Elder Academy celebrates 10th anniversary
A ceremony on 22 August celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Elder Academy at City University of Hong Kong (CityU).
The Academy allows elders to study alongside CityU students on undergraduate courses to promote integration between the generations.
Guests attending the ceremony included Professor Way Kuo, CityU President; Professor Horace Ip Ho-shing, Vice-President (Student Affairs); Mr Gordon Chong Kwok-wing, Principal Assistant Secretary for Labour and Welfare (Welfare); Dr Lam Ching-choi, Chairman of the Elderly Commission; and Dr Leong Che-hung, first Chairman of the Committee on Elder Academy Development Foundation under the Elderly Commission.
President Kuo drew an analogy for the relationship between young people and elders and commented on the current situation in Hong Kong.
Citing a poem from the Yuan dynasty, he said: “Hills do make a better scene; when some Clouds gather. The Hills an artwork then become, when the Clouds then scatter. Thus amidst the Clouds; The Hills change their light. Thus around the Hills; the Clouds gain their height.”
Clouds and hills should respect and learn from each other, as they are closely related, he said.
“The significant contributions that both clouds and hills make to society should be recognised, and they should respect each other. So let us join hands and work together to find the best solution for the well-being of society,” he added.
In his remarks, Professor Ip said the Academy promoted life-long learning and provided a platform for senior citizens to learn new knowledge, exchange ideas with young students and expand their social circle.
“Through communication, the elders’ valuable life experience can suggest an appropriate direction for CityU students, while students’ innovative ideas can inspire the senior citizens. Hence, the Academy can successfully help promote inclusion between generations,” he said.
When President Kuo assumed the presidency of CityU in 2008, he strongly supported the establishment of the Elder Academy as proposed by Dr Leong, aiming to promote life-long learning and encourage elders to lead an active and healthy life. So far, more than 700 elders have completed their studies.
Mr Leung, a senior citizen who has completed over 20 courses, said the Academy programmes enabled him and his fellow students to live a flourishing life and broaden their horizons. In the course of his studies, he became friends with many young students and he thanked them for helping whenever he encountered difficulties.
Mr Ma, who attended the courses as an auditing student for four years, said the Academy programmes were stimulating and challenging and had given him the opportunity to experience campus life and gain knowledge about fields other than the financial sector in which he used to work before retirement.
Moreover, CityU's inclusive learning environment and caring for the elderly students made him enjoy campus life, he added.
In 2007, the Labour and Welfare Bureau and the Elderly Commission jointly launched the Elder Academy Scheme. CityU joined the Scheme in 2008. CityU is the first university to allow the elderly students to attend courses with CityU undergraduates, and thus made CityU a role model for promoting life-long learning.
Enrolled students are required to attend lectures and participate in group discussions. No assignments or assessments are required. Students who have completed the course in a semester with a minimum of 70% attendance will be issued a Learning Certificate at the yearly Completion Ceremony.