4 of the Best Reasons to Study Public Policy in Hong Kong | Top Universities

4 of the Best Reasons to Study Public Policy in Hong Kong

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Stephanie Lukins

Updated May 21, 2024



4 of the Best Reasons to Study Public Policy in Hong Kong

Sponsored by The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)

Located in south east Asia, Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading hubs in finance, e-commerce, logistics and trade. In recent years, the thriving metropolis has become a highly popular location to pursue a degree – particularly in public policy.

We take a closer look at what makes Hong Kong an ideal place to pursue a master’s in public policy.

Its renowned reputation for academic excellence

Seven of Hong Kong’s universities are ranked in the latest QS World University Rankings and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), a leading university in science and technology, is one of them.

Founded in 1991, HKUST has risen rapidly in global university rankings. Since 2018, it has maintained its position as the second best university in Hong Kong (SAR) for the employer reputation indicator in the QS World University Rankings. It also ranks second in the QS Top 50 Under 50 2021 – a ranking exclusively for some of the world’s younger academic institutions that are under 50 years old.

HKUST’s Master of Public Policy program is a new and innovative public policy master’s degree that is designed for operating in today’s fast-paced world.

The two-year full-time programme aims to nurture the next generation of capable and effective policy professionals who want to advance their careers in industries at the frontline of science and technology advancements, like information technology and telecommunications, smart city, environment, energy, health care, transportation and finance.

It provides a comprehensive professional training experience and is the ideal master’s programme if you’re interested in learning about the complexities of public policy, management capacities and analytics in order to bring about innovative solutions to current and emerging challenges across sectors, issue areas and global regions.

You will get hands-on policy experience

Good policy professionals can make or break the effectiveness and value of policies in our interconnected world so the policy professionals of tomorrow must be prepared to work in a rapidly changing and disruptive world.

Such exposure and insights into the complexities of a real policy-making environment are essential if you’re serious about pursuing a career in the field.

Degrees like the Master of Public Policy at HKUST are crucial in helping aspiring policy professionals do just that. An optional summer internship between first year and second year and the policy analysis project are examples of career-centered initiatives that allow students to connect with top-tier companies and possibly even secure job offers later down the line.

The year-long policy analysis project aims to provide students with a valuable, engaging, educational and professional experience which sees students work in teams of four to six individuals on challenges facing real-world organisations. This gives students the chance to apply their new-found knowledge and demonstrate to clients their expertise and passion to work in such a fast-paced sector.

Jiahua, a Master of Public Policy graduate, said: “The programme’s reality-based curriculum, diverse internship opportunities, and unique PAE projects together help those aspiring to work in the consulting industry to improve their critical thinking, presentation and social practice.

“At the same time, the programme helps students expand their career breadth and discover more possibilities by enhancing their academic background and competitiveness in the market.”

You’ll enhance your leadership and management capabilities (along with a plethora of other valuable and transferable skills)

The world is currently facing challenges of an unprecedented magnitude with far-reaching consequences. Today’s intersection of business, international affairs and public policy requires professionals who have a plethora of skills stretching across various disciplines in order to lead and take appropriate actions in a complex and fast-changing policy world.

As Professor Pengyu Zhu, Program Co-Director of the Master of Public Policy, explains: “The MPP which is taught by our renowned professors, emphasises training critical thinking skills to understand policy issues in depth, enhance technical and analytical skills to create solutions effectively, and cultivates communication skills to manage policy implementation practically.”

Master of Public Policy students also have the opportunity to take electives in other departments at the university so they can integrate perspectives from across the policy spectrum – from business and management, to engineering and sustainability.

What’s more, the programme welcomes all individuals who are interested in making a difference on a local and global scale, regardless of their academic or professional background. Having policy professionals who understand the importance of implementing innovative policies that protects and brings stability to society has never been needed more.

You want to pursue a career that makes a difference and has a positive impact

Public policy is essential to ensuring the sustainable future of society, and there’s an increasing need for forward-thinking graduates in this field who have an awareness of the bigger global picture and how to help society overcome increasingly complex and pressing challenges.

If you want to make a genuine difference and improve the quality and effectiveness of regulatory issues and governmental policies, a master’s in public policy can prepare you for a wide variety of roles within policymaking and governance, non-profit leadership, international development, public affairs, education administration, healthcare administration and urban planning.

At HKUST, Master of Public Policy students benefit from the university’s wide range of training programs including career development workshops, internships, international company visits and talks, as well as alumni and networking events. These are all great opportunities to help build and nurture your valuable insights into the world of public policy.

What’s more, the university’s dedicated and professional Career Center and communication tutors provide students with resources, services, programmes and assistance to explore, plan and prepare for part-time or graduate employment.

Students with little or no prior professional experience are encouraged to pursue an optional 10-week internship between first and second year to help boost their industry insights, career prospects and professional network. Some organisations which students have previously interned at include the Agricultural Bank of China, EY, KPMG, Our Hong Kong Foundation, PwC, Tencent and more.

What’s more, graduates are guaranteed a 12-month working visa, so they are able to explore the myriad of training and career opportunities Hong Kong has to offer.

Despite the hardships of the coronavirus pandemic, many of HKUST’s first cohort of Master of Public Policy graduates have gone on to secure jobs in a variety of fields in and around the area of Hong Kong – including the high-tech industry, banking and finance, consulting and government.

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area development is a bustling international financial centre and a gateway to Mainland China which offers exciting business and career opportunities as well.