The Hong Kong Polytechnic University: From students to future world-changers
Promoted by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University: From students to future world-changers

While good universities create career-ready professionals, the world’s finest inspire students to become world-changers. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) belongs to the latter category.

PolyU is an innovative, world-class university with a strong sense of social responsibility. It is ranked fourth in THE Young University Rankings 2023, 23rd in the QS World University Rankings: Asia 2024 and 65th in the QS World University Rankings 2024. Consistently ranked among the world’s top 100 universities, its distinction is no accident. This institution is rooted in an unswerving dedication to excellence and fuelled by its motto: “To learn and to apply, for the benefit of mankind.”

Simply put, at PolyU, students are not just learners; they are global citizens, pioneers, innovators, architects of transformation, and stewards of a world in need. No matter their majors, everyone has a role to play in contributing to the University’s legacy, which is written in the tangible impact it leaves on communities. It’s seen in breakthroughs that make impacts on industries, ideas that reshape norms, and solutions that better lives.

PolyU students of all backgrounds and aspirations find their calling to make a difference. It’s an extraordinary journey as the stories of students Anastasia Rudakova from Russia and Jina Ham from South Korea show:

Former model Anastasia Rudakova finds PolyU’s professors “really caring” and “inspiring” and the facilities and quality of everything in her programme as excellent value for money. Source: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

A model turned fashion designer impacting lives

Anastasia Rudakova spent almost a decade travelling the world as a model before deciding to explore the inner workings of the fashion world from a different perspective. Becoming a fashion designer has long been a dream of hers, but she was aware she lacked the basics.

Her next step, Rudakova knew, was to get a degree and learn – one that would empower her to achieve her goals. PolyU immediately stood out.

“I’ve spent the last decade in Asia and modelled for several graduate shows throughout the continent, but the final year project quality of PolyU’s School of Fashion and Textiles was always better,” she shares. “I was shocked that four years of study could produce something like that. So, I looked through the programme, and it definitely appealed to me.”

Despite her academic background qualifying her to take the master’s route, Rudakova was more interested in comprehensive knowledge than she was in another qualification. Most importantly, she wanted the time to build a solid foundation in the major activities of the fashion and textiles industries. That’s precisely what she did during her first three semesters, which solidified her calling to one day reintroduce herself to the fashion world as a designer.

In preparation, Rudakova had fruitful conversations with her professors, worked on her collaboration skills alongside like-minded peers, and leveraged state-of-the-art facilities housed within the School of Fashion and Textiles. With every interaction, she believes she’s one step closer to becoming a designer, or as she calls them, an artist of modern times.

And, this being Poly U, it wasn’t long before Rudakova got to apply all she’d learned to the real world through her love for volunteering, which was precisely why she jumped at the chance to teach children from disadvantaged families in Cambodia.

“At PolyU, it’s uncommon for first-year students to participate in the Service-Learning trips, but I truly wanted to,” she says. “It was really fulfilling.” The experience entailed developing teaching plans and preparing workshops prior to the trip.

From day one, Rudakova and her peers spent around seven hours a day teaching, yet it was hardly tiring. “We developed connections with these children and got to see what life was like for them,” she says. “On the last day, you got to experience 100 kids hugging you at once and expressing immense gratitude. It makes you realise that in a short duration of time, you can make positive impacts on many lives.”

As an enthusiastic member of PolyU’s connected community, Jina Ham goes above and beyond academic pursuits to contribute to the University’s vibrant environment. Source: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Student, dancer, cultural ambassador and future maker of meaningful products

Two factors influenced Jina Ham’s decision to leave South Korea and study in Hong Kong. First, the vibrant city is a generous place for budding designers in need of both inspiration and opportunities. PolyU’s School of Design – 20th in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023: Art & Design – sits at a strategic intersection that bridges the East and the West. It’s a geographical advantage that allows its students to develop their design strengths with a uniquely international cultural awareness at both professional and social levels.

Most importantly, the School of Design has a stellar reputation for producing standout job candidates. True enough, the personalised attention Ham received from her well-connected tutors played a key role in helping her land a fruitful four-month internship with Landor & Fitch — one of the biggest brand management companies in the world.

“My teachers were always there when I needed them. They gave me feedback and finetuned my portfolio,” says the fourth-year Communication Design student. “The fact that classes at PolyU are small ensures we get to develop close and intimate connections with our professors.”

Backed by unwavering support, Ham developed the confidence she needed to explore the broad field of design and pinpoint her unique place within it. She took various courses at PolyU, participated in multiple studios, identified her strengths, and slowly realised the impact she could make by specialising in branding. Ham never felt limited in what she could do and where she could go to realise her vision here. There are fully equipped modelling workshops in the University that allow students to have conceptual and physical space to experiment with materials (such as garment, ceramic, wood, plastic, metal and fine-metal), tools (such as photography and knitting), processes and ideas. “I realised how it was typical for designers to be quite commercial, and I wanted to make more meaningful products,” she says. “As a graphic designer, that was the challenge. But I love that we have our student studios and other kinds of workshops. We can meet new people from diverse cultural backgrounds who are happy to share new skills with us. They inspired me a lot on creating changes.”

With broadened horizons, Ham ensured her next projects championed minority groups, the environment and society. Her most recent packaging design caters to the visually impaired and translates functions into tactile patterns. “Skincare products tend to share similar shapes of the bottle, so by translating the functions into a visual graphic system that is also embossed, the visually impaired can touch it and feel it to differentiate which product is which,” Ham explains of her design, which won Gold at the MUSE Creative Awards 2023.

When she was striving to do her best in her programme and winning awards, Ham was participating in PolyU’s Dance Society and promoting the University’s strengths to future students as one of its cultural ambassadors. Balancing everything was initially challenging but Ham is grateful that she had a lot of support. Today, she’s thriving, with boundless energy to do more and be more.

As Rudakova and Ham’s stories show, “dynamic” and “rewarding” are the fitting descriptions of their programmes, schools and PolyU. To embark on this life-changing journey and take the first step towards a bright future for yourself, apply to PolyU today, the perfect place to begin. With generous scholarships available, it’s never been a better time to apply. For potential enrolment in the 2024/25 programmes, we encourage you to apply online here or click here for PolyU’s programme list as soon as possible for being considered for conditional offers and securing your spot in the University’s 2024/25 programmes.

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