Feature

Change for students' All-Round Growth Department-Based Undergraduate Admission

Prof Dennis WONG and student ambassadors build a solid connection between CityU and secondary schools.

Since 2012, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has been admitting new students into the College, rather than its various departments, as part of the four-year academic curriculum structure. Now, CLASS has decided to adopt the department-based admission mode after careful consideration. Starting from September 2016, students will be enrolled directly into the departments of their preference for their first-year studies, so as to get better prepared for their choice of a major field in Year Two.

Under the new system, the departments will provide students with more suitable and in-depth academic curriculums, and enable them to start planning their careers and lives earlier. "The process of choosing a major field of study will become smoother, as a student won't need to compete with more than 400 peers within the College any longer," Professor WONG Sing-wing, Associate Dean of CLASS (Student Life and Learning), explained. "Not only will it help reduce their confusion and worries, but it will also give them a stronger sense of belonging – along with their professors, senior students, and their own classmates, they can focus on achieving academic excellence while enjoying a colourful campus life!"

Be Prepared for U-learning!

To get ready for this ever-changing society, students should learn to gain global perspectives on academic challenges while studying. In CLASS, students can take Gateway Education courses and free electives outside their major fields to diversify their learning in Years One and Two. After that, they can go and focus on their major subjects in Years Three and Four. Mastering both major and non-major knowledge and skills under this system will turn our students into all-round as well as specialised professionals.

Changes in the Student Advising Scheme

Departments in CLASS will be responsible for the student advising scheme while the College will provide assistance to international students, mainland students, sports talents and students with disabilities, and team up with the departments to initiate teacher-student interactions. According to the new academic structure, departments will organise welcoming meetings and tailor-made orientation activities for new students, giving them more chances to meet senior students in the same major field. An advisor will also be assigned to each new student by the department, so that the students can obtain clear and detailed information to help them choose their major subjects in Year Two. In addition to such academic support, CLASS and all its departments will continue to offer students a wide range of local or overseas opportunities (e.g. internships, study tours) and language enrichment programmes, so as to help broaden their vision and horizons.

Promoting Students' Whole-Person Growth

"Apart from their learning and research, CLASS also emphasises the students' whole-person growth, for example, by encouraging social involvement to help them develop outstanding leadership ability," Professor Wong said. He is especially pleased with the College Ambassador Scheme, saying "Our student ambassadors have given talks as the College's representatives to local secondary schools, sharing the well-established academic curriculums and learning modes at CityU, thus building a close connection between CityU and secondary schools. What's more, students can enhance their global competitiveness by gaining actual working experience and forming good working attitudes and habits through local and overseas internships."

Professor Wong is confident that CLASS graduates will be well equipped with knowledge of major subjects, whole-person growth, and a global vision.