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The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Appoints Professor Gillian Choa as Deputy Director (Academic) of the Academy

31 May 2019

Professor Choa


The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts ("the Academy") is very pleased to announce that Professor Gillian Choa has been appointed as Deputy Director (Academic) with effect from 1 June 2019.


Professor Choa has been serving the Academy for over 20 years as an academic faculty as well as practitioner. In her current role as the Dean of the School of Theatre and Entertainment Arts (School of TEA), she has successfully overseen and led the School’s academic development and its strategic planning. She is member of a number of senior Academy boards and committees, and an active elected member of the Academy Council.


Professor Choa received her Bachelor (Honours) degree in Drama from University of Hull, and Advanced Theatre Design diploma from Croydon College of Art and Design. She furthered her studies at the University of Hong Kong where she was conferred both Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Education Policy, Management and Social Sciences. Her professional expertise has seen her regularly design sets and costumes for Academy productions. She has also worked extensively as a designer of sets and costumes in Theatre, Television, Film and high-end commercial concerns before joining the Academy. During her earlier career, she also directed and designed theatre lighting and has been an editor for local fashion and architectural magazines. Her work has covered innumerable film and stage productions both overseas and in Hong Kong, and she was deemed the first professionally trained theatre designer in Hong Kong, and the first Resident Designer for Chung Ying Theatre Company. Professor Choa has been nominated and received numerous accolades for her local and international work.


In her role as Dean, Professor Choa continued to build productive partnerships with local and overseas universities, tertiary performing arts institutions, industry and community groups to provide educational opportunities for students and staff. She has been a key presenter in many local and international conferences and forums on arts education and policy and is an active member of the OISTAT community.


Professor Choa’s commitment to the broader community is also significant. She was recently appointed to the Advisory Committee for Education Development of the HKSAR and is currently serving on the panel of the Dance Alliance Awards. Previous positions have included adjudicator for the Drama Federation Awards, School Manager for the Spastic Association of HK, vetting member of CreateSmart Initiative Vetting Committee, and a member of the Sir Edward Youde Scholarship and Fellowship panels. She was also Director of International Services and Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Club of Hong Kong, and is currently Director of Fellowship for the Zonta Club of Hong Kong, and Korean Cultural Fellow.


As an academic leader, Professor Choa has successfully overseen the restructuring of the School of TEA into three Departments. This has provided a solid structural framework for the School’s future, and will ensure that its programmes remain relevant, vital and innovative in their approach to pedagogical and curricular developments. The introduction of the BFA and MFA curricula via digital media and animation for live performance has also been introduced in response to the ever-changing needs of the industry. She has recently been able to secure a significant grant from the government for this purpose. 


In the design and implementation of the 4-year degree and MFA programmes for the School of TEA, Professor Choa put into practice innovative teaching and learning methodologies. The outcome of these student-centred methodologies has been successfully evidenced. Professor Choa’s introduction of the concept of Practice-as-Research (subject of her doctoral dissertation) in 2009 to postgraduate student programmes was of particular significance. She has overseen and participated in numerous accreditation exercises since 1997, often taking the role of panel member of Internal Validation exercises to support the process for Schools across the Academy.  


Professor Adrian Walter, Director of the Academy commented, “Professor Choa has a diversified artistic background and thorough knowledge of the performance and entertainment industry and is a dedicated and passionate advocate of the performing arts. The breadth of her experience and knowledge of the Academy’s academic programmes, together with the leadership skills she has clearly demonstrated in the development of the School of TEA and its multi-disciplinary curriculum, will, I am sure allow her to continue to make a significant and positive contribution to the development of academic programmes across the Academy. At present Professor Choa is also Chair of the Academy’s Board of Undergraduate Education where she plays a strategic leadership role in the academic development of the Academy. Her strength and experience in this area will contribute significantly to upcoming HKCAAVQ accreditation processes.”




About The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) (


The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, established by Government Ordinance in 1984, is a leading tertiary institution in performing arts in Asia.  The Academy is ranked the world’s no.13 and Asia’s no.1 by the QS Ranking in Performing Arts in 2019.  The Academy provides professional undergraduate education and practice-based postgraduate studies. The study encompasses Chinese Opera, Dance, Drama, Film and Television, Music, and Theatre and Entertainment Arts. Its educational philosophy reflects the cultural diversity of Hong Kong with emphasis on Chinese and Western traditions, and interdisciplinary learning.