Our History



Prof. Hector Tsang took up the headship of the Department in July 2017

 Prof. Cecilia Li won a Grand Award and Gold Medal at 45th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva for her project titled “Smart Scar-Care Pad”.


The 10th PPCR was jointly held by Department of RS, College of Rehabilitation Medicine of Nanjing Medical University (NMU-CRM), and Pan Asia (Shanghai) Medical Science Institute Ltd (PAPMI) from 4 to 6 November 2016 in Shanghai, Chinese Mainland. The theme of this conference was ‘Chronic Diseases – From Prevention to Rehabilitation’.

Dr Shirley Ngai, Assistant Professor (Physiotherapy) received a UGC Teaching Award in the category of Early Career Faculty Member. This is also the first UGC teaching award ever awarded to an RS staff.


Dr Polly Lau, RS alumnae and Cluster Manager (Physiotherapy) of the Kowloon Central Cluster and Departmental Manager (Physiotherapy) of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital won the Outstanding PolyU Alumni Award.


New Guinness World Record for the ‘Largest Qigong Lesson’ was made by RS students of the BSc (Hons) in OT programme in the Construction Safety Week in 2014.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Student-run Wellness Clinic, managed by students of PolyU’s Faculty of Business and RS students of the BSc (Hons) PT programme was established to improve the health of elderly through interactive and enjoyable preventive healthcare programmes.


The lunching of the 1st Summer Overseas Exchange Scholarship Scheme (SOESS) with Prof. Hector Tsang as the Chairperson.

RS continued her effort in developing rehabilitation education in China by offering Master in Physical Therapy (China) and Master in Occupational Therapy (China) programmes in Sichuan under the auspices of the Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction jointly run by PolyU and Sichuan University.

RS celebrated her 35th Anniversary and organized Student Conference in Sports Science, Rehabilitation and Medicine 2013.


The 8th PPCR achieved a new milestone for the PPCR series. For the first time, the conference took place not on the soil of China. More than 600 healthcare professionals and students from different countries attended the conference in November 2012 at University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines.

With the implementation of the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) in Hong Kong, RS admitted the first cohort of students for the 4-year BSc (Hons) PT and OT programmes to replace the 3-year curricula which had been run for 24 years.


Prof Gabriel Ng, Chair Professor of Rehabilitation Sciences, took up the headship for the Department in June 2011.

RS admitted the first cohort of students for the 2-year Entry-Level Master in Physiotherapy (Hong Kong) and Master in Occupational Therapy (Hong Kong) programmes.


The 7th Pan-Pacific Conference on Rehabilitation was held on 23-24 October successfully in PolyU. Beginning with the 8th PPCR, other countries and Hong Kong will take turn to organize the conference in order to epitomize the spirit of this regional conference. A bidding session was held to decide which organization is most prepared to host the next PPCR. After thorough consideration, the review committee made a tough decision that University of Santo Tomas will organize the 8th PPCR in 2012 in Manila.

The faculties provide teaching to Sichuan University for training physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

The first time that BSc (Hons)PT programme ranked 1st   for 3 years consecutively and BScOT (Hons) programme ranked 2nd in terms of A-level scores among ALL PolyU first degree programmes.



Dr. & Mrs Lui Che-woo donated HK$4 million to our department, for setting up “Dr. & Mrs. Lui Che-woo Centre for the Knee”. This benefaction supports the provision of innovative rehabilitation services for the elderly with knee problems in Hong Kong as well as national athletes in the Chinese mainland.

Dr. Chan Sui Kau and his wife Madam Chan Lam Moon Chun donated HK$6 million to our department, for setting up “Chan Sui Kau Lam Moon Chun Centre for Sports Rehabilitation” in Guangzhou. The Centre is a service and training hub for extending the spirit of the Beijing Olympics and sustaining the competitiveness of top-notch athletes in the Mainland and Hong Kong.

Our department supported the East Asian Games by sending sports physiotherapists and physiotherapy students to the Games, to provide on-site physiotherapy services.

