Review panel visits College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Craig Francis

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A review panel comprised of five experts visited the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS) at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) from 2-4 March to help enhance the quality of its academic and research programmes.



After meeting with the University’s senior management, faculty members from all departments and research degree students, the panel submitted a report to the University outlining the strengths and areas for potential improvement of CHASS. Among the topics under consideration were the international competitiveness of its education and research programmes, potential new areas or programmes for future development, the management structure and other matters raised by students. It also provided recommendations on CHASS’s strategic direction over the next five years.


The review panel, chaired by Professor Karen Cook, Ray Lyman Wilbur Professor of Sociology, Chair of Department of Sociology and Director of Institute for Research in the Social Sciences, Stanford University, comprised of both local and overseas experts. They are Professor Ronnie Hsia Po-chia, Edwin Earle Sparks Professor of History and Asian Studies, Pennsylvania State University; Mr Ng Shui-lai, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Christian Service; Professor Haun Saussy, Bird White Housum Professor of Comparative Literature, Yale University; and Professor Yu Xie, Otis Dudley Duncan Distinguished University Professor of Sociology and Professor of Statistics, University of Michigan.



The panel first met with CityU senior management on 2 March and held wide-ranging discussions on current developments at CityU and within CHASS. Professor Way Kuo, University President, Professor Richard Ho Yan-ki, Provost, Professor Roderick Wong Sue-cheun, Vice-President (Research and Technology) and Dean of Graduate Studies, and Professor Paul Lam Kwan-sing, Vice-President (Student Affairs), conducted the briefing and invited questions from the visitors.


Professor Kuo said CityU strived towards excellence in all academic programmes and had set itself the goal of becoming one of the top universities, and its programmes being among the best in the region. "CHASS has been responsible for some outstanding achievements recently and with your assistance we aim to increase our capacity to attain even more success, both in teaching and research," said Professor Kuo.



Professor Martin Painter, Acting Dean of CHASS, provided the review panel with an overview of the College, describing its mission, management structure, academic staff line-up, programme strengths, admissions, student activities, research grant performance, overseas exchange programmes and partnerships.


Other faculty members then explained areas such as the undergraduate curriculum and teaching, student life and learning, and research and postgraduate education.


The College also arranged for a selection of current research degree students to meet the visiting experts. The students talked about why they had chosen to study in Hong Kong and at CityU in particular. They provided valuable feedback on their campus life, teaching, communication channels, facilities and the financial support available to research students. The students, from Hong Kong, mainland China, Denmark, Thailand and Canada, were also invited to offer suggestions on areas in which the College could improve.


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