Mrs Marinda Lai Lau Tai-lam took up her duties as an Administrative Assistant on 29 October 1982. The special things she experienced were working closely with other members of staff and had a greater range of duties than normally expected, such as assisting in the recruitment of associate directors and department heads. She left City Polytechnic and Hong Kong in January 1988, and rejoined CityU in November 1995.
Dr David Johns became the founding director of the City Polytechnic after the Planning Committee endorsed the recommendation of the Recruitment Sub-Committee on 18 March 1983. He took up his duties on 3 October 1983 and resigned in July 1989 to take up the Vice-Chancellorship of Bradford University in the UK.
The first admissions exercise commenced in July 1984. Approximately 16,000 applications were received for the seven courses on offer. Classes started on 8 October 1984, with 480 full-time and 680 part-time students.
Dr Po Lai-man, currently an associate professor in the Department of Electronic Engineering, was among the first PhD students admitted in October 1990. He completed his studies and dissertation one year later and became the first graduate. Dr Po was also the first student who had gone through the whole range of courses, from bachelor's degree onwards, at the City Polytechnic.
Mr Edward Chan Chi-kong, was the first President of the Students' Union. He graduated in 1987 with the BA (Hons) in Business Studies.
A yet unnamed quarterly in-house staff magazine was published in April 1985. Following a competition attracting 89 entries in the same year, the magazine has been called Linkage.
Two first degree courses, BA (Hons) in Business Studies and BA (Hons) in Public and Social Administration, were introduced in October 1986.
The First Academic Awards Ceremony was held at City Hall in 18 November 1986. A total of 115 awards were conferred to students in Business Studies, Social Work, and Translation and Interpretation. Sir S Y Chung, Founding Chairman of the Council of the City Polytechnic, was given in absentia the unique award of Honorary Founding Fellow.
Teaching Excellence Awards was launched in 1993–94 to recognise and reward distinguished teachers. It is the first such award of its kind among Hong Kong's tertiary institutions. The first winners, Mr David Chan W T (Division of Social Studies), Dr Stephen Harrold (TC/COL), Dr Kam Ping-kwong (Department of Applied Social Studies), Mr Leong Foo-weng (Department of Management) and Dr Esther Li L Y (Department of Management), were presented with the awards on 16 June 1994. A total of 99 awards have been given to date.
The Applied Research Excellence Awards was introduced in 1995. At the presentation ceremony on 27 March 1995, Dr Andrew Cheng Y S (Department of Physics and Materials Science) received the Grand Prize and Professor Joseph Lai Ki-leuk (Department of Physics and Materials Science) and Professor Horace Ip Ho-shing (Department of Computer Science) received the other two prizes. The Research Excellence Awards launched in 2007 replaced the Applied Research Excellence Awards to widen the scope of the awards and pay tribute to outstanding researchers in different fields.