Hong Kong MTR Station Series: HKU (香港大學)
This series aims to take readers through the subway stations of Hong Kong. The Mass Transit Railway (MTR), has about 86 major railway stations in all, and is one of the most profitable rail systems in the world. On average, the railway serves about 5 million trips in Hong Kong, daily. Each station represents a microcosm of life. People in Hong Kong visit or live in a particular area because of many factors, including financial, convenience, status, profession, geography, etc. In consequence, people coming and going in the stations are often a reflection of what the location provides. This series serves to pay homage to the many walks of life that call Hong Kong home.
The HKU MTR station (holy abbreviation) is quite unique, in that the arrival at the station puts you nowhere near the school. You’re about a 15 minute walk and 200m lift away from the actual campus, as Hong Kong University sits above most of Hong Kong Island in the mid-levels.
Founded in 1911, HKU is the oldest university in Hong Kong. Currently there are about 28,000 students enrolled here. The school offers some of the few remaining examples of British Colonial architecture in Hong Kong. When you’re there, the feel of the campus definitely carries with it a strong connection to British culture, tradition and history. The school places some of the top students in Asia, but it’s evident that there’s a very international student body at HKU. I’m sure many international students study in Hong Kong (and live here) because it’s a good mix of East and West in terms of openness, culture and international outlook. Right in the middle of the quad is a pillar of shame. The concrete sculpture, first erected in Victoria Park in 1997, marks the eighth anniversary of the protests of 1989. It’s not the prettiest thing to look at, but a good reminder that free thought, especially within educational systems, should always be encouraged.
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