AIS Mission Statement and Head’s Message


The mission of the Department of Asian and International Studies (AIS) is to promote international understanding and increase knowledge of Asia. Through international exchange, innovative teaching, cutting edge research, media outreach and community service, we aim to achieve this mission by facilitating mutual tolerance and deeper insights into the region and the world.

Head’s Message

Welcome to the Department of Asian and International Studies at the City University of Hong Kong. We teach students to become global citizens and prepare them to be competitive internationally with the kind of skills needed to be successful in a wide variety of professional fields.

AIS offers cutting edge education in a global age. Located in a university ranked top in the world for internationalisation, AIS has the most international faculty of any department in Hong Kong (from 13 different countries, speaking 22 different languages) with degrees from the top universities globally (Harvard, Yale, Cambridge, MIT, Cornell, Berkeley, Michigan, etc.). AIS faculty publish in top tier journals and university presses, while appearing regularly in the international press (including the BBC, Bangkok Post, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Jakarta Post, Japan Times, Guardian, New York Times, and South China Morning Post). We have particular regional expertise the study of China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia (the last backed by the Southeast Asia Research Centre, the only such centre in Hong Kong).

Two core subject area of AIS, Politics and International Studies and Development Studies, are ranked in the top 100 universities globally (Quacquarelli Symonds, QS, World University Rankings by Subject 2019).

Our undergraduate programme and three taught post-graduate programmes are all interdisciplinary, providing a deeper understanding of the politics, international relations, development, cultures, and history of rising and changing Asia and beyond. Our international focus is bolstered by exchange programmes, summer study tours and internships.

This global education prepares students for a number of different exciting career paths, including MA and PhD studies, government positions, work for non-government organisations (NGOs), journalism, and jobs in innovative businesses.

Next year, AIS will be celebrating its 15th birthday. There is much to celebrate in a globally oriented department with a mission of increasing international understanding and preparing students with the knowledge and skillsets needed to successfully navigate a rapidly changing Asia.

Professor Mark R Thompson
Head and Professor of Politics, Department of Asian and International Studies
Director, Southeast Asia Research Centre