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Saturday, Feb 24, 2024

HKU unveils plans for $1b medical school complex

HKU unveils plans for $1b medical school complex

The University of Hong Kong medical school will have a new building and student hall in 2027/28 school year with an estimated construction cost of over HK$1 billion.
The new complex on 3 Sassoon Road will provide a range of teaching and research facilities to medical students, including laboratories for stem cell and genomics studies.

Faculty dean Wallace Lau Chak-sing said yesterday that the construction work of the complex will start next year.

"Our first academic building was built 20 years ago in 2002. The total number of students and staff has tripled from almost 3,000 to more than 8,500," he said.

The faculty offers seven undergraduate degrees, admitting over 630 students each year. A separate building for Chinese medicine was opened last year.

Lau expects the government to increase the number of places for medical students in the next 10 years to alleviate the shortage in public hospitals. "We lack space for teaching and research purposes, and we have an urgent need to expand our faculty," he said.

Senior adviser to the dean of medicine Chan Ying-shing said construction costs would be covered by a subsidy of HK$20 billion set aside for the expansion of three universities.

The subsidy was mentioned in the 2018 Budget for HKU, Chinese University and Polytechnic University that offers medical degrees.

A proposal had been submitted to the Town Planning Board, and a Legislative Council meeting is expected to be held by year end.

Despite the construction being postponed for half a year, Chan said it was normal to face construction delays by over six months, and expects the complex to open by September 2027.

"We hope that with the new building, we can quickly convert our research to useful solutions that can be given back to the patient."

Residents nearby can use the lifts to travel between Pok Fu Lam Road and Victoria Road, including a 4,000-square-meter public space and pedestrian walkways.
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