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The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Hong Kong (HK)
Date posted
Jan 6, 2024

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) invites applications and nominations for the position of Dean of Humanities and Social Science.

The University

Founded in 1991, HKUST is an international research university dedicated to the advancement of science, engineering, business & management, and humanities & social science, and the education of the next generation of leaders for the world.  With equal emphasis on undergraduate and postgraduate education as well as close collaboration with industry and business, HKUST is a leading university with significant international impact and strong local commitment.  Within a short history of 32 years, HKUST has established a substantial presence in the global higher education sector and garnered considerable international recognition.  HKUST ranks #2 in the latest Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings, #1 in Hong Kong and #3 in Greater China in the latest THE Global Employability Ranking and #7 in the latest THE Asia University Rankings.  Its EMBA Program has topped the highly regarded Financial Times Global EMBA Rankings 11 times in 2007, 2009-2013, 2016-2018, 2020 and 2022. Located on a hillside and waterfront complex overlooking the Clear Water Bay peninsula, HKUST also boasts one of the most scenic campuses in the world.

At the heart of the University’s pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, and societal impact lies uncompromising efforts to recruit and retain the best talents globally and locally.  HKUST comprises around 720 internationally respected and diverse faculty members, with about 10,000 undergraduate and 7,100 postgraduate students.  The University seeks to diversify its critical mass of world-class academics, researchers, staff and students in order to drive cutting-edge education and research initiatives and deliver academic and administrative excellence.  It promotes interdisciplinary studies and a strong entrepreneurial spirit in a diverse learning environment that enhances student development of creativity, innovative thinking and a global outlook.  Proactive faculty recruitment is undertaken from around the world in all its disciplines.  HKUST upholds the values of diversity and an inclusive and collaborative community.  English is the language used in teaching, research and administration.

In September 2022, HKUST celebrated a new milestone in its engagement with the Mainland with the official opening of HKUST(Guangzhou).  Under the “Unified HKUST, Complementary Campuses” framework, HKUST and HKUST(Guangzhou) are transforming education for the future, with the cross-disciplinary academic structure of HKUST(Guangzhou) complementing the well-established disciplinary foundation at the HKUST Clear Water Bay campus.

The School of Humanities and Social Science

The School of Humanities and Social Science (SHSS) at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology stands out among its peers with a strong record of multidisciplinary graduate training and placement, fostering global best practices in undergraduate teaching, engagement of students in faculty research, and international impact of faculty scholarship.  SHSS is known for its interdisciplinary program in the humanities and social sciences, encompassing over a dozen disciplines with a focus on China studies. The School pioneered the first undergraduate degree programs in Global China Studies (2011) and Quantitative Social Analysis (2017), respectively, equipping students with critical thinking and cutting-edge analytic skills.  Through strategic collaborations with renowned universities worldwide, SHSS provides both students and faculty with abundant international opportunities for collaborative research, in-residence exchanges, joint student training, and dual-degree programs in specialized fields.

SHSS comprises two divisions and a Center for Language Education (CLE).  The Division of Humanities and Division of Social Science include over 70 faculty members spanning several disciplines.  The Division of Humanities includes faculty in history, literature, film and media studies, linguistics, philosophy, anthropology, and creative arts.  The Division of Social Science includes faculty in political science, applied economics, sociology, demography, and psychology. Both Divisions offer undergraduate common core courses, undergraduate major and minor programs, as well as master's and doctoral degree programs.  Current enrollment at the School includes approximately 400 undergraduates and 200 postgraduate students.

The CLE currently has over 80 language teaching faculty who employ innovative teaching methods, including technology-enhanced approaches.  In addition to teaching required common core English and Chinese language classes, CLE offers writing and communications courses in technical academic fields, as well as electives in topics such as digital literacy and cross-cultural communication.

SHSS faculty are active in leading or supporting several research centers, including the Center for Ageing Science, Center for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAiRE), Center for Chinese Linguistics, Global China Center, and South China Research Center.

The Role

The Dean of Humanities and Social Science is an executive as well as a faculty appointment, and is a member of the senior administrative team of the University.  The appointee is expected to provide strong and dynamic leadership and vision in effecting the academic objectives of the School and in fostering a collegial culture; play an energetic role in leading the School in its diverse activities including program development, research directions, and academic partnerships and linkages; and further advance the School’s global stature. 

The Candidate

Applicants should be distinguished scholars in humanities or social sciences with demonstrated capability to provide strong and visionary leadership in academic administration at tertiary level.  The appointee should have a global vision and a demonstrated commitment to academic excellence in higher education.  The appointee is expected to bring the School to its next level of excellence.  Familiarity with China and Chinese language will be an advantage.

Terms & Applications/Nominations

Concurrent with a professorial appointment, the appointment as Dean will normally be for an initial term of 5 years which may be renewed for a second term.  Competitive remuneration and generous fringe benefits, including housing where appropriate, will be provided.

HKUST is being represented by Heidrick & Struggles for this search.  Applications/nominations, together with a full curriculum vitae and the names and addresses of three referees, should be sent to  Review of candidates will continue until the position is filled.

HKUST is committed to diversity in recruitment and equal opportunity employment, and has a range of family-friendly policies in place.

Additional information about the University and the School is available on the websites and respectively.

(Information provided by applicants will be used for recruitment and other employment-related purposes.  Applicants should read the Personal Information Collection Statement ( before submission of application.)

HKUST is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to our core values of inclusiveness, diversity, and respect.


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