New awards encourage inter-disciplinary initiatives

Scarlett Leung

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City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has launched the Interdisciplinary Professional Development Awards Scheme to encourage the development of cutting-edge research initiatives and signature Gateway Education (GE) courses that emphasise discovery and innovation.

“The awards scheme is among a series of important events to boost CityU’s building of the Discovery-enriched Curriculum, which is a signature element of the Academic Development Proposal 2012-2015,” said Professor Arthur Ellis, CityU’s Provost, at a Town Hall meeting held on 19 April.

“The proposal is a roadmap to excellence that spearheads change in a new world characterised by globalisation and technology. By leveraging the transition to 3+3+4 in 2012 with the introduction of the innovative Discovery-enriched Curriculum, CityU is poised to lead a new era of professional education in support of the development of higher education in Hong Kong,” he said.

The awards scheme provides an in-house sabbatical that allows faculty and teaching staff to have the time, space, and resources to develop inter-disciplinary research initiatives and create broad and dynamic GE courses for our students. These GE courses are aimed at broadening horizons and laying the foundation for selecting a major after the second semester of the first-year of study. Proposals that either launch an inter-disciplinary research initiative or create one or more new GE courses can receive up to $250,000.


Attending the Town Hall meeting were Dr Andy Chun Hon-wai, Chief Information Officer; Professor Gary Feng Gang, Associate Provost; Dr Ron Kwok Chi-wai, Associate Director, Office of the Education Development and General Education and Chairman, General Education Course Evaluation Panel; Professor David Randall, Director, Office of Education Development and General Education; Professor Lilian Vrijmoed, Department of Biology and Chemistry and Chairman, Selection Panel for the Teaching Excellence Awards 2010-11; and Professor Wang Guiguo, Dean, School of Law. They joined Professor Ellis to introduce the awards scheme in detail and explain the support that CityU would give its faculty and staff for the preparation of the Discovery-enriched Curriculum.


Following the Town Hall meeting, there was a symposium titled “Building the Discovery-enriched Curriculum”, featuring keynote speaker Professor Barry Kudrowitz of the University of Minnesota and a team of graduate students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology who have developed a course around the theme of designing a new toy.


Other efforts to promote the new culture of discovery and innovation include a poster session that showcased an impressive array of Discover&Innovate@CityU exemplars by CityU students on 19 April. A number of workshops to be led by Professor Kudrowitz will be organised on 20-21 April to facilitate the creation of courses that promote discovery, innovation and creativity.


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