The Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, established in 2001 at HKU, has a mission to promote innovative, multi-disciplinary research and teaching in the humanities and social sciences. Focusing on China in Asia and in the world from both historical and contemporary perspectives, it supports diverse platforms for a critical community of scholars to share experiences across the globe.

From a modest beginning, the Institute grew steadily under the leadership of its founding Honorary Director Professor Helen F. Siu. An important milestone was the migration of the staff, students, and projects of the Centre of Asian Studies into the Institute, approved by the University Senate and Council for the purposes of intellectual and programmatic synergy, on July 1, 2009. The enhanced Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (incorporating the Centre of Asian Studies), is committed to provide an ever more robust platform for Asian and China studies well connected at The University of Hong Kong and with global academic partners. Professor Angela Ki Che Leung was appointed as the Institute’s first full-time Director to take forward the development of all academic programs of the Institute from January 2011. Professor Zhiwu Chen took up Institute’s leadership in July 2021. With his academic achievements, extensive global and regional networks, and familiarity with the research clusters of the Institute, Professor Chen will further advance the outstanding work of the Institute, infuse it with vision, and forge collaborative and synergistic links within and beyond the University to build an institute of advanced studies in the humanities and social sciences in Asia.