Caixin
May 29, 2018 04:54 AM
ECONOMY

HKUST to Set up New Campus in Guangzhou

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology plans to open a new campus in the Nansha Free Trade Zone of Guangzhou. Photo: VCG
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology plans to open a new campus in the Nansha Free Trade Zone of Guangzhou. Photo: VCG

Guangdong and Hong Kong are moving toward closer academic links as the central government works on a strategic plan to empower regional growth by promoting integration and innovation.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), one of the city’s top research institutions, plans to build a new campus in a suburb of Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province which neighbors Hong Kong, the university confirmed Monday with Caixin.

The planned campus is likely to be built in the Nansha Free Trade Zone, near the Qingsheng station of the high-speed rail line linking Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. The rail line, set to start operation later this year, is a key infrastructure project designed to improve connections between Guangdong and Hong Kong.

The new campus will coordinate with the headquarters and supplement the university’s research and educational capacity to benefit cities in the Greater Bay Area, Clear Water Bay-based HKUST told Caixin.

The university’s plan comes as Beijing pursues an ambitious project to develop the area around the Pearl River Delta, known as the Greater Bay Area, by integrating neighboring Hong Kong and Macau into a world-class city cluster. The area is expected to become a growth locomotive with GDP exceeding $4.62 trillion by 2030, fueled by high-tech, innovation and advanced manufacturing, rivaling famous bay areas in Tokyo, New York and San Francisco, analysts say.

A central government plan to develop the Greater Bay Area is set to be released by the end of May. It will outline the roadmap for the region to promote cooperation and enhance connectivity, capital and talent flow.

The integration of education and academic resources has been a topic for discussions about the Greater Bay Area development as cities in the area have sought to expand the local technology capability and talent reservoir to drive future growth.

During the March national legislative meeting in Beijing, Li Qingquan, president of Shenzhen University, proposed to create a united bay area university to integrate and share educational resources in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau.

At an April meeting with Education Minister Chen Baosheng, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said encouraging Hong Kong’s educational institutions to open branches in Guangdong will increase cross-region academic exchanges and enhance regional research and educational capacity.

Several Hong Kong institutions including Hong Kong University and Chinese University of Hong Kong previously moved to set up facilities in Guangdong. In February, the City University of Hong Kong unveiled a series of projects in partnership with the Huizhou city government in Guangdong, including graduate programs and research projects.

Contact reporter Han Wei (weihan@caixin.com)


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