History of Hong Kong PolyU

HK PolyU's four historical stages - from 1937 to present:

"The Government Trade School"                          
"The Hong Kong Technical College"
"The Hong Kong Polytechnic"
 "The Hong Kong Polytechnic University"

History of HK PolyU

HK PolyU, nowadays known as the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, is one of the public universities in Hong Kong. The history of HK PolyU started from the year 1937.
"To learn and to apply, for the benefit of mankind." - PolyU

Year 1937:  The development of local technical education can be traced back to 1937 when the first publicly funded, post-secondary technical institution was founded in Wood Road, Wanchai. The school was named "The Government Trade School", and was the forefather of PolyU. At that moment the school only had 70 full-time students enrolled for marine wireless operating, mechanical engineering and building construction courses.

Year 1947:  The provision of technical education continued in a small scale during World War II. After World War II, the school was renamed “The Hong Kong Technical College”. Full-time and part-time courses were held then.

Year 1950s: With a great demand for trained technicians and professionals due to the accelerating industrialization, the college moved to Hung Hom for technical education. 

Year 1965: Dr Sze-yuen Chung spoke to the Legislative Council advising the government to build a polytechnic-type institution in Hong Kong.

Year 1969: A Polytechnic Planning Committee was set up under the chairmanship of the late Dr Tang Ping-yuen.

Year 1972: The Hong Kong Polytechnic was formally established, providing application-oriented education and focusing on Polytechnic courses. There were 1,600 full-time and 10,000 part-time students enrolled in the classes of engineering, commerce and management, mathematics and science, nautical studies and textiles. 

Year 1978: Board of Directors of the Polytechnic was renamed Polytechnic Council. 

Year 1983-1989: First fiver degree programmes and first MPhil and PhD programmes were launched.

Year 1994: The Institution changed its name to “The Hong Kong Polytechnic University” after getting approval for self-accreditation of degree programmes from the University and Polytechnic Grants Committee.

Highlight of the PolyU History:

1937- The Government Trade School
The school badge emphasized the guiding principle of propriety and standards of excellence.
Campus of Government Trade School
Badge of Government Trade School

1947-The Hong Kong Technical College
The college badge meant the College motto " Thorough".

Campus of Hong Kong Technical College
Badge of Hong Kong Technical College

1972-The Hong Kong Polytechnic
The Polytechnic logo was made up of a series of "P"s interlocking with the Chinese character "工" (industry or technology), symbolizes the institution's close partnership with industry.
campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic
Logo of Hong Kong Polytechnic

1994-The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Today's PolyU logo was inspired by the original symbol of the then Hong Kong Polytechnic in early 1970s. It reminds people of the accomplishments from the history of HK PolyU. The round shapes at each corner intertwine to symbolize “P” for Polytechnic and “U” for University. The “T” referred to the technical excellence in the earlier symbol that the brick effect has been retained. Now it reflects the strength and stability of HK PolyU. The open perimeter represents increased interaction between the University and the world. And the color of the logo shows the well-known red brick walls of our main campus.
Campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Logo of Hong Kong Polytechnic University

PolyU's Diverse History Makes It Prominent Today:  

There are more than 180 programmes ranging from research and taught postgraduate to undergraduate and sub-degree levels, including those unique in Hong Kong. The University strives to nurture graduates, who are critical thinkers, effective communicators, innovative problem solvers, lifelong learners and ethical leaders. PolyU also encourages its students to take more challenge and explore uncovering knowledge that benefits mankind in order to improve human being's life and enhance the economy. Besides, the University has a very big global network by connecting with the world and building strong contacts with Mainland China. Until 2016, HK PolyU is ranked 6th worldwide in QS Top 50 Under 50 2016-2017. PolyU has achieved a lot of success in past years and keeps bringing the positive change to the future. 

Additional information related to the history of HK PolyU:

Rankings, Notable Graduates, Research Achievements, Faculties and Schools.

Check out the video about PolyU below for more:

A brief history of HK PolyU


PolyU Student Data (1994-2016):

The following table is going to show you Hong Kong PolyU's historical data of the numbers of students enrolled, numbers of staff and average monthly salary of graduates through part of the history of HK PolyU. You will have a general idea of PolyU's development in the population of students and staff, and also the employment situation.
Numbers of PolyU Students
Numbers of PolyU Staff
Avg. Salary of PolyU Graduates
Raw data as below:

Years No. of PolyU Students No. of  Permanent Staff Avg. Monthly Salary of PolyU Graduates in Employment in HK$
      Higher degree Undergraduate Sub-degree
1993/94 22,860 2,831 - 9,835 8,716
1994/95 21,008 2,941 18,526 10,668 9,772
1995/96 20,245 2,875 18,427 11,573 10,462
1996/97 20,137 2,876 23,153 11,665 10,846
1997/98 19,449 2,802 20,995 12,275 10,775
1998/99 18,293 2,815 - - -
1999/2000 17,859 2,804 - - -
2000/01 17,228 2,817 - - -
2001/02 16,959 2,776 - - -
2002/03 16,355 2,821 14,478 10,540 10,055
2003/04 16,619 2,584 12,585 9,614 10,436
2004/05 16,103 2,432 13,229 10,108 10,278
2005/06 26,769 2,827 13,487 11,133 10,712
2006/07 29,081 3,052 13,947 11,826 11,467
2007/08 28,649 3,254 15,663 12,881 12,152
2009/10 30,234 3,554 14,818 12,791 13,587
2010/11 30,444 3,493 20,513 13,279 14,308
2011/12 30,080 3,434 21,092 14,498 13,437
2012/13 32,540 3,558 19,909 15,219 15,338
2013/14 32,254 3,552 20,541 16,148 16,487
2014/15 31,864 3,534 22,520 16,434 12,643
2015/16 29,978 3,643 - - -

Former presidents in PolyU:

Presidents of the Hong Kong Polytechnic 

former presidents of polyu

Year 1972-1985: Dr Keith Legg
Year 1985-1991: Prof. John Clark 
Year 1991-1994: Prof. Poon Chung-kwong (Born 1940, Hong Kong) 

(From left) Prof. Poon Chung-kwong, Dr Keith Legg and Prof. John Clark.

