RPG ADMISSION 2020 – 21

Student Feedback
Hua Shuo
PhD Student

“The courses offered by the Institute provide lively and inspirational platform that encourage the students to think deeply and creatively while shaping the research design. The class size is small enough to allow for every single student to present and discuss his/her ideas. I appreciate all the comments and critiques received by the instructors, supervisors and fellow peers.”

Anna Iskra
PhD Student

“Interdisciplinary approach is highly encouraged at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. During the course of my study, I have had a chance to engage in critical discussions with representatives of various disciplines within humanities. I am also highly impressed by the Institute’s international network that creates unique opportunities to attend courses led by distinguished visiting professors. Moreover, the Institute has provided me with abundant opportunities for learning about other researchers’ work by organizing various public lectures and weekly lunchtime seminars. I believe that the guiding principle of HKIHSS is truly humanistic — in both research and teaching it goes beyond artificial divisions between disciplines, connecting researchers of various interests and backgrounds.”

Liu Xiaomeng
PhD Student

“The Institute fosters interdisciplinary studies and provides an excellent platform for academic exchange. Scholars and students from diverse backgrounds gather here and form an intellectually inspiring and productive community. The institute holds a weekly lunchtime seminar series which brings together humanists and social scientists located in Hong Kong and elsewhere. Courses offered by the distinguished visiting professors also give students more exposure to the research agendas and methods from around the globe. Moreover, the international institutional connections and generous funding allow students at the Institute to pursue more academic training abroad. It is really a rewarding experience to study at the Institute and I really benefit from the incredible chance provided here for my own academic development.”

Sun Qi
Sun Qi
PhD Graduate

“Studying at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences is an enjoyable and challenging experience. Various public lectures and weekly lunchtime seminars serve to broaden my academic horizons. The small seminars allow students to actively engage with professors and classmates. My research has been greatly aided by detailed comments and critiques from my instructors and supervisors. Finally, the administrative staffs provide timely, helpful, and friendly support and advice.”

Fabian Winiger
PhD Graduate

“The Institute’s three research foci — religion, medicine and technology — bring together scholars with very different interests and academic training. This offers graduate student a unique insight into the contrasts and commonalities between various academic traditions, teaches them to think “outside the box” and to reformulate their research question so as to connect their interests with broader intellectual concerns which cut across the narrow confines of their own research topic. The Institute provides generous resources to free up students’ time from department duties usually expected from graduate students so that they can fully concentrate on their research. As the Institute teaches no undergraduates, they enjoy the undivided attention of the faculty and administrative staff. The combination of interdisciplinarity, the intimate and fully-immersive learning environment, and the generous financial support provided are unique in Hong Kong, and make the Institute one of the most promising initiatives of its kind in East Asia.”

James Wright
PhD Graduate

“The Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences has provided me with excellent training, support and guidance both in terms of research supervision and academic development. The relatively small size of the Institute enables a close collegial relationship with fellow students and academic staff, and also offers more opportunities to get involved with and gain experience and skills in teaching, and running graduate seminars. The Institute has also been extremely generous in providing funds to enable me to pursue advanced language training in Japan to facilitate my fieldwork. Overall my experience at the Institute has been incredibly positive and intellectually rewarding.”

Fung Lok Hang
Fung Lok Hang
MPhil Student

“The Institute offers immense support to students in terms of training, academic guidance and learning opportunities. The academic atmosphere is conducive, and I am grateful for being able to meet a lot of supportive peers as well as top-class academics here. Courses and seminars offered at the Institute are especially helpful thanks to the small and optimal class size and great attention given by professors to each and every student. I have received very constructive feedback and advices from my supervisors as well as peers on my research project and developing a career as an academic. The MPhil experience at the Institute surely makes me clearer about the academic career and more confident if I want to pursue a PhD in the future.”

Lee Song Ah
Lee Song Ah
MPhil Student

“By putting an emphasis on interdisciplinary research, the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences offers a unique and exciting opportunity for students to broaden their research horizons and worldview. Senior scholars from varying academic fields are easily accessible, friendly and more than happy to sit down with you for a chat about your studies. Through their guidance, students are constantly challenged to critique, dismantle and reassemble ideas about their research questions at their own pace. Over the course of two years in the MPhil program at the Institute, my supervisors encouraged me to foster a healthy level of academic skepticism that took my research to the next level. It made for a very intellectually rigorous yet rewarding experience.”

Qiu Zichan
Qiu Zichan
MPhil Student

“The course provided by the Institute is very inspiring. Many famous international scholars are usually invited to deliver lectures. I can have opportunities to ask them questions face to face. The atmosphere of the Institute is quite encouraging. We can freely and pleasantly to share our own opinions during the class. The ideas and comments from teachers and students are also accessible and useful. In addition, the supervisors at the Institute are very patient and helpful. They will give some suggestions for my research and help me to solve the problems.”

