FHS's drive to champion internationalization

Jenny Kwan

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The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FHS) at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) is cultivating greater levels of internationalization with a dynamic range of academic and exchange programmes that are attracting keen interest across the region.

This drive is a direct response to CityU's mission statement and to the University Grants Committee's call two years ago to enrich campus life and learning in Hong Kong through

increased contacts with non-local culture and students.

"FHS places a very high priority on internationalization," said Professor Martin Painter, Acting Dean of FHS, during a welcoming party recently for non-local exchange students newly arrived in the FHS. Exchange students heading out to mainland China and overseas were a vital part of the internationalization process, he added.

"Students who have been on exchanges say they broadened their outlook and learnt better intercultural and communication skills. We are now working hard to expand exchange opportunities for as many of our students as possible," he said.

In Semester A 2006 - 2007, eighty FHS outbound exchange students set off on their global adventure, and more than fifty inbound exchange students from all over the world joined the Faculty for a period of study.

Dr Bertha Du-Babcock, Director of International Exchange in FHS, said she was happy to witness the students' substantial growth before and after their exchange tour.

"Students will find the exchange experience is both memorable and inspirational," she said.

The FHS drive is being suitably supported at the departmental level.

The Department of English and Communication (EN) is offering undergraduate and postgraduate communications programmes that attract international students in the Pacific Rim region and beyond. Of the 14 non-local students who graduated from the full-time MA in Communication and New Media (MACNM) programme this summer, 12 students were from mainland China, one from Thailand, and one from the Philippines.

For the 2006 - 2007 academic year, the MACNM has signed up 13 students from mainland China and three from Indonesia, France and the UK, respectively.

In addition, there are plans to launch an MA in International Communication in the near future, according to Professor Jonathan Zhu Jianhua, the MACNM Programme Leader.

"Such a programme will be very popular among young people who wish to find exciting jobs in this age of information," he said.

Dr He Zhou, Associate Professor in the EN and Programme Leader for the BA in English for Professional Communication, said the Department’s programmes attracted international students because the courses related to international issues and concerns.

"With the programme being renamed BA in International Communication and our move to the landmark Creative Media Building, we are confident we can serve as major base for communication education and research in this region," Dr He said.

Another exciting development in the FHS is the recent launch of the Department of Asian and International Studies (AIS). AIS students are expected to acquire knowledge about global issues and contemporary societies in Asia, the ways in which they influence each other and the international forces and trends which affect us all.

AIS teaching includes studies on globalization, social and political trends, economic and social development, plus international exchanges of knowledge, policies, practices and popular culture.


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