The Sky is the Limit for CLASS Graduates

Prof Xiaowei Zang (left), Dean of CLASS, says graduates under the “3-3-4” syllabus are given the chance to participate in overseas exchanges.

As graduates of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) at the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) celebrated their academic achievements, they were also encouraged to put their knowledge and skills to good use for the benefit of society.

Addressing guests, students and their families at the College Graduation Ceremony, Professor Xiaowei ZANG, Dean of CLASS, reminded the graduates to keep an open mind and continue to think rationally. He also acknowledged faculty members for their commitment to teaching and research and thanked parents for entrusting CityU with their children’s education.

“We have taught our students character, virtue and citizenship,” Professor Zang said. “CityU is proud of its graduates, who I believe are among the best students in Hong Kong.”

Faculty added their congratulations, with many friends and family member capturing this milestone moment for posterity on cameras and mobile devices.

At the university-wide congregation held on November 22, more than 2,300 academic awards were conferred on CLASS graduates. This included 1,166 bachelor’s degrees, 1,093 master’s degrees and postgraduate diplomas or certificates, and 44 doctorates and master of philosophy degrees. And between 23 and 26 November, around 6,000 CLASS graduates along with friends, family and faculty members took part in the graduation ceremonies for the Departments of Applied Social Sciences, Asian and International Studies, Chinese and History, English, Linguistics and Translation, Media and Communication, and Public Policy.

Professor Zang emphasised the importance of inspiring students to seek knowledge beyond exam results. He said that having a global vision, analytical abilities and a sense of citizenship enabled individuals to lead a full life and be productive members of society. “Once students open their minds and embrace independent thinking, they can appreciate different perspectives, which enriches their lives,” Professor Zang said, also noting that those same qualities are sought after by forward-thinking employers.

He added this first cohort of graduates under the “3-3-4” academic structure has benefitted from a more holistic approach to undergraduate education.

“The extra year allowed our students to take part in overseas exchange visits and gain first-hand learning experiences with people of different nationalities,” he said.

The professors helped us look at different social, economic and cultural topics in an insightful way, which has given me a strong platform for the future. - Lydia Wong

Asian and International Studies (AIS) graduate Lydia WONG said studying at CityU had definitely broadened her horizons.

“The professors helped us look at different social, economic and cultural topics in an insightful way, which has given me a strong platform for the future,” said Wong, who plans to work in public relations. An undoubted highlight for her was a study tour to Indonesia where she attended lectures, mixed with local students, and got a real feel for a different culture.

Fellow graduate Plusvin LAM, who delivered a speech at the graduation ceremony, is looking to build a career in event planning or public relations.

“The AIS programme really teaches you to open your mind and be receptive to different ideas and perspectives,” Lam said, noting the importance of taking every opportunity to improve language skills and sharpen one’s critical thinking. It was also important to use different media channels to explore alternative perspectives and not to forget to have fun.