Xing Linzhou
Xing Linzhou
MPhil Student

“The Institute has provided me with rigid academic training, an interdisciplinary horizon, a flexible scholarly atmosphere, and many chances to network with scholars in different geographical places and research areas. This allows me to understand and experience the life of a scholar in humanities and social sciences. Such a lesson is precious, especially given my undergraduate background in a non-social-science discipline.”

Mathilde Biard
Mathilde Biard
MPhil Graduate

“The Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences offers a stimulating learning environment. The small size classes facilitate the discussion between instructors, professors and fellow students. Instructors and professors are very dedicated to their students’ success. They gave me detailed feedback on my work that challenged me to surpass myself. The institute organizes various public lectures and seminars on different social sciences and humanities disciplines, often lead by distinguished professors, which expose the students to various methodologies. In this regard, students are invited to use an interdisciplinary approach to broaden their research and interests. Furthermore, thanks to the Institute international network and generous scholarships, students have the possibility to complete their training oversea which allowed me to go to Taiwan to do an intensive training in Chinese language. Lastly, the administrative staff is very efficient, helpful and friendly which made my daily life easier. All of these made my study at the Institute a very enjoyable and rewarding experience.”

Ning Rundong
Ning Rundong
MPhil Graduate

“My experience at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Hong Kong completely intellectualy transformed me. Having majored in biological sciences as an undergraduate, I came here with hardly any training in social sciences or humanities but a vague curiosity and interest in anthropology. When I graduated from the MPhil program two years later, I found my interests not only stronger, but more importantly, much more organized and geared to further research. This change was accomplished by the superb research environment offered by the Institute. My supervisors, Prof. Angela Leung at first and then Dr. David Palmer, provided me with guidance ranging from inspiring new directions to line-by-line proofreading of papers. Other scholars here are also approachable and willing to chat with students. The compact arrangement of the May Hall and the teacher-student ratio further facilitate intellectual exchange among its students and researchers. In addition to its regular cohort of scholars, the Institute always hosts several internationally distinguished visiting scholars for months or even years, and holds academic talks at least once a week. I have benefited significantly from attending these talks and discussions with the visiting scholars and presenters. Moreover, the administrative members of the Institute are all very nice and efficient. They helped me go through the necessary paperwork for postgraduates smoothly so that I was not distracted by administrative issues throughout my study. It is these aspects, among others, that made my two-year study at the Institute, not without its stresses and occasional frustration, most fruitful and transforming.”

Peter Tam
Peter Tam
MPhil Graduate

“The academic environment at the Institute offers a revealing learning experience. It encourages both students and teachers to be critical to their ideas and thoughts, as to identify what has been overlooked. The learning process is intensive at times, but it helps to take our research to a new level. The teachers and staff at the Institute are also very kind and supportive, which makes our academic undertaking much more enjoyable.”

Tian Jingyi
Tian Jingyi
MPhil Graduate

“The experience at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences is rewarding and challenging. The small size of the Institute makes it possible to have close academic engagement with my supervisors and mentors. I am lucky enough to have both good supervisions over my research and opportunities to gain experiences in teaching, which greatly helps my overall growth in my master career.”

Ryan Xie
Ryan Xie
MPhil Graduate

“The Institute makes great effort to support the academic pursuits of its students through its global network and generous scholarships. While studying at the Institute, students are simultaneously provided a much larger academic platform via the Institute’s partnership network worldwide, which including Yale, Harvard, University of Göttingen, National University of Singapore, and Academia Sinica. I received the generous Lee Hysan-HKIHSS Fellowship from the Institute last year which supported my four-month visit to Yale as a visiting research assistant to Professor Helen Siu in Anthropology Department. This opportunity enabled me to work closely with young scholars at Yale on research projects and was provided full access to all research facilities. Moreover, Professor Siu introduced me to a wide variety of stimulating talks and events where I met senior scholars from my research domain and enjoyed both the intellectualism and their sense of humor. I sincerely appreciate the rich and exciting academic culture that the Institute exposes us to. My former colleague from the Institute has been accepted into a PhD program at Yale this year, and I expect to see more and more of our fellow students continue their academic adventures in the most competitive institutions worldwide.”

Zhong Yishan
Zhong Yishan
MPhil Graduate

“The Institute provides good opportunities for me to reflect on my own intellectual puzzles generated from everyday empirical encounters and enrich my analytical perspective on the issues. It also cultivates an environment for close and timely discussions between students and supervisors. Moreover, there’re plenty occasions for students to meet and interact with established or junior scholars who are working on related topics from different disciplines and training backgrounds.”