The undergraduate programme of Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) was founded at the Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Over the past 100 years, it has cultivated countless political and economic leaders for the world. HSUHK’s BSS-PPE, established in the turbulent year of 2021, is the first and only PPE programme in Hong Kong. Different from other mainstream undergraduate programmes, PPE, rather than training students to become specialists in a certain industry, sets out to nurture generalists with knowledge and benevolence that are beneficial to the development of society and the humankind. We believe that education is the last and most important bastion of protecting human civilisation and universal values. The ultimate goals of the PPE programme at HSUHK are to equip students with the critical thinking of philosophers, the governance strategies of politicians and the analytical skills of economists, and transform students into public intellectuals with an independent spirit and free thinking who devote themselves to enhancing the humankind’s well-being. This is also our humble contribution to the beloved Hong Kong.
Different from the Pillar Model of Oxford University’s PPE, the Bridge Model adopted by our PPE programme focuses more on the cross-domain perspectives and interactive influences of the three disciplines of philosophy, politics and economics. We believe that every issue that truly affects human society always includes political considerations of power division, economic calculations of resource allocation, and philosophical thinking about morals and ethics. The disastrous government policies in history have always been caused by either ignorance or neglect of one or more of these disciplines. Our PPE programme adopts different global phenomena (such as sustainable development, democratisation, and global justice) as teaching themes, and the interdisciplinary learning model aims to equip students with a more diverse and broader mindset as well as a more tolerant and kinder heart. We believe that only generalists who are not confined to a certain field will prove to be the most adaptable and flexible leaders in the intricate 21st century.
Dear students, when you feel helpless in the face of difficulties in real life, come join us! To understand the principles behind this world, to understand the struggle and unremitting efforts of other countries and nations, equip yourself well, draw strengths from knowledge, take pride in your identity as a public intellectual, and do what you can do for this society. Finally, I would like to share with you a saying from a former National Taiwan University professor Chen Shimeng: “At a time when the society is still full of value distortions and black and white are reversed, we have no right to be pleasing intellectuals, but the responsibility to be an unwelcome social conscience.”
Dr Wong Muk Yan
Department of Social Science