The origin of our Department can be traced back to the late 1940s when New Asia College was founded. Although History had yet to become a separate teaching discipline, it constituted one of the most important areas of education and research conducted at that college because one of its founders, Professor Ch’ien Mu, was a renowned Chinese historian. During the next decade, both Chung Chi College and United College were established, adding further strength to the discipline of History in Hong Kong’s higher education. Finally in the early 1960s, the three colleges merged to form the Chinese University. Their respective History teaching units embarked on a new path which followed the development of the new university. In 1986, Shaw College was also established in the University. Now more colleges have been set up on campus. Being largely a product of that process, the History Department has since evolved to its present state.
Our Department strives to maintain world-class research and teaching in the field of historical studies. We attempt to make contributions of significance to the academia at local, national, and international levels. We put great emphasis on diversity and freedom in academic pursuit, student-centered education, relevance of historical knowledge to daily life, and cultivation of cross-cultural sensitivity and global-mindedness. Our Department continues to provide solid training for empirical study of national history and in-depth study of topical history; meanwhile we have been committed in developing the areas of teaching and research in comparative history and public history. These new areas underscore the unique characteristics of cosmopolitanism and public concern in Hong Kong’s higher education.
As an academy of the humanities that works in the linguistic mediums of Cantonese, Mandarin, and English, the Department of History has innovative undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and research bases that incorporate many aspects of Hong Kong, Chinese, Asian, American, European, and World History. With staff active in teaching development and the publishing of journal papers and monographs with some of the world’s leading publishers, in 2021 the Department was consequently graded by Hong Kong’s Research Assessment Exercise as having 97% of its research output of ‘international and global impact’. As the Department that received the highest rating at the Chinese University of Hong Kong staff are dedicated to ensuring students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, receive the highest quality of education in different fields of History. The Department welcomes potential new students and advises them to refer to our program webpages. Potential new research students should refer to our staff webpages.