OPINIONS: CUHK or HKU for Business? Watch

pmc:producer
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Hi everyone,

I'm in the process of deciding where I'd like to study abroad next year (2015/16) and have narrowed my choices down to two universities in Honk Kong; Chinese University of Honk Kong and the University of Honk Kong...

Although I'm torn between continuing Business & Management on to my honours, I'm seriously considering swapping to Economics - either way I would be attending the Business School of one of these Uni's...

I'm pretty keen on CUHK after doing some research. It seems more campus orientated and like a pretty lovely campus at that - I could be wrong of course! On top of this the Business School seems to be pretty well regarded. My only concern is the location - is this in a well build up area or hidden away in the hills?!

HKU again seems well regarded, but I've heard it's quite cliquey - I've no idea if this is true but it's a major turn off if it is.

So I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with either of these universities? Particularly regarding teaching styles, whether or not there's a cliquey atmosphere among home students, locations and the like. And if CUHK is away from the busy city, how easy is it to get down the hill to where the life is?!

Any help would be magic! Thanks.
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Baron of Sealand
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HKU.

To respond to your specific comments:
1. HKU's business school has a generally weaker reputation compared to HKUST (not CUHK), but only on academics, and fluctuates a lot (so for example, its Master of Finance is ranked Top 5 world-wide by Financial Times).
2. With general academic reputation, CUHK is pretty much the same as HKU's business school.
3. HKU has a way longer history, and a much stronger hold on the politics and business fields than any other local university does (meaning, an overseas qualification would probably benefit you more instead), so in the business field, HKU would be a way better option for the network and prestige.
4. All universities in Hong Kong are campus universities. Yes, many people would say that HKU has lots of scattered campuses, but they are generally not counted (or CUHK would not be able to claim to have the largest campus in HK). As a business undergraduate, you won't go anywhere but the main campus, and in a building or two - business students are probably in KK Leung building. In CUHK, I should think most of your classes should be in a building or two as well, but people do tend to take the inner-campus school buses to move around.
5. CUHK has no historical buildings whilst HKU has a couple on campus; but CUHK does have more green for having more flat land in general. Can't really say there's a 'landmark' in CUHK as a result. HKU is on the hill however, so technically it's close to the green areas all the way up to The Peak.
6. Hongkongers love white people, so you will not be 'alienated' in either places. But you do need to reach out yourself, as they may not do it (in both universities) for language or whatever reasons.
7. HKU has the largest international undergraduate and postgraduate population in Hong Kong - 17-18% of all undergrads at HKU are internationals (on par with Oxford), whilst around 11% are at CUHK (No 2 in HK, slightly higher than Cambridge). With postgrads, HKU has close to 30% with HKUST as a very close second.
8. HKU students and graduates have the highest average proficiency in English, as HKU has been the only university in Hong Kong with a higher admission grade for English, and finalists have an averaged IELTS band 7.1 (same band as native English speakers globally), with business, law, and social sciences students having the highest averages.
9. HKU's halls and colleges are quite tedious in the sense that they expect you to 'contribute' (but some halls leave internationals alone unless they want to join the sports teams, whilst one of them insists on using Cantonese to interview which has been under fire), CUHK's tend not to do anything much and just really are residences. So technically easier to have friends in the former, but depends on how much time you want to spend with those people.
10. A cliquey atmosphere? I'd say the situation should be similar in both universities, and you will always need to make the effort to reach out to make friends. I don't know much about the situation in CUHK, but no international students have complained about that in HKU, though it also shouldn't be overlooked that they could also befriend other Caucasians.
11. The Students' Union of CUHK has been criticised as being heavily left-leaning to the point that they are rather quite foolish; but HKU's does not do anything much at all.
12. In both universities you will meet a lot of mainland students as you're doing business. They may not talk to you much.
13. By the 'busy city', I suppose you mean the CBD, ie Tsim Sha Tsui/Central area. The more westernised bars tend to be on the island, ie LKF (Central) and Wan Chai. HKU is circa 2.7km from Central (on the island); CUHK is 19.3km from Tsim Sha Tsui (in Kowloon). But CUHK has an MTR station (on the East Rail) whilst HKU has not got one (but is expected to have one later this year). Would be awfully difficult/expensive for you to go back to CUHK after midnight clubbing in LKF, but it's not a rural area or anything - Sha Tin, 8 minutes away by MTR, is a big residential area. On the other hand, you would be able to walk back to HKU from LKF. Mong Kok would be a big area (27m from CUHK on MTR; c30m from HKU by bus, but will be faster with MTR) but it's not that popular with expats.
14. Both are sort of on a hill, but HKU is on a much taller one - it leads to The Peak if you go all the way up.
15. Both universities have a strong christian presence as unfortunately it's a middle-class thing in Hong Kong, but CUHK has a stronger one because they have theology.
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pmc:producer
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Absolutely perfect, thank you!
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Baron of Sealand
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(Original post by pmc:producer)
Absolutely perfect, thank you!
Not at all. You're welcome to ask any further questions.

