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he Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) was incorporated in 1988 under Chapter 1141 of the Laws of Hong Kong. Within its legal framework, the HKUST functions independently. The Ordinance and Statutes stipulate the machinery of governance, setting out the bodies and the officers in whom all powers vest and upon whom all duties devolve. The main bodies for which the Ordinance and Statutes provide are the Court, the Council, the Senate and the Boards of the Schools. All of these bodies may form committees and delegate their powers as they see fit.
The Council is the supreme governing and executive body of the University. It exercises the powers and duties of the University as specified in the HKUST Ordinance. Presided over by a lay person (i.e. someone who is not an employee of the University), the Council consists of non-executive members, the President, academic and administrative representatives, an elected student and an elected staff member, making a complement of 27. The Council normally meets in plenary session four times each year. The summary of decisions of each Council meeting can be found here. When the Council is not in session, an executive committee known as the Standing Committee of the Council meets regularly to discharge the function of the Council.
The Senate is the supreme academic body of the University. It is responsible for setting and reviewing academic policies. Chaired by the President, other members of the Senate include the Provost, Vice-Presidents, Deans, heads of academic departments and units, academic staff elected by their peers or co-opted by the Senate, and student representatives. Its powers and duties are detailed in University Statute 2. The Senate has delegated some of its powers and duties to the many committees that it has set up and the Boards of Schools.