On the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, PolyU announced the official upgrade of the Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC) and the establishment of the School of Fashion and Textiles (SFT), the third flagship and independent school within PolyU. The opening ceremony was held at the University’s Jockey Club Innovation Tower on 2 September.
The School is an international institution integrating fashion and textile education, and innovative technology research. It will comprehensively enhance the competitive advantage of SFT graduates and Hong Kong’s fashion and textile industry while also aligning it with the market development of the Greater Bay Area. The School’s vision is to lead the fashion industry and create societal impact while offering solutions that leverage the research and innovative excellence of the School.
The School is renowned for its world-class teaching and academic achievements. Its academics come from around the world, specialising and leading the way in a variety of academic and research areas including wearable and smart textiles, medical textiles and functional clothing, social fashion design, sustainable fashion, digital fashion marketing, and fashion supply chain management. According to a report by Stanford University in 2021, 13 ITC Scholars are ranked among the world’s top 2% scientists. Furthermore, according to CEOWORLD magazine, SFT was ranked the 3rd in Asia and 43rd in the world of the World’s Best Fashion Schools in 2022. The School has set and reached significant milestones in its pursuit of research excellence for societal impact. Last year, SFT was highly appraised in the Hong Kong University Grants Committee (UGC) “2020 Research Review Exercise”, and its research in the creative arts, performing arts and design was the best among the eight UGC-funded institutions.
Officiating guests at the opening ceremony included Mr Sunny Tan, Member of the Legislative Council of the HKSAR – Textiles, and Garment constituency; Dr Lam Tai-fai, Chairman of the PolyU Council; Prof. Jin-Guang Teng, President of PolyU; and Ms Shirley Chan, Chairlady of the Advisory Committee of SFT.
Prof. Jin-Guang Teng, President of PolyU, said, “It gives me great pleasure to inaugurate the School of Fashion and Textiles as the University’s third flagship and independent school. The new School will push the boundaries of educational and research excellence even further. SFT’s vision is to be a world-leading centre in fashion and textiles education, interdisciplinary research and collaboration, playing a pivotal role in developing Hong Kong into a world-renowned fashion hub.”
Ms Shirley Chan, Chairlady of the SFT Advisory Committee, said, “The new School of Fashion and Textiles will have a new emphasis on education, research and industry partnerships. PolyU has been a leading institution for fashion and textile education and research, both in Asia and globally, since 1957. The transformation of ITC to the School of Fashion and Textiles reflects its continuing position as an educational leader for many years to come.”
To meet the increasing demand for advanced technology in the fashion and textile industry, SFT has worked closely with the industrial sector both locally and internationally to introduce knowledge transfer and apply innovative and insightful technologies. Significant projects include the Nu-Torque™ singles ring-yarn technology, the personalised posture training system for medical, sports and healthcare applications, and intelligent 3D human-modelling technology. These have had ground-breaking and far-reaching influences within the industry. Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as successfully developing new anti-virus 3D printing materials, anti-virus reusable PU30 masks, and protective clothing, SFT has maintained its close ties with the government, NGOs and disadvantaged groups.
SFT has earmarked additional resources to foster academic and technological education and research. Its courses keep pace with the times in order to best meet market requirements for advanced technology, and new subjects including artificial intelligence, digital fashion design, e-commerce and sustainable development are all being added to the School’s programmes. The revamped undergraduate programme - BA (Hons) Scheme in Fashion, and the taught postgraduate programme - MA in Global Fashion Management, are vivid representations of a prestigious, high quality, full spectrum fashion education with the trilogy of design, business and technology to accommodate local, regional and international demand for fashion talent.