Presidents of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

PolyU'S former president Prof. Poon

Year 1994-2008: Prof. Poon Chung-kwong (Born 1940, Hong Kong)

He was trained as chemist from previous educations. During the office term of Prof. Poon, he was focusing on turning PolyU into an application-oriented university.

PolyU current president Prof. Tong

Year 2009-present: Professor Timothy W. Tong (Born 1953, Hong Kong)

Professor Tong is well known by his excellent academic achievement in mechanical engineering specifically for heat transfer. He is not only active in energy use and sustainable development, but also public service in Hong Kong.


Campus story:

Through the past 80 years of history, PolyU also kept renovating campus buildings. Nowadays PolyU has over 23 buildings in its main campus. Even though this main campus has more than sixty years history, all the buildings still look quite new with red bricks decorated. Each building is named after donors and also called in English letters (from blocks A to Z, without blocks K, O and I). You can find student hostels, a multi-purpose auditorium, sports, recreational and catering facilities, clinics as well as a bookstore and banks if you walk around the school. - Campus map.

However there is a few significant buildings we would like to introduce more.

PolyU-The Jockey Club Innovation Tower

The Jockey Club Innovation Tower is located next to the Shaw Amenities building. You can easily recognize it by its creative shape and different color from other buildings. It is the home for design school, providing exhibition areas, design studios and workshops, as well as a communal lounge. Famous architect Zaha Hadid designed this tower. It has taken 4 years to complete the construction work of this 15-floor building since 2009. Design shows are held here regularly.

The Jockey Club Auditorium began operation in 2000. It can accommodate up to 1084 audience, designed as a multi-purpose venue for all kinds of conferences, seminars as well as cultural activities and performances and etc.
PolyU-The Jockey Club Auditorium
PolyU-Hotel ICON (Hong Kong)

Hotel ICON (Hong Kong) was officially opened in September 2011 located in TST east. It is the teaching and research hotel with 262 guest rooms, built for the School of Hotel and Tourism Management fully owned by PolyU.

Check out the video about our PolyU campus below:

Come to explore PolyU Campus with us


History of COMP:

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University is well known for its COMP programmes so that we are going to introduce this department specially to strengthen the history of HK PolyU. COMP is the department of computing in PolyU. It was established in 1974 as the first computing department in Hong Kong. Its slogan is "Envision future computing, computing for future". - COMP

comp logo

Roadmap of COMP:

Year 1970sDepartment of Computing Science was founded in 1974 under the leadership of Mr G.P. Mead. System Analysis, Computing Studies and Computer Programming courses were launched within 4 years after. The department was renamed Department of Computing Studies in 1979.

Year 1980s: Mr D.V.Gulati became the Head of the department in 1984. Classes of Software Engineering and Information Technology were introduced during this decade.

Year 1990s: The department changed its name to Department of Computing (now known as COMP) in 1991 and Prof. Daniel Yeung was announced to the Head in 1992. Then in 1994, COMP built a facilities centre for Software Technology, and relocated the department from Main Building to Mong Man Wai Building. The department was transfer to the faculty of Engineering in 1999 when Prof.Tharam Singh Dilllon was appointed to the Head of COMP. At the same time, ICEC(Internet Computing & Electronic Commerce) laboratory opened.

Year 2000s: With the launch of MSc E-commerce programmes, Intelligent Technology Laboratory and Software Develpoment and Management Laboratory were built. In 2001, the department's first spin-off company called Information Access Technologies Company Limited started. The first department logo was released in 2003. Prof. Keith Chan and Prof. David Zhang was appointed as the Head of COMP in 2002 and 2008 respectively. In 2009 COMP was ranked NO.1 in Hong Kong, NO.2 in Asia, and NO.36 in the world for the achievement of Software Engineering.

Year 2010s: Prof. Jiannong Cao became the new Head of Computing Department in 2011 while Shenzhen Innovative Intelligent Computing Centre were founded. Establishment of PolyU-SYSU Networked Lab on Creative Applications and Joint Laboratory on Smart Cloud Computing occurred in 2013. COMP was ranked NO.50 in 2014 QS World University Subject Rankings in Computer Science and Information Systems. In the same year, a Key Laboratory of Machine Intelligence and Advanced Computing was planted. Also the logo of the department was renovated to celebrate its 40th milestone anniversary in 2014.

During the past four decades of history, the Department of Computing in PolyU has offered high-quality, application-oriented and interdisciplinary research and education to all the students, and nurtured a lot of computing-related talents for the benefit of society with their advanced knowledge and skills.

Other Useful External links:

Campus Map:

PolyU Campus location

PolyU logo

Address: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Contact telephone: (852) 2766 5111