University College London and The University of Hong Kong launch Dual Degree Programme in Law
15 September 2016
The UCL Faculty of Laws and Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) jointly announced a new Dual Degree Programme in Law, (“HKU-UCL Law Programme”) at an event at HKU on 10 September 2016. The Launch Event marked a strategic collaboration between two leading law schools. The HKU-UCL Dual Degree Programme in Law is aimed at students who wish to study in two of the world’s most important global financial centers, London and Hong Kong.
Interested teachers, students and their parents from Hong Kong local and international secondary schools joined HKU in congratulating five students from the first cohort of HKU-UCL Law Programme.
Professor Ian Holliday, Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) of HKU gave the welcoming remarks. He stated that the Programme was a unique and innovative professional Programme through which students would graduate with a Bachelor of Laws from HKU and a Bachelor of Laws from UCL after four years. The Programme responds to the increasingly global nature of the legal profession, which requires a new generation of lawyers with an international perspective.
He encouraged the students, as pioneers of the HKU-UCL Law Programme. The Programme is attracting high calibre students. Through the Programme, students would experience the development of the common law in England, as well as trace its development in Asia. Students would gain knowledge and insights into the legal systems in England and Hong Kong .
Professor Michael Hor, Dean of Law thanked Professor Dame Hazel Genn, Dean of Laws at UCL and Professor Johannes Chan, former Dean of Law at HKU, for instituting the Programme. He stated that it is also a long term, ongoing collaboration between HKU Law and UCL Laws. The HKU-UCL Programme constitutes an unparalleled pedagogical collaboration between two top law schools in the world (UCL ranks 14th and HKU ranks 17th in the latest QS rankings).
Professor John Lowry, Emeritus Professor of Law of UCL, welcomed the first cohort from HKU of the HKU-UCL Law Programme. He gave a glimpse of teaching and learning at UCL Laws, and noted that small group teaching was one of its core elements. Students valued highly the simulation and challenges arising from class discussion. UCL Laws has very close connections to the legal profession. It started local but has evolved itself to a global university.
Mr Andrew Ng, Chair of the UCL Hong Kong Club, shared with participants his experience as a student at UCL and his work as a lawyer in Hong Kong. He graduated from UCL Laws in 1985 and has over 27 years of experience as a litigation lawyer in U.S., European and local law firms both in London and Hong Kong. Mr Ng talked enthusiastically about student life at UCL and his presentation was accompanied by beautiful campus pictures. He noted that Hong Kong students perform well academically and have also learnt to give back to the student community.
Dr Marco Wan, Associate Dean (International Affairs) of Law, HKU gave an introduction to the Programme to the students and parents.
He highlighted the novel parts of the HKU-UCL Law Programme. It allows students to obtain two Bachelors of Law degrees in four years. It provides an opportunity to study the common law at its origin and gives students a solid underpinning in two jurisdictions. It develops students’ comparative insight into the interaction between the common law and civil law as it is practised in Mainland China.
The Programme gives student a first taste of applying legal knowledge to actual cases through experiential learning at the Centre for Access to Justice at UCL Laws. The Centre has particular strengths in education law, social welfare law and employment law. In addition, they will have an opportunity for vocational internship.
Students will spend their first two years UCL Laws and final two years at HKU Law. During their time at UCL Laws, they will take most common law core subjects. When they are at HKU Law, they will deepen their knowledge by taking more specialised advanced-level courses.
After a very interesting and interactive question and answer session, the five students admitted to the Programme by HKU Law were introduced. They will be heading to UCL in two weeks for their journey in the pursuit of legal knowledge.
Lillian Wong said she hesitated to apply as she knew it was a highly competitive Programme. She took the challenge nonetheless for she was certain it would be a unique and rewarding experience.
Clement Cheung saw it a dream-come-true for he had struggled to decide whether to study law in Hong Kong or the UK. He thought the Programme offered the best of both worlds and allowed exposure to both legal systems as well as engagement with different regional perspectives. He looked forward to studying at both HKU and UCL, and to becoming a global citizen.
Chi Yan Ho regarded an understanding of both local and foreign legal systems as a key to limitless opportunities professionally, especially in an increasingly globalized world occupied by multi-national corporations, with transnational dealings.
Curtis Pak was thrilled with the introduction of the Programme and had high expectations in his studies, especially in his placement and courses related to the European Union.
Emily Ha felt blessed by the prospect of the journey ahead and the experience of living in two global cities in East and West. She was also optimistic in gaining a wider scope of knowledge and insight.
This article also appeared in Hong Kong Lawyer Magazine, October 2016
With thanks to Hong Kong University for allowing us to reproduce this article