Teaching and Learning at The University of Hong Kong HKU

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Areas of Inquiry and
Key Themes

The four AoIs serve as a means of organizing the common core curriculum: they are inter-related rather than mutually exclusive. In order to ensure coherence in the Common Core Curriculum and within each AoI, each AoI has a conceptual framework, which addresses the goals of the Common Core Curriculum. Under each AoI, key themes have been identified, each with an outline of the key issues that should be addressed.

Area of Inquiry – Scientific & Technological Literacy

Aims to raise students’ levels of scientific and technological literacy, and to enable them to engage critically with knowledge and discourse on science and technology and to respond actively and appropriately to the issues surrounding scientific and technological advancements.


  • The Nature and Methods of Science
  • Science, Technology and Society
  • Science, Technology and Global Issues
  • Science and Technology in Everyday Life
  • Frontiers of Science and Technology

Area of Inquiry – Humanities

Aims to enable students to appreciate how intellectual, moral, aesthetic and spiritual aspects of human existence have been explored from critical, analytical and interpretive perspectives, to think about the meaning of our lives, and to seek wisdom and virtue, as embodied in the HKU motto: Sapientia et Virtus.


  • The Creative Arts
  • Historical Awareness: Past and Present
  • Language, Communication and Society
  • Mind-Body-Spirit
  • Ethics and Society

Area of Inquiry – Global Issues

Aims to enable students to think globally and live as informed and active members of a global community, and to establish an understanding of globalization from various perspectives.


  • Global Issues, Local Lives
  • Challenges of Global Governance
  • Globalization and Economic Development
  • Global Ethics and Citizenship

Area of Inquiry – China: Culture, State & Society

Aims to enhance the interest and intellectual ability of students in understanding China from past to present and from different disciplinary perspectives and to engage them in critical inquiries of the issues and problems faced by China.


  • Chinese Culture: Thoughts, Values and Ways of Life
  • Chinese Civilization: State, Society and Economy
  • China’s Changing Environment
  • China’s Quest for Modernization
  • The Rise of China in the 21st Century: Challenges and Prospects

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