The Chinese University of Hong Kong, incorporated in October 1963 under a Hong Kong Ordinance, is a bilingual and multicultural institution of higher learning. Its objectives are to (i) assist in the preservation, dissemination, communication, and increase of knowledge; (ii) provide regular courses of instruction in the humanities, the sciences, and other branches of learning of a standard required and expected of a university of the highest standing; and (iii) stimulate the intellectual and cultural development of Hong Kong and thereby assist in promoting its economic and social welfare.


The University has its origin in three post-secondary colleges: New Asia College (founded 1949), Chung Chi College (founded 1951), and The United College of Hong Kong (founded 1956). In December 1976 a new ordinance was enacted, making important changes in the constitution governing the University and its constituent colleges. An ordinance for the fourth college — Shaw College — was enacted in July 1986. Shaw College began to admit students in 1988. The University cherishes its college system and the vital roles played by its constituent Colleges. To cater for the addition of more than 3,000 undergraduate students upon reversion to a four-year undergraduate curriculum in 2012, the University decided to establish more Colleges. In July 2007, the University has by Ordinance, in accordance with a special resolution of the Council, declared Morningside College and S.H. Ho College as constituent Colleges of the University. In February 2008, an Ordinance for the declaration of C.W. Chu College, Wu Yee Sun College, and Lee Woo Sing College as constituent Colleges of the University was enacted by the Legislative Council.


The University is a self-governing corporation drawing its income mainly from grants made by the government, supplemented by fees and donations from private sources.


The governing and executive body of the University is the Council, in which is vested with the management and control of the affairs, purposes and functions of the University. The Senate regulates instruction, education and research. The Faculties advise the Senate through the faculty boards on the programmes of study recommended by the departments, which deliver disciplinary teaching. The Colleges, in turn, support the broader development of students as whole persons in addition to the provision of residential accommodation. All teaching staff and full-time undergraduate students, with a few exception of teachers belonging to research institutes or centres, belong to both a Faculty and to a College.


A wide range of full-time undergraduate programmes leading to the BA, BBA, BChiMed, BEd, BEng, LLB, MBChB, BNurs, BPharm, BSc and BSSc degrees are offered by various departments under the Faculties of Arts, Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Science, and Social Science.


Postgraduate programmes leading to the degrees of DMus, DNurs, EdD, PhD, PsyD, JD, LLM, MA, MAcc, MArch, MBA, MChiMed, MClinPharm, MDiv, MEd, MFA, MFM, MMus, MNSc, MNurs, MPAcc, MPH, MPhil, MSc, MSSc, MSW, to postgraduate diplomas and postgraduate certificates are offered by the Graduate School through various graduate divisions. The University started offering double degree programmes in 2006-07, and dual undergraduate degree programmes with partner universities in 2019-20.


Since its inception, the University has adopted bilingualism and multiculturalism as the basis of its teaching, giving equal emphasis to both Chinese and English, and Eastern and Western cultures. The majority of its teaching staff are bilingual (Chinese and English) and have studied and/or taught in major universities all over the world. The University is international in outlook and enjoys close association with many universities, foundations and organisations abroad.


The total enrolment of the University as at 31 December 2022 was 31,491 of whom 17,319 were undergraduate students and 14,172 postgraduate students.


The University has 39 research institutes and 5 state key laboratories to provide faculty members with financial support and other facilities for research. Under these institutes are a number of research centres. There are many more smaller research/consultancy units set up under the auspices of individual faculties and departments to promote research in various subject disciplines.


The School of Continuing and Professional Studies is an extension of the University.