About us

The Department of Social Work and Social Administration is celebrating its 65th birthday. Since 1950, we have been contributing to the development of social work profession and social work education in Hong Kong and the region. The HKU was the first university to offer professional social work training in Hong Kong. Over the years, we have grown to become the largest academic department in the Faculty of Social Sciences, offering three undergraduate major programmes, 10 taught master programmes, and research postgraduate degree programme. While it is our core mission to provide rigorous academic and professional training in social work, we are also a leader in counselling, behavioural health, expressive arts therapy, mental health and gerontology education. Many of our graduates are now social work leaders in Hong Kong and Asia. Others became esteemed clinical practitioners, government officials, directors and senior managers in NGOs, as well as professors in major universities. Looking back, we are proud of our heritage. Looking forward, we are excited about our expanding role to shape social welfare and policy agenda in the region through our teaching, research, and knowledge exchange scholarship.

Our Impacts

During the past 65 years, our scholarships have enhanced the well-being of people faced with adversity in Hong Kong and the region. Prominent examples include the community rehabilitation network established by Professor Cecilia Chan, who is also a leading figure in the self-help, patient empowerment, NGO capacity building and east-west integrative health interventions in the world; Professor Joe Leung’s work, which has been influential in the development of social work profession and social work education in Mainland China; Professor Nelson Chow and Professor Paul Yip’s advisory role to the Hong Kong SAR Government, which has been contributing to the city’s population, suicide prevention and antipoverty policies; Professor Samson Tse’s vibrant research programme on the recovery model in mental health, who is also an accomplished expert in intervention for gambling addiction; Dr. CK Law’s policy innovations, which have redefined social policy for older people and low-income families in Hong Kong; as well as my team’s work on making a substantial difference on enhancing evidence-based participatory policy and service design for older adults in Hong Kong and the region.

We are committed to provide effective public services to enhance quality of life for all. Apart from the five Justices of Peace among our teachers, many of our colleagues are serving leadership positions in major public service initiatives, as directors, advisory board members, and government and NGO committee members. Among them are Professor Cecilia Chan, Vice-Chairman of the Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation; Dr. CK Law, the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Community Care Fund; Dr. Ernest Chui, an elected member of the Hong Kong Social Workers Registration Board; and Dr. Amy Chow, Chairlady of the Society for Life and Death Education, to name a few.

Be Our Partners

65 years is a long journey, one that is still unfolding with much potential. We could not have achieved what we have done without the support from our community partners – people like you – who are committed to public services, and share our vision of creating a just and fair society for all. If you are a high school student or a college graduate aspired to become a professional social worker, join us in the HKU family. We have the most innovative social work curriculums that distinguish our graduates in the region. If you are a social worker or other helping professional wanting to further enhance your knowledge and skill, consider getting your postgraduate training in HKU. We offer the most diverse taught master degree programmes in related areas. If you are interested in pursuing an MPhil or PhD degree, come and talk with our professors. We shall share with you the exciting research programmes we are leading at HKU. If you are an NGO or foundation looking for a good partner to advance your mission in social welfare, I am happy to meet with you to discuss opportunity for working together.

Professor Terry Lum
Head of Department
Department of Social Work and Social Administration,
The University of Hong Kong