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Applications are now accepted until October 4, 2023 (noon). Selection interviews will take place on October 11-13, 2023.


In 2023, HKU will once again team up with Common Purpose, a global leadership development organization that runs programmes all over the world to inspire and equip people to work across boundaries.

The next HKU-Common Purpose Leadership Development Programme will launch in December 2023 to enable you to gain insights into how businesses are run during the post-pandemic world and to propose solutions to a community-based organisation/non-profit organisation/commercial organisation through project execution. You will attend guest talks from industry leaders in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Participants will be issued a certificate by Common Purpose upon successful completion of the programme.

The programme will enable up to 30 HKU students to:

  • work in groups of 6-8 across boundaries
  • devise, plan and implement group projects
  • gain access to leading organisations in the host destination
  • boost their cultural intelligence
  • develop their leadership skills
  • learn about the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

View past photos albums and videos by clicking on the links below:

Schedule at a Glance

1Oct 30 – Nov 24: Developing Cultural Intelligence8 hours of asynchronous learning (online course)

Dec 26: Arrival in Kuala Lumpur

Dec 27: Welcome and introduction to our immersion city

In-person in Kuala Lumpur
3Dec 28: Collab
Dec 29: Putting Cultural Intelligence into practice in the real world
In-person in Kuala Lumpur
4Jan 2-11 (2024): Organisational attachment to execute projectsIn-person in Kuala Lumpur
5Jan 12 (2024): Reflections and looking ahead. Programme Graduation In-person in Kuala Lumpur
6Mar 15 (2024): Jamboree – onlineOnline via Zoom


Participants will be responsible for the airfare, insurance, visa and in-country costs. They will receive financial sponsorship (HK$5,000) from the Gallant Ho Experiential Learning Centre.

Who Can Apply?

LDP is designed primarily for undergraduate students any disciplines and year of study.


You may choose to take part in the programme as a general participant or a student coordinator. Five students will be selected to serve as student coordinators, one for each group, to ensure effective communication and cooperation within the group. The selected students will receive an award to support their participation in LDP. The student coordinators are expected to undertake the following roles:

  • to create a warm and welcoming learning environment by acting as a peer mentor, role model, and leader
  • to ensure that groups maintain and uphold behaviours as expected by HKU
  • to ensure that the group stay in constant communication and keep in mind safety measures while travelling outside programme hours
  • to make timely communication with the Common Purpose staff team if there are any concerns on health, stress, programme related issues etc.

Application Process

The application process is quite extended because there has to be sufficient time first to select participants, second to enable all selected participants to apply for a tourist visa in the host destination, and third to allow all participants to make transportation arrangements. These are the major steps:

Sep 5- Oct 4 (noon)Application
Oct 11-13Interviews (face-to-face or Zoom)
Week of Oct 16Notification of application results
Oct 30Participants to submit signed “Notice of Acceptance” & commit to LDP.
Nov 13Pre-departure briefing on logistics
Dec 26Students arrive in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Jan 12 (2024)Programme graduation

For registration, please complete this online form.
For enquiries, please contact us at

Official Launch

March 15-16, 2019

Evening reception and full-day workshop with briefing on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and small group conversations with Hong Kong-based leaders who are from – or have extensive experience of – Bangalore/Manila/Shanghai/Yangon, to prepare for the immersion experience in June.

Recap on Past Events

Joined by some 100 participants including guest speakers who are leaders from different industries and sectors, mentors who are alumni of the University and participating students from HKU, the HKU-Common Purpose Leadership Development Programme 2017 Launch Event was successfully held during March 15-16, 2017.
Event Album
Event Album
Event Article
Event Article
Photo album
Event Video

E-learning Platform and Cultural Intelligence Online Module

May 2020

Cultural Intelligence – the leadership approach that underpins the programme; ‘Power Dynamic’ – the Common Purpose signature technique which empowers systematic mapping out of which organizations and individuals hold power and influence over whom and how.


June 8 – 26, 2020

Project generation, development and implementation, framed around the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Regular contact with Mentors, and engagement with senior leaders and stakeholders from Aboitiz Foundation, Civil Service Commission, Pifzer Philippines Foundation, Shell, Manila Water Foundation, Asian Development Bank, Coca Cola Foundation Philippines, AC Energy Holdings. Details at

Jamboree at HKU

October 2019

Reflection and experience sharing.

About Common Purpose (
Founded in 1989, Common Purpose is a leadership development organization that specializes in cross-boundary leadership. It is runs programmes in over 70 cities worldwide, with over 4,000 participants becoming Common Purpose Alumni every year. Common Purpose leadership development programmes aim to inspire and equip participants to work across boundaries, enabling them to solve complex problems in organizations and in society.
Common Purpose’s extensive alumni network across the Asia Pacific region enables access at senior levels of organizations, large and small, across the public, private and NGO sectors.

Common Purpose partners with world-class universities and runs leadership programmes for their students, including the top 30 universities globally:
Harvard | Oxford | National University of Singapore | University of Nairobi | University of the Witwatersrand | University College London | IIT Bombay | New York University | King’s College London | Edinburgh | University of Chicago | IIM Bangalore | University of Johannesburg

Common Purpose partners with organizations in the field of student leadership, including:

Fulbright | AIESEC | National Youth Council of Singapore | All-China Youth Federation | China Youth Daily | Commonwealth Youth New Zealand