The government has said it will open an interim civil service college this year, before the construction of a new facility is completed in 2026. The college aims to enhance civil servants’ understanding of national affairs and the constitutional order of Hong Kong.

Top officials take oaths of allegiance in December 2020. File Photo: GovHK screenshot.

Ahead of a Legislative Council (LegCo) meeting on February 17, the Civil Service Bureau submitted a document to the LegCo Panel on Public Service on Wednesday, with details about an interim college that will operate out of the North Point government offices, and further updates about the construction of the new Civil Service College in Kwun Tong.

The interim college is due to open in 2021, when construction to upgrade the existing Civil Service Training and Development Institute at the North Point offices is completed.

“To enable new recruits to have an accurate understanding of the constitutional order established under the Constitution and the Basic Law,” all new recruits will receive Basic Law foundation training within three years after joining the service, which will include topics on the national security law, the document read.

“The HKSAR Government attaches great importance to national studies training for civil servants,” it reads. “Enhancing the understanding of the civil service on national affairs and the constitutional order of the HKSAR will be a key priority of civil service training.”

North Point Government Offices. Photo: Google Map.

As part of their current national studies programme, civil servants will also continue to receive training from universities in the mainland, while the CSB seeks to increase the number of these institutions in order to allow more civil servants to receive such training.

The government first proposed the new Civil Service College in its 2017 policy address. The composite development site in Kwun Tong will include two blocks: the college will be located at the High Block with a floor area of about 15,000 square meters, and the low block will include other social welfare and community facilities.

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Selina Cheng

Selina Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist who previously worked with HK01, Quartz and AFP Beijing. She also covered the Umbrella Movement for AP and reported for a newspaper in France. Selina has studied investigative reporting at the Columbia Journalism School.