CityU, Fulbright scholars meet to forge GE plan

Craig Francis

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Determined to develop the best General Education (GE) courses possible in preparation for the transition to the four-year curriculum, City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has held talks with scholars in the field of GE from the United States.


The series of discussions and workshops are part of the Fulbright-Hong Kong General Education Project that is focused on designing courses that will,

according to Professor Paul Lam Kwan-sing, Acting Vice-President (Undergraduate Education), “broaden students’ horizons, increase their appreciation of cultural diversity and encourage them to be life-long learners.”


Professor Paul Lam explained that the best universities in the US already have mature general education programmes designed for the four-year undergraduate curriculum. CityU is now perfectly positioned, he said, to benefit from this wealth of experience as the Fulbright Programme provides new academic exchange opportunities in the run-up to 2012 to bring prominent US f

aculty who have developed exemplary general education programmes to come to Hong Kong and work with scholars and teachers in the field of General Education here at CityU.


Dr Spencer Benson, Associate Professor, College of Chemical and Life Sciences, Maryland University, said the challenges confronting CityU were the very same that had confronted universities in the US and around the world that had made the transition to four-year degrees.


“The challenge is to create courses that serve the needs of students in the 21st century. We see these GE courses as a foundation for lifelong learning and a mechanism to examine global issues that do not have black and white solutions,” said Dr Benson.

Dr Susan Gano-Phillips, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan, said GE courses would be created so as to benefit students across all curriculums in regard to presentation.

“Whether verbal or written, for public or academic assessment, GE courses should possess a common element in terms of improving the presentation skills of students across all disciplines to equip them to benefit from their work, both academically and eventually professionally,” said Dr Gano-Phillips.

Other participants included Fulbright scholar Dr Kristine Utterback, Associate Professor of History, University of Wyoming, and Dr Glenn Drive, Director of Hong Kong America Centre (HKAC). Other CityU scholars and representatives present were Professor Reza Hoshmand, GE Programme Coordinator and Visiting Professor of Economics; Professor Lilian Vrijmoed Kwan Lee-ping, Dean of Student Learning, Professor Chan Chi-hou, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering; Dr Catherine Chiu, Associate Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences; Dr Steve Fore, Associate Dean, School of Creative Media; Mr Gu Minkang, Associate Dean, School of Law; Dr Eva Wong, Head of Educational Development Office; and Ms Geraldine Mak, Secretary to General Education Committee.

The project is administered by the HKAC which promotes understanding between Hong Kong and American societies through educational and cultural exchanges. It has long held inbound and outbound programmes for students and scholars from the US and Hong Kong to promote exchanges.


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