Stipulated in the University Ordinance and Statutes are 3 major bodies in the University governance structure, namely the Court, Council and Senate.


The Court is the supreme advisory body of the University. It gives advice on matters of general University policy. It is responsible for receiving an annual report from the President and considering any reports made to it by the Council. It also contributes to the University’s development by raising funds and promoting the University’s interests.


The Council is the supreme governing body of the University. It exercises the powers and duties of the University as specified in the University Ordinance. It is mainly responsible for investments, contracts, property, senior appointments, budget, finance, making of statutes, etc.


The Senate is the supreme academic body of the University. It is responsible for setting and reviewing academic policies. Members of the Senate, being employees or students of the University, include the President, Executive Vice-President and Provost, Vice-Presidents, Deans, heads of academic departments and heads of units and centers, academic staff elected by their peers, and student representatives.

HKUST Ordinance

The HKUST Ordinance was incorporated in 1988 under Chapter 1141 of the Laws of Hong Kong. It outlines the University’s powers and mission, duties, privileges, and constitution etc. and provides a legal framework for the University to function independently.

Statutes of the University

The Statutes, approved by the University Council, set out in detail important constitutional and procedural matters supplementary to the Ordinance. The Ordinance and Statutes stipulate the machinery of governance, setting out the bodies and officers in whom all powers vest and upon whom all duties devolve.