Industry Update
Press Release 1 November 2019

PolyU and University of Surrey Sign an Agreement on Joint PhD Programme Framework

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Hong Kong Polytechnic University

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and the University of Surrey (Surrey) have forged a partnership to offer Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programmes that will allow doctoral students from various disciplines to attain a dual PhD from both institutions. The first programme will be launched in the research fields of hospitality and tourism, with further programmes to follow in other disciplines.


Under the cotutelle model, the PhD students in both universities will have the privilege of broadening their international exposure and network during their studies. They will also be involved in research projects that are supervised by their home and host universities. This is the first joint PhD programme leading to dual awards between PolyU and a global leading institution in Europe.

Citing the example of the first programme in the agreement, the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at PolyU and the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Surrey will provide joint thesis supervision and award of a dual degree to doctoral candidates. The students will spend no less than 18 months at each institution and must fulfill all requirements set by each. However, they only need to complete one doctoral thesis. Upon completion of the programme, they will receive a dual PhD degree with separate award parchments.

The signing ceremony, presided over by Professor Jin-Guang TENG, President of PolyU, and Professor G.Q. Max LU, President and Vice-Chancellor of Surrey, was held at PolyU on 17 October. The ceremony was witnessed by senior management and representatives of both institutions.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Professor Teng stated, "Collaboration between academic institutions is a prevailing global trend in higher education. The sharing of resources and expertise between universities can greatly benefit their educational and research programmes. This agreement provides an excellent opportunity for our PhD students to participate in world-class research led by internationally leading experts in their fields at both universities."

Professor Lu said, "It is fantastic to see the collaboration between two strong institutions to begin the dual PhD programme in hospitality and tourism management - world-leading disciplines in both universities. I hope other complementary fields will follow suit soon to further enhance our respective reputations globally."

PolyU and Surrey have a longstanding partnership that dates back to 2009. The wide range of collaborative activities includes joint research projects in the field of hospitality and tourism management, as well as more than 60 student exchanges in disciplines including construction and environment, design, engineering, hotel and tourism, language studies, logistics and marketing.

Professor Kaye CHON, SHTM Dean, Chair Professor and Walter Kwok Foundation Professor in International Hospitality Management, said, "We are very excited to partner with Surrey in training hospitality and tourism researchers who will contribute towards the creation of new knowledge as well as advancement of the industry. In the fast-changing world of hospitality and tourism, the dual Ph.D. programme will provide added value to doctoral students by enhancing their academic quality and broadening their international vision."

Professor Nigel MORGAN, the University of Surrey's Head of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management said, "This dual PhD programme offers doctoral students a unique opportunity to study at the two of the world's top hospitality and tourism schools, and to work with some of the field's most eminent scholars. The mobility which the programme offers across two institutions in Europe and Asia gives students a truly international learning and research experience."

The first intake of students in the PolyU-Surrey pioneer cotutelle programme in Hospitality and Tourism Management is expected in the academic year 2020/21. Detailed admission requirements, course structure, and students' quota will be announced at a later stage.

About the University of Surrey

The University of Surrey is one of the UK's top higher education institutions and was recognised as the University of the Year in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016. With 125 years of academic heritage since our founding in Battersea, and 50 years of world-class teaching and research in Guildford, the University of Surrey is the intellectual home for more than 16,000 students, 117,000 alumni and over 3,000 staff. Freedom of thought, pursuit of academic excellence, and the advancement and application of knowledge underpin the wonderful things happening here. Our mission is to transform lives and enrich society through outstanding teaching and learning, pioneering research and impactful innovation. University of Surrey website:

About PolyU's School of Hotel and Tourism Management

For 40 years, PolyU's School of Hotel and Tourism Management has refined a distinctive vision of hospitality and tourism education and become a world-leading hotel and tourism school. Rated No. 1 in the world in the "Hospitality and Tourism Management" category according to ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2019, placed No. 1 globally in the "Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services" category in the University Ranking by Academic Performance in 2017/2018 and ranked No. 1 in the world in the "Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism" subject area by the CWUR Rankings by Subject 2017, the SHTM is a symbol of excellence in the field, exemplifying its motto of Leading Hospitality and Tourism.

The School is driven by the need to serve its industry and academic communities through the advancement of education and dissemination of knowledge. With more than 70 academic staff drawing from 21 countries and regions, the SHTM offers programmes at levels ranging from undergraduate degrees to doctoral degrees. Through Hotel ICON, the School's groundbreaking teaching and research hotel and a vital aspect of its paradigm-shifting approach to hospitality and tourism education, the SHTM is advancing teaching, learning and research, inspiring a new generation of passionate, pioneering professionals to take their positions as leaders in the hospitality and tourism industry.

Kelly Wang
Assistant Officer
Phone: +852 3400-2639
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