Postgraduate Student Life @ CUHK
Mustakimur Md RAHMAN
from Bangladesh
PhD Candidate in Laws

From Campus to the World: A Law Student’s Quest for Adventure and Discovery

Mustakimur RAHMAN (Mustakim) had a dream. He wanted to be an independent legal researcher, and moreover, he wanted to travel and see the world.

Coming from Bangladesh, Mustakim did his undergraduate studies in the UK and then returned to work as a faculty member at a Bangladeshi university. During that time as an academic, he cultivated a keen interest in international criminal law and was eager to gain new insights into the field. He knew that getting a PhD would allow him to accomplish these goals, so he set off to apply for PhD programmes in Germany and Hong Kong, and got accepted to both.

He was then faced with a decision about where to go.

“When deciding where to go, I considered three key factors: the institution, the law faculty and prospective supervisors,” he said.

In the end, Mustakim said that the choice was pretty clear to him. “I chose Hong Kong!” he said.

“CUHK has the biggest, most aesthetically pleasing and eco-friendly campus in Hong Kong. Additionally, it provides exceptional facilities for cultural, athletic, social and other extracurricular pursuits. It’s one of the best universities in the world.”

Building on strong connections

But before making a final decision, Mustakim did his due diligence and trotted the globe to compare various law schools. In the end, he still chose The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) to do his PhD in Laws. What impressed him the most about the CUHK Faculty of Law (CUHK LAW) was that it prioritised academic excellence and partnered with renowned journals and publishers to produce exceptional legal research. Its research partnerships can be found locally and internationally with an emphasis on mainland China. And for this reason, its law library offers an impressive array of legal resources, both online and offline.

On top of this, CUHK LAW also has strong connections globally with academic institutions and professional associations. And this was a huge draw for Mustakim. Renowned academics and experienced legal professionals join hands to promote justice and uphold the rule of law by blending the Common Law and Chinese legal systems with other legal traditions.

“This results in valuable input when developing its innovative academic programmes,” he said.

An International Arena

Of course, another exciting aspect of CUHK LAW is its diversity of professors coming from all around the world.

When I talk to different faculty members, I feel like I have the whole world with me. This uniqueness is what makes CUHK’s law programmes stand out,” Mustakim piped.

Capitalising on these connections and its strong international presence, Mustakim says that one of his most unforgettable experiences whilst getting his PhD at CUHK was the opportunity to present his paper at the prestigious McGill University in Canada.  He also had the opportunity to publish a book review in the Polish Yearbook of International Law under the supervision of his mentors.

Unwavering support from Outstanding Faculty

Mustakim feels that a huge advantage of the programme is the level of support that it provides its students.  According to his personal experience, the Faculty spares no effort to provide students with plentiful support and resources to ensure that they have everything that they need to succeed.

“My advisors, Professors Gregory Gordon and Ryan Mitchell provided me with exceptional guidance and assistance, making my research at CUHK LAW very satisfying,” he said. “Their steadfast direction is supporting me in accomplishing my objectives.”

With a clear goal to pursue a career in academia overseas, CUHK’s support has helped make this a reality for Mustakim. He has been offered a position as a visiting research student at the University of Western Australia where he will be part of a three-month exchange programme. He is confident that this will be a great opportunity to improve his research skills and expand his professional network.

Mustakim sincerely believes that he would never have these successes and opportunities without the support of the world-renowned CUHK LAW.

“So my advice to all prospective students who aspire to succeed in their academic careers is to set high standards for themselves in terms of character and academic performance and strive to maintain these standards consistently,” he said.

Last but not least, Mustakim also advises other international students to make the most of being in Hong Kong, which he calls an academic powerhouse. With five of the eight universities in Hong Kong ranked within the top 100 in the QS ranking, the city naturally attracts some of the top academics from around the world and students should take advantage.

“All this just adds to the vibrancy and diversity of their academic programmes and their commitment to excellence remains uncompromised,” he said.