The department coordinated a team comprising 44 experienced sport physiotherapists and 120 undergraduate physiotherapy students to provide on-field physiotherapy support for the games in badminton, tennis, hockey, volleyball and rugby sevens at the East Asian Games.


Sichuan earthquake on 12 May 2008 shook all people over the world. Our department received donation by Hong Kong Red Cross for providing quality rehabilitation services to injured victims at Deyang Rehabilitation centre in Sichuan. We also provide clinical training to rehabilitation therapists in the mainland.

Our Sports research team which includes Dr. Simon Yeung, Dr. Ella Yeung and Dr. Amy Fu contributed their expertise to develop a sports injury prevention and rehabilitation programme for national athletes. Moreover, during the Beijing Olympic Games, a total of 15 volunteers, including seven graduates, six third-year students and 2 second-year students, were selected to provide physiotherapy service to the Olympians. In addition, four of our faculty members and students have also provided physiotherapy support at the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Competition Centre, and many of our students have also worked as volunteers at equestrian events in Hong Kong.

The department celebrated its 30th year anniversary.


Successfully launched full-time master programmes. Eleven students from Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and the mainland were admitted to MSc in Occupational Therapy. Two overseas students from Taiwan and Qatari enrolled to MSc in Manipulative Therapy.

Established Serena Yang Lecture Series in Rehabilitation Series with the support of $2M donation from Ms Serena Yang. It sponsors world renowned scholars and practitioners in rehabilitation sciences to deliver lectures and workshops in Hong Kong.”



Dr Hector Tsang received the Outstanding Professional Services and Innovation Award (Most Valued Project Award), PTeC, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Secured HK$12 million funding from UGC for establishing a “Joint Universities Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Centre” with the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology of The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Obtained HK$4.97 million from PolyU Niche area research grant for support research in health promotion and training of Chinese astronauts. The project is in collaboration with Astronaut Research and Training Centre of China, Beijing.


Prof Chetwyn Chan took up the headship of the Department in July 2005.


Established the Dr. and Mrs. Lui Che Woo Tele-rehabilitation Centre supported by donation from Dr. and Mrs. Lui Chee Woo.

Launched the first Master in Physical Therapy (MPT) programme in the Mainland. This is an entry-level master degree programme offered in collaboration with Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology.


Dr Hector Tsang received the 1st Grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with an amount of US2.1 million entitled “Stigma and Behavioral Health in Urban Employers from China and USA” in collaboration with the University of Chicago and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The Department celebrated its’ 25th Anniversary. The Rehabilitation Clinic was moved to the present physical location in Core A.

In memory of the late Mrs. Cynthia Tang, the Tang’s family established the  Cynthia Tang Memorial Scholarship to support outstanding students from the mainland to study the Bachelor (Hons) degree in Occupational Therapy  in Hong Kong.


Launched the self-financed Postgraduate Scheme in Rehabilitation Sciences (PgS RS) with specialization in manipulative physiotherapy, vocational rehabilitation and geriatric rehabilitation. One year later, the Sports Physiotherapy specialization was also proposed.


Established the Center for East-meets-West in Rehabilitation Sciences under the PolyU’s Area of Strategic Development (ASD) Scheme with an aim of enhancing western rehabilitation by merging it with traditional Chinese therapeutics.


Both OT and PT programmes were validated into BSc (Hons) programmes. The Department hosted the First Pan-Pacific Conference on Rehabilitation.


The Department admitted its first research degree student.


Prof Christina Hui-Chan joined the Department as Head of Department. The Department admitted its first batch of MSc students for the OT, PT and RDD awards under the Postgraduate scheme in Health Care.


Launched its first postgraduate diploma scheme (PgD scheme in Health Care) with special awards in Occupational therapy (OT), Physiotherapy (PT) and Rehabilitation for people with developmental disabilities (RDD).


Both OT and PT programmes were converted to the Bachelor of Science degree programmes (BSc programme).

The two programmes were upgraded from Higher Diploma to Professional Diploma.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic first offered Higher Diploma programmes in Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy under the Institute of Medical and Health Care (IMHC), Hong Kong Polytechnic. Mrs Maria Liu and Mr Philip Chan were the PT and OT Programme Leaders respectively.