and respond to global and social issues


SOAR Youth Leadership Programme 2019/20

Programme Schedule 2019/20

Tentative Schedule

Progress Date Content
STAGE 1 3-20 July 2019 Beijing & Hong Kong: 
  • Understand social issues
  • Attend Global Youth Leaders Summit 2019
STAGE 2 Late-Jan to Early-Feb 2020 Cambodia
STAGE 3 July 2020 Credit-bearing Service-learning subject in cross-cultural environment- East Africa


SOAR 2019-20 Application and Requirements

CohortProgramme PeriodApplication Period
2019-20 July 2019 – July 2020 From now until 4 Apr 2019
  • Applicants must be UGC-funded Bachelor's degree year one students, including local and non-local students
  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview
  • Application for SOAR 2019-20 has closed

SOAR Youth Leadership Programme 2018/19

SOAR5 201819 2

SOAR Youth Leadership Programme 2018/19 (5th Cohort) kicked off in Beijing in July.  The forty-three students (21 from PolyU and 22 from Peking University) completed service leadership lectures at Peking University and experienced community service at the capital of Mainland China.  They then travelled to Yunnan, field-visited the local NGOs on ethnic minorities and the Bai and Yi groups and learnt about ethnic farm cultures and resource sharing. They also studied about equality in trading and inclusion of ethnic minorities; furthermore, they interacted and provided service to the children and elderly in the area.  After their first taste of SOAR, they went back to Beijing and joined the Global Youth Leaders Summit 2018, and collaborated with other youth leaders of the world.  Themed “Equality and Inclusion”, they will continue their SOAR journey to Israel and Kyrgyzstan.


SOAR Youth Leadership Programme 2017/18

 SOAR4 201718 1

The forth cohort of SOAR Youth Leadership Programme 2017/18 has concluded with the service-learning trip at Kyrgyzstan in August. A total of 21 students from PolyU, 12 students from Xi’an Jiaotong University and 11 students from Peking University completed and graduated from the programme. 

Themed “Embracing Diversity”, the students learned about social issues and phenomenon in different cultural contexts. They visited Gansu to understand the living style and culture of the Tibetan and the Hui families, and the challenges of the ethnic groups in Mainland China. In Israel, they learnt about creating a shared society for the Arabs and the Jews, and reflected on the situations of their own cities. The International Youth Forum at the University of Haifa also inspired them about the youth’s views and responsibilities on ethnic diversity.

At Kyrgyzstan, the country of rich ethnicity, PolyU students conducted their credit-bearing  service-learning subject offered by the School of Nursing. While Peking University students travelled to Jarbashy Primary School in the remote area and held a summer camp for local children, students from Xi’an Jiaotong University conducted summer camps with the Kyrgyzstan Federation of the Blinds and Children at the Ivanovka Primary School. 

SOAR4 201718 2 sq SOAR4 201718 3 sq

SOAR Youth Leadership Programme 2016/17


Students of SOAR 2016-17 had travelled to Inner Mongolia, Israel and Kyrgyzstan throughout 2016-17. They learned about environmental sustainability, economic development, cultural diversity, and service leadership in the first two trips and served at the local communities in Kyrgyzstan. In Kyrgyzstan, they carried out vision screening for children and conducted summer camp for primary students. Towards the end of the trip, they gave presentations at the Youth Forum in Kazakhstan.

Programme Plan for Cohort 2016-17

Date/Month Period Content
2-19 Jul weeks 1st Trip: 4-days Service-Leadership Class; Peking & Inner Mongolia Study Trip
Early Sep Afternoon Workshop
Early Oct Afternoon Talk: Preparation of the Youth Forum
Early Dec Afternoon Rehearsal for the Youth Forum
Mid Jan 10 days 2nd Trip: Youth Forum and Visits in Israel
Mid Feb Afternoon Trip Review
Mid Mar Afternoon Talk: Preparation of the Service-learning trip
Mid Apr/May/Jun Afternoon Meeting for the Service-Learning trip
Mid July 2 weeks 3rd trip: Service-Learning (credit-bearing)