Forum prepares postgraduates for challenges of globalization

Winki Lam

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Preparing postgraduate students for the challenges and opportunities of working in a global environment was the focus of a postgraduate forum organized by City University's School of Graduate Studies on 26 February.  

"How can we cope with the challenges and grasp the opportunities now? I think one important thing we need to do is to re-orient our mindset and think globally," said Professor Y V Hui, Acting Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, in his welcoming remarks at the forum: Preparing for the Challenges and Opportunities of Globalization.

Panelist Professor Peter Malanczuk, Chair Professor and Founding Director of the School of Law's WTO Law and Dispute Resolution Centre, kicked off the forum by reflecting on the meaning of globalization, "The term 'globalization' is less than 10 years old. It covers a large stratum of social and cultural scenarios and elements such as culture, communication, technology."

"Compared to the old days and to many other places in the world, you are fortunate to be living in Hong Kong where you have a multi cultural background that offers you a fine start in meeting globalization," pointed out panelist Professor Frederic Williams, Chair Professor in the Department of Building and Construction.

PhD student in the Department of Information Systems Ms Jolie Lam said that to stay competitive in this global world, students must enhance their language skills, not just in English but in other languages, such as Putonghua. Emphasizing the importance of be culturally aware, she encouraged postgraduate students to make studying abroad a part of their lives. "But most important, we have to keep an open mind, to maintain a good and positive working attitude, and to continue to learn after graduation," she said.

"Education is not just about learning a special technique you use in work when you graduate. The idea of education is really knowledge about life," said Chair Professor Zhang Longxi of the Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics and Director of the Centre for Cross-Cultural Studies. He said he believes that it is very important for postgraduate students to go beyond their specialities, to have cultural knowledge, and to have intellectual curiosity to learn about the world and other cultures, so as to prepare themselves to face the challenges of globalization.

In conclusion, Ms Lam encouraged students to do more applied research for the betterment of Hong Kong. Professor Zhang, on the other hand, urged them to "really make yourself a well-educated person". "Whatever you do, be loyal to your roots and don't do things just for money," said Professor Williams.

The forum, facilitated by Chair Professor Leung Kwok, Head of the Department of Management, attracted more than 100 academic staff and postgraduate students.

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