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Advice regarding PhD admission in Hong Kong Universities

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  1. #1

    Question Advice regarding PhD admission in Hong Kong Universities

    hey there!

    I am planning to applying for PhD in Hong Kong this year. I was guided by several other PhD Students to contact the potential adviser first and discuss research proposal with him/her. I thoroughly went through university websites , their research areas and publications.
    Also, I have emailed many professors but unfortunately none of them have replied.


    1. Should I still proceed with the application and mention the supervisor I want to research with without backing/approval from any professor?
    2. What chance do I have that the application still gets accepted?
    3. Has any one had a similar experience where they could not get in touch with any supervisor, still applied and got admission? If yes, please share details.


    Any help or guidance in this matter would be more than helpful.TIA

  2. #2

    Your application will most likely get rejected if you don't identify a potential supervisor (especially if said person is not willing to supervise you).


  3. #3

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    Many factors go into this, including your background, ethnicity, alma mater and field of study. Without a Chinese background or a top-notch undergrad university, I would not expect your application to be successful if you just send in an application. At the same time, contacting professors through email can easily be pointless - they get hundreds of mails from applicants each month. My suggestion (own experience - did this a decade ago successfully) would be to come here for a week and walk the corridors from door to door.

    shri likes this.

  4. #4
    I should hope ethnicity isn't a factor in the decision-making process or whichever way the policy swing that's got to be racist.

    In any case all good PhD application statements should address the following questions:

    - What have you accomplished in your undergraduate and Master's studies in terms of research? What's your research focus, and what's its significance to your field of study? Who was your supervisor? Was this an original research?
    - Have you published anything or presented any papers in your field in major conferences?- What would you like to accomplish in your graduate research? What would be your thesis topic or field of focus? Why is this topic worthy of your further study and what would be its wider significance to your fieldof study?- Who specifically in your target university would you like to study with? Why is that person your best choice? Why is that university your best choice?- What methodologies and sources would you use?
    You should also include an appendix with a proper bibliography to show off your knowledge of the field and who the top scholars are in your subject area.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mao C Chung:
    I should hope ethnicity isn't a factor in the decision-making process or whichever way the policy swing that's got to be racist.

    In any case all good PhD application statements should address the following questions:

    - What have you accomplished in your undergraduate and Master's studies in terms of research? What's your research focus, and what's its significance to your field of study? Who was your supervisor? Was this an original research?
    - Have you published anything or presented any papers in your field in major conferences?- What would you like to accomplish in your graduate research? What would be your thesis topic or field of focus? Why is this topic worthy of your further study and what would be its wider significance to your fieldof study?- Who specifically in your target university would you like to study with? Why is that person your best choice? Why is that university your best choice?- What methodologies and sources would you use?
    You should also include an appendix with a proper bibliography to show off your knowledge of the field and who the top scholars are in your subject area.
    Well you appear to have plagiarised something on PhD applications, not a good start.

    It may not be racist, there could be language issues, they may not know your previous university, etc. Many if not most supervisors like to know their students before accepting them. Prior to my supervisor being my supervisor, I worked with him on a research project and we jointly published.

  6. #6

    "

    Well you appear to have plagiarised something on PhD applications, not a good start."
    How so?
    That's what I had on my own PhD application statement, and as I was quite explicit, the focus is on what original research you would be doing in the new program.

    Why would the university you're applying to not know your previous university, as obviously you would be asked to submit your transcript from your previous university as well.

    In any case if language was the concern there the university would have asked for your language test score not your ethnicity. And if the principal language of the program is English for example the program would typically say your have no need to submit any language test score if your last degree was from an English-language university for instance which again means ethnicity is utterly irrelevant.

  7. #7

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    I think you're comparing 'should' with 'is'. Yes, ethnicity does not matter, but it does to the degree that local graduate students will tell you even which professor will only take local Chinese or only mainland Chinese. Outside of MBA degrees, there are only homeopathic dosages of non-Chinese students (in my graduation brochure at CUHK there were a total of four non-chinese names - myself, two engineering grads with what looked Indian to me, and one humanities major with a bandworm name that could have been Thai). Other universities are a bit more diverse (UST for example), but even there it does matter - I knew a greek PhD there in Comp Sci, no prize guessing where his advisor was from.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mao C Chung:
    You should also include an appendix with a proper bibliography to show off your knowledge of the field and who the top scholars are in your subject area.
    That made me chuckle. Showing off knowledge by having a bibliography. Can't imagine this to impress anyone but a librarian, and gives you plenty of ways to shoot yourself in the foot unless you really know the papers inside out.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by er2:
    That made me chuckle. Showing off knowledge by having a bibliography. Can't imagine this to impress anyone but a librarian, and gives you plenty of ways to shoot yourself in the foot unless you really know the papers inside out.
    Hmmmmm...why wouldn't you know the papers inside out if you're going to quote it in your statement? I actually would be very surprised what graduation selection committee or good research-intensive university would let you get away with submitting a statement mentioning topics and methodology with no bibliography.

  9. #9

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    Bibliography is crucial in your own work as it serves to distinguish original research from prior knowledge. It is completely irrelevant in situations where all you're supposed to know is prior knowledge. As long as your prior knowledge is accurate, of course.


  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mao C Chung:
    "
    Well you appear to have plagiarised something on PhD applications, not a good start."
    How so?
    That's what I had on my own PhD application statement, and as I was quite explicit, the focus is on what original research you would be doing in the new program.

    Why would the university you're applying to not know your previous university, as obviously you would be asked to submit your transcript from your previous university as well.

    In any case if language was the concern there the university would have asked for your language test score not your ethnicity. And if the principal language of the program is English for example the program would typically say your have no need to submit any language test score if your last degree was from an English-language university for instance which again means ethnicity is utterly irrelevant.
    Obviously they would know which university you studied at from your application, what I meant was they may not know of it in terms of reputation, research record, faculty, etc.

    It may not be your language that is the concern but them being comfortable in supervising in English. Yes I am sure they are fluent in English, the staff I worked with were, but that doesn't mean they would not prefer someone who spoke their language.