New organization structure to enhance undergraduate education

Grace Ho

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To realize the benefits to the City University of Hong Kong as Hong Kong prepares to move to a four-year degree structure, Professor H K Chang, University President, will be chairing a University-wide Steering Committee on Planning for Four-Year Normative Degree Structure.  The Steering Committee will examine the full range of issues to ensure that the University is well poised to contribute its best to the enhancement of CityU’s higher education experience under the new structure, including and not limited to curriculum design and implementation, capital projects, budgetary provision and staffing needs.


Placing the University in the best position to introduce the new degree structure, and to maintain the University’s momentum in enriching undergraduate education and enhancing student learning, Professor Chang have configured a new organization structure for the portfolio currently shouldered by Professor Edmond Ko, Vice-President for Undergraduate Education and Dean of Students, with effect from 1 April 2005.


Two deanship positions will be created to head the two lines of separate and yet interlocking areas of work:

  • Professor Richard Ho
    , currently Professor (Chair) of Finance, will assume the position of Dean of Undergraduate Education. His office will be responsible for academic policies and administration related to undergraduate studies, including the co-ordination of student recruitment and support of quality assurance.  Professor Ho will oversee the Admissions Office, the Academic Regulations and Records Office, the English Language Centre, the Chinese Civilization Centre, the Chinese Language Unit and the Division of Building Science and Technology;

  • Professor Lilian Vrijmoed, currently Professor in the Department of Biology
    and Chemistry, and a two-time winner of CityU’s Teaching Excellence Award, will assume the position of Dean of Student Learning.  Professor Vrijmoed will oversee the Student Development Services (SDS) and the Education Development Office which will be reorganized to include among its functions the new role of coordinating the University’s e-learning initiatives.

In view of the importance of having more international and non-local students on campus, the External Liaison and Cooperation Office will undertake, in addition to its current functions, the promotion of undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes and the recruitment of students outside of Hong Kong. A new unit, the International and Non-local Students Office, will also be created within the SDS to provide one-stop services for these students after they have been admitted.


Professor Ko, after relinquishing his current portfolio on 31 March, will serve as Special Advisor to the President, while retaining the rank of a Vice-President, with effect from 1 April to 30 June 2005. He will advise the President on matters in relation to the University’s preparation for the four-year degree structure, and other major initiatives on which the University may embark.


Resulting from the dedicated efforts of all CityU staff, the University has made major strides in enhancing undergraduate education and student learning in the past years. Professor Chang believes that the new structure and appointments will facilitate the University's further achievements and make CityU the preferred choice for students.


Professor Ko, Professor Ho and Professor Vrijmoed have accepted their new appointments. “I am very pleased to take up this new role,” said Professor Ho, who stresses the importance on nurturing young talent. “In facing the challenges of the 21st century, we need to equip our students not only with professional expertise, but also with cross-cultural understanding,” he said. “Professor Ko has built a solid foundation from which I can begin to operate. I will listen to our colleagues’ ideas and facilitate their best for the benefit of the whole University.”


Professor Vrijmoed is eager to further enhance the students’ all-rounded development. “First of all, I want to thank the University’s management for offering me this challenging role. As our student profile becomes more diverse, we need to think about a wide variety of activities and programmes to suit their various needs,” Professor Vrijmoed said.” In anticipation of an increasing number of overseas and non-local students on campus, the new International and Non-local Students Office will coordinate all related matters and services for these students, and, at the same time, help local students learn to mix comfortably with people from different countries.”



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