Latest Updates

January 19, 2018

Selection interviews for LDP2018 will take place in January and February. Results will be announced by mid-February.

Sixty-eight students from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) participated in the HKU-Common Purpose Leadership Development Programme during June 4-30, 2017 to develop their leadership skills and boost their cultural intelligence in Manila, the Philippines. The programme consisted of guest talks, internship opportunities and immersion visits to the World Bank, Accenture, The Manila Times and Manila Electric. Click on the images below to view our photo album and video:


Video: Internship
Photo album

Photo album
Photo album

Blog: Immersion in Manila


Student Delia von Pflug’s experience on LDP

Student Yuki Ip’s experience on LDP

Message from the Chief Executive of Common Purpose Student Experiences


In 2018, 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 HKU-Common Purpose Leadership Development Programme 2018 will launch on campus at HKU in March 2018 (Agenda of the launch event in 2017). Most of the work will take place in Manila, capital of the Philippines, or Yangon, Myanmar, in June 2018. At HKU, the programme will be supported by the Gallant Ho Experiential Learning Centre.

The programme will enable 150 HKU students to:

  • work in groups of 10 across boundaries
  • devise, plan and implement group projects (Project brief in 2017)
  • gain access to leading organizations in Manila/Yangon
  • boost their cultural intelligence
  • develop their leadership skills
  • learn about the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Period: 4 weeks in June 2018, with pre- and post-trip activities starting in March 2018 and lasting until October 2018

Please also visit:

Official Launch

March 15-16, 2018
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 – the Philippines/Myanmar, to prepare for the immersion experience in June.

Recap on the 2017 Launch
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 Article:
Event Video:

E-learning Platform and Cultural Intelligence Online Module

April – May 2018
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 4 – 29, 2018
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 2018
Reflection and experience sharing.


Participants will be responsible for the airfare, insurance, visa and in-country costs. They will receive financial sponsorship (HK$4,000) from the Gallant Ho Experiential Learning Centre.

Who Can Apply?

LDP is designed primarily for undergraduate students. LDP will host 150 participants, 75 each in Manila and Myanmar.


You may choose to take part in the programme as a general participant or a student coordinator. Fifteen 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 Philippines and Myanmar, and third to allow all participants to make transportation arrangements. These are the major steps:

Date Process
Oct 2, 2017 – Jan 19, 2018 Application
Jan 15-Feb 9, 2018 Interviews (face-to-face or Skype)
Mid-February 2018 Notification of application results
March 2018 Participants to submit signed “Notice of Acceptance” & commit to LDP.
March 15 & 16, 2018 Official launch of leadership development workshop
June 4-29, 2018 4-week overseas leadership development programme
October 2018 One-day leadership development event for reflection and experience sharing

Apply Online

Applications for LDP2018 are closed. (

Pre-departure Information

Health-related Advice:

Participants of the HKU-Common Purpose Leadership Development Programme travelling to the Philippines and Myanmar are advised:

  1. To take note of information on Hepatitis A, Typhoid, anti-mosquito measures and food hygiene, as follows:
  2. To consider getting vaccination (please book at least 6 weeks before departure):
  3. To bring along medicines e.g. purchase travel pack and first aid kit at UHS.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How is students’ safety in the Philippines and Myanmar ensured?

Common Purpose always conducts a Risk Assessment for the location of their programmes to ensure the safety of both students and staff during programme hours. With the help of their Global Risk and Security Advisor, Mike Martin, Common Purpose ensures that they have the necessary contacts and preparations in place to deal with any identified potential risks. After the programme hours, the University has chaperones who will support participants to/from the accommodation and venue locations in Manila and Yangon.

Q2. What’s the time commitment required from students before and after the trip?

Participants are asked to commit to the full duration of each programme day:
The Launch: evening of 15th and 9.00am – 5.30pm on 16th March, 2018
The Online Learning Platform: approx. 6 hours in total between March and June, 2018
The Immersion and Project Implementation: approx. 9.00am – 5.30pm on 4th – 29th June, 2018
The Jamboree: 9.00am – 5.30pm, 1 day during HKU Reading Week October, 2018

Q3. Could students choose or decline meeting and working with any organisations?

During the Immersion between 4 and 15 June, participants will get a large number of opportunities to meet with various speakers and organisations. In many, but not all, cases, they will be able to choose where they visit.

Q4. Is there any project example to illustrate what students would do?

Participants will at the beginning of the programme be provided with examples of what has been done in the past relating to previous Challenges that Common Purpose has run. For those interested in reading more about such examples, they can find stories on what students have done following a Common Purpose programme by clicking here and here.

Q5. What kind of students is most suitable for joining the programme?

For students looking to develop your skills and cultural intelligence, to change the world and solve complex problems, to develop and grow their network, and to build their CV, then this programme is the right fit for them. The programme looks for undergraduate university students of all genders and ages, from all backgrounds, fields and levels of study.

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