It seems you would be doing a postgraduate degree? In that case, most of your classmates are likely to be mainlanders who do not speak English particularly well, in any university.
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pmc:producer
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(Original post by clh_hilary)
Not at all. You're welcome to ask any further questions.

It seems you would be doing a postgraduate degree? In that case, most of your classmates are likely to be mainlanders who do not speak English particularly well, in any university.
Unfortunately not - mature student here, ouch! 24!

I do have 101 questions, would you mind if I even private messaged you later on with a few?

Thanks again. Invaluable help.
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Baron of Sealand
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(Original post by pmc:producer)
Unfortunately not - mature student here, ouch! 24!

I do have 101 questions, would you mind if I even private messaged you later on with a few?

Thanks again. Invaluable help.
Sure.

Your profile says you're reading at Glasgow University so I just assumed.
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pmc:producer
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(Original post by clh_hilary)
Sure.

Your profile says you're reading at Glasgow University so I just assumed.
Yep we have partnerships with both these Universities (HKU through Universitas 21). Someone's off to Berkeley this coming year, which really put me in the mood for it. Initially I was thinking ERASMUS, but this seems much better.

Did you study there at undergraduate level?
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Baron of Sealand
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(Original post by pmc:producer)
Yep we have partnerships with both these Universities (HKU through Universitas 21). Someone's off to Berkeley this coming year, which really put me in the mood for it. Initially I was thinking ERASMUS, but this seems much better.

Did you study there at undergraduate level?
Don't even know that alliance actually does anything.

So you're going on an exchange programme, or do you mean a joint-degree programme?
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pmc:producer
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(Original post by clh_hilary)
Don't even know that alliance actually does anything.

So you're going on an exchange programme, or do you mean a joint-degree programme?
The alliance simply makes going there on exchange more straight forward in theory.

Yes, a exchange year, not a joint-degree.
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Baron of Sealand
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(Original post by pmc:producer)
The alliance simply makes going there on exchange more straight forward in theory.

Yes, a exchange year, not a joint-degree.
IC. Then certainly don't see why that'd matter much.
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(Original post by clh_hilary)
IC. Then certainly don't see why that'd matter much.
Why what matters much?
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Baron of Sealand
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(Original post by pmc:producer)
Why what matters much?
Which one you go to.

Don't think you'd learn much in a year in either, and the prestige and reputation don't really matter as you will not be a member/graduate of either.
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(Original post by clh_hilary)
Which one you go to.

Don't think you'd learn much in a year in either, and the prestige and reputation don't really matter as you will not be a member/graduate of either.
It matters for a few reasons really,

Firstly I'm looking to enjoy my experience there in Hong Kong, that's a must. So things like location, people, halls of residence etc are all imperative.

Secondly, networking - this shouldn't be underrated. And I may go back when it comes time to study my masters - depending on how I feel after an exchange year there of course.

Thirdly, and more importantly - I'll be essentially getting half my honours degree there (as I'll spend my first honours year there, my second at Glasgow), ergo it's imperative that I'm somewhere that has a good teaching style, charismatic lecturers/tutors and keen students - all of which help you thrive. Again, this is fundamental and will contribute massively to my degree classification.

With the in mind, I do think it matters which Uni I choose, be it for educational/learning reasons or social reasons...

Thanks again.
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Baron of Sealand
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(Original post by pmc:producer)
It matters for a few reasons really,

Firstly I'm looking to enjoy my experience there in Hong Kong, that's a must. So things like location, people, halls of residence etc are all imperative.

Secondly, networking - this shouldn't be underrated. And I may go back when it comes time to study my masters - depending on how I feel after an exchange year there of course.

Thirdly, and more importantly - I'll be essentially getting half my honours degree there (as I'll spend my first honours year there, my second at Glasgow), ergo it's imperative that I'm somewhere that has a good teaching style, charismatic lecturers/tutors and keen students - all of which help you thrive. Again, this is fundamental and will contribute massively to my degree classification.

