The Department of Real Estate and Construction (formerly known as Department of Surveying) was formally established as a new department in June 1984. It is directly associated with the surveying profession through the professional accreditation of its undergraduate program by the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors (HKIS) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (UK) (RICS).
The Department seeks to meet the academic challenges of the surveying profession from an interdisciplinary base. A large proportion of graduates follow a professional career as surveyors. Surveyors usually develop a specialism and traditionally undergraduate education for these specialist sections has been largely independent, but increasingly the environment of real estate and construction has shown that this position can no longer be sustained. This Department was the first to recognize this and develop a common degree for these major areas which allows students to specialize after graduation rather than before.
The Department’s graduate taught courses and its research degree program reflect the same philosophy with a prime objective being to cross traditional disciplinary boundaries in finding solutions to problems associated with land, real estate and construction.
There is a strong international component to the Department’s work. Real estate and construction is now an international business with the free flow of capital and investment around the world. The Asia Pacific region has emerged as one of the most active and impressive economic regions of the world and both real estate and construction have played a large part in this economic activity. Hong Kong is a major financial and business centre in the region and the impact of its real estate and construction industries is evident. What is less apparent is the way in which Hong Kong acts as a fulcrum for real estate investment and development in the region. Hong Kong is a large exporter of the skills associated with this process, particularly to China. Hong Kong surveyors therefore need to acquire an international perspective.
The Department has developed many international links in the region, as well as in Europe and North America. It has helped to develop courses in China and has hosted visits from the State Land Administration of China, the Ministry of Construction and others. Students have made a number of formal visits to countries throughout the region and staff is involved in academic exchanges with Universities in the region and further afield. This international activity is clearly reflected in the publications of the academic staff.