How Does an Average HKU Student Spend Their Time During a Semester?

March 19, 2017 / by / 0 Comment

The University of Hong Kong is perhaps famous for its academic rigour. Yet students manage to fit in everything from studying, partying and hall activities.

To find out more about how HKU-ers from different faculties spend their time during semester, we conducted a short survey asking them to choose the three activities which they spend the most time on during a semester.

Read more to find the results based on 45 students’ responses collected in March 2017.

Faculty of Arts

The Faculty of Arts is one of the three founding faculties established in 1912. It comprises of four schools: School of Chinese, School of English, School of Humanities and School of Modern Languages and Cultures. The following pie chart shows the options chosen by the Arts students surveyed.


Most arts students chose ‘academic studying’ as one of their top three activities, followed by ‘family gathering’, ‘hanging out with friends/lover’ and ‘personal time’, each amounting to 20%. Students from Faculty of Arts are also the only group besides the one from Faculty of Education to put ‘personal time’ as one of their top three priorities.

A lot of arts students I know take advantage of their leisure time to engage in critical reading and analysis. They love to analyse novels, write poetry and debate on creative work. A huge shout out to my BA friends!

Faculty of Architecture

Faculty of Architecture offers five main programs, namely Architecture, Real Estate and Construction, Urban Planning and Design, Landscape Architecture and Conservation. The faculty offers various undergraduate degrees under these five branches such as Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, Bachelor of Science in Surveying, Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies, to name just a few.


Most students under the Architecture Faculty chose ‘societies/clubs campaigning’ and ‘academic studying’ as one of their top three activities, followed by ‘hall activities’ and ‘personal time’. They are also the only group to have the highest percentage of respondents selecting ‘society/clubs campaigning’ (33%) as one of their top three activities.

Faculty of Business and Economics

Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) offers a range of bachelor degrees including Accounting and Finance, Business Administration, Business Administration (Law) and Bachelor of Laws, Economics, Economics and Finance, Finance in Asset Management and Private Banking, International Business and Global Management, Information Systems and Science in Quantitative Finance. This wide range of programs accommodates the largest undergraduate student enrolment according to HKU Student Profiles 2015/16.


Most FBE students chose ‘academic studying’ and ‘hanging out with friends/lover’ as one of their top three activities, followed by ‘part-time jobs/tutoring’ (20%). Although we did not get a lot of responses from FBE students, it is safe to say that they know how to strike a balance between study, play, and work.

Faculty of Education

Recently ranked 7th in the QS World University Rankings by subject 2017, Faculty of Education trains students to be teaching professionals in the realms of languages, science, social science, and speech and hearing science.


Most students from Faculty of Education selected ‘academic studying’, ‘part-time jobs/tutoring’ and ‘personal time’ as their top 3 activities, each amounting to 25% of the respondents. Education students are clearly keen on using their leisure time to tutor and gain hands-on experience for their future teaching career. They are also willing to divide their time on different on-campus activities.

Faculty of Engineering

The Faculty of Engineering is one of the three founding faculties at HKU and it comprises five departments: Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.


8% of the engineering respondents chose ‘volunteering’ as one of their top 3 activities; the highest percentage compared to other faculties. Apart from ‘academic studying’ amounting to the majority of respondents (34%), engineering students definitely know how to unwind and catch up with friends; 17% of engineering respondents chose ‘hall activities’ and ‘hanging out with friends/lover’ as one their top three activities as well.

Faculty of Law

Apart from the Bachelor of Law degree (LLB), Faculty of Law offers a wide range of double degree programs in combination with Bachelor of Business Administration [BBA (Law)], Bachelor of Social Sciences in Government & Law [BSocSc(Govt & Laws)], Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering [BEng(CivE-Law)] and Bachelor of Arts [BA&LLB].


Unsurprisingly, the law respondents are academic. 45% of our law respondents chose ‘academic studying’ as one of their top 3 activities; the highest percentage compared to students from other faculties. This is then followed by ‘part-time jobs/ tutoring’, amounting to 22% of the law respondents.

Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Dentistry

We love our doctors, dentists and nurses at HKU. They have continuously brought great recognition to HKU with their clinical professionalism. The Faculty of Medicine is one of the three founding faculties and the largest faculty at HKU. Faculty of Dentistry has been recently ranked 1st in the world by QS World University Rankings by subject 2017.

Medicine and Dentistry

Surprisingly, our medicine and dentistry respondents did not live up to their ‘always-studying’ stereotype. ‘Part-time jobs/tutoring’ was their second most popular activity, only 6% less than their most popular choice of ‘academic studying’.

Faculty of Science

Faculty of Science offers three undergraduate programs, namely Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science and a double degree with the Bachelor of Education. This is how they spend their time during semester.


Most science students chose ‘academic studying’ as their top three activities, followed by ‘hanging out with friends/lover’ and ‘personal time’. The science respondents are also the group that spends relatively less time on on-campus activities than other faculties. 

Faculty of Social Sciences

Faculty of Social Sciences comprises of six departments: Department of Geography, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Department of Psychology, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, Department of Sociology and the Journalism and Media Studies Centre. The following pie chart shows the options chosen by the Social Sciences students surveyed.

Social Sciences

Social Sciences students are the only group (besides Education students) to have the maximum respondents selecting ‘part-time jobs/ tutoring’ as their top 3 activities. Moreover, Social Sciences students also have the second highest percentage of respondents (7%) to have chosen ‘volunteering’ as their top 3 activities. This might be due to the relation of volunteering in NGOs with their coursework.

Co-written by Sun Karen Bonnie and Jesse Serenade

*The above statistics are based on the 45 students’ responses we received from our survey conducted in March 2017. We attempted to make the sample as representative as possible.


A third year student majoring in Chemistry and Psychology.