With the in mind, I do think it matters which Uni I choose, be it for educational/learning reasons or social reasons...

Thanks again.
I'm sure HKU has better network and connections, especially with expats. For one thing, it's actually on the island...

I cannot comment on the teaching for the simple fact that I haven't taken any business course in either university.
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lifeisgood.
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(Original post by pmc:producer)
It matters for a few reasons really,

Firstly I'm looking to enjoy my experience there in Hong Kong, that's a must. So things like location, people, halls of residence etc are all imperative.

Secondly, networking - this shouldn't be underrated. And I may go back when it comes time to study my masters - depending on how I feel after an exchange year there of course.

Thirdly, and more importantly - I'll be essentially getting half my honours degree there (as I'll spend my first honours year there, my second at Glasgow), ergo it's imperative that I'm somewhere that has a good teaching style, charismatic lecturers/tutors and keen students - all of which help you thrive. Again, this is fundamental and will contribute massively to my degree classification.

With the in mind, I do think it matters which Uni I choose, be it for educational/learning reasons or social reasons...

Thanks again.
Seeing as these are your reasons, choose HKU and don't think twice.

1. More "HK" experience: CUHK is like going to Durham filled with Chinese people and worse architecture. You won't even be able to tell the difference. HKU is somewhat distinctive because it's near many places of interest.

2. HKU has much much much better networking.
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Baron of Sealand
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(Original post by lifeisgood.)
Seeing as these are your reasons, choose HKU and don't think twice.

1. More "HK" experience: CUHK is like going to Durham filled with Chinese people and worse architecture. You won't even be able to tell the difference. HKU is somewhat distinctive because it's near many places of interest.

2. HKU has much much much better networking.
What do you mean by CUHK like going to Durham though?
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lifeisgood.
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Location-wise. It's in the middle of bumf-uck nowhere. Totally pointless since this is Hong Kong lol.
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Baron of Sealand
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(Original post by lifeisgood.)
Location-wise. It's in the middle of bumf-uck nowhere. Totally pointless since this is Hong Kong lol.
Oh ha I thought you meant they were snobbish like the reputation Durham has! I definitely don't find them snobbish, though how they can claim to be better than HKU is beyond my comprehension, when in reality they are so far behind on all the league tables...The difference is not Oxford versus Cambridge but more like Oxford versus HKU. (CUHK does not even rank No 2.)

It is indeed in the middle of nowhere, but as I've said, they have an MTR station whilst HKU has not got one (but expect to have one later this year), which makes it convenient enough as we do have a good railway system. I'd say East Rail, where the station is at is the worst line of the railway system but still acceptable. In terms of convenience, Hong Kong Polytechnic University will be the most convenient, with City University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Baptist University (in this order) following. Then I'd say both HKU and CUHK are similar without considering the fact that there will be an MTR station for HKU (or that if you're going to LKF every night, HKU obviously is the only convenient one).
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It may also interest you to know the admission grades for both for locals:

(All medians.)

CUHK -
IBBA: 55*5455=30
An equivalent to an averaged A in GCE A-levels.
In CUHK, I believe IBBA tend to be the third-preferred programme after Global Business and Qualitative Finance among business programmes.

HKU -
BBA: 32
An equivalent to above an averaged A in GCE A-levels.
In HKU, BBA is one of the least prestigious programmes though, because E&F, IBGM, Qualitative Finance, BBA+Law, etc are all more sought-after.
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(Original post by lifeisgood.)
Seeing as these are your reasons, choose HKU and don't think twice.

1. More "HK" experience: CUHK is like going to Durham filled with Chinese people and worse architecture. You won't even be able to tell the difference. HKU is somewhat distinctive because it's near many places of interest.

2. HKU has much much much better networking.
Ah, this sums it up perfectly. Thanks dude

(Original post by clh_hilary)
It may also interest you to know the admission grades for both for locals:

(All medians.)

CUHK -
IBBA: 55*5455=30
An equivalent to an averaged A in GCE A-levels.
In CUHK, I believe IBBA tend to be the third-preferred programme after Global Business and Qualitative Finance among business programmes.

HKU -
BBA: 32
An equivalent to above an averaged A in GCE A-levels.
In HKU, BBA is one of the least prestigious programmes though, because E&F, IBGM, Qualitative Finance, BBA+Law, etc are all more sought-after.
Spot on, thanks again!
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