Information Day a go-go

Shiona Mackenzie and Lau Pui-ki


Waves of prospective students surged into CityU¡Xa microcosm of academe 27 September. Volunteer student helpers and staff stood side-by-side to meet and greet the visitors who traveled from as far away as Stanley to discover all that CityU has to offer, from Accountancy to Physics.

"I plan to apply for CityU's Accountancy programme this year and would like to know more about application requirements," one Form 7 visitor explained. "The Department's briefing was useful and I now believe that there is a bright future for me after graduation from CityU. I decided to take this programme as my first choice under the Joint University Programmes Admissions System." Another visitor added: "I'm here because I heard about this event at my secondary school and I'd like to know more about University life." Although she is just a Form 6 student this year, she is already gathering information to help her plan for the future.

At the welcome tent facing the Pedestrian Entrance, the visitors grabbed glossy paper shopping bags -- the first of many free treats distributed on campus, such as pens from the Department of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management, and highlighters from the Faculty of Science and Engineering. A carnival-like atmosphere prevailed. Cheerful banners adorned the walls of the Academic Building brimming with people asking and answering questions, getting acquainted with CityU through the vivid displays and pamphlets, fun activities and germane lectures.

Lectures, games and souvenirs

"English and Communication for Tomorrow" was the title of a presentation by the Department of English and Communication(EN).  With Deputy Programme Leader BATESL Dr Rodney Jones, a lively and entertaining MC, Associate Head of the Department Dr Lindsay Miller welcomed the audience and introduced the other speakers, Programme Leader EPC Dr Zhou He, and alumni Mr Jason Chan, who spoke on 'Working in the Media', and Mr Samuel Kam, who talked about 'Being a Creative Teacher'.
Dr Jones specified the three most desirable attributes of an employee according to a recent Education and Manpower Bureau study: a good work ethic, interpersonal skills and English skills, and he revealed how EN helps students acquire these attributes.

The Division of Building Science and Technology (BST) booth was also well-attended, with student helpers clad in bright yellow T-shirts eager to assist visitors to their display. Senior Lecturer Mr Eric Cheng, described how the student volunteers worked hard to put together three different games to entertain aspiring BST students. The student helpers designed one game using a machine, a real estate game using a model, and another one using applied mechanics, involving amounts of stress on beams. "They were the students' own designs and I think they turned out well," Mr Cheng noted. These student helpers had previously been selected to take part in international summer study tours, and were able to apply the organizational skills they developed to arranging the BST booth.

Information Day visitors were catered to by teams of dedicated CityU student helpers. Why were they so eager to devote so much time and energy to making it a success? One helper, a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in International Business, Japan (IBJ) student put it this way: "I'd like to broaden my horizons. By doing this work, I have chances to meet new people. I want to improve my communication skills and promote the IBJ programme, with the videos, PowerPoint presentation and display panels." A Form 7 visitor responded, "The formally dressed BBA student helpers impressed me a lot." He also remarked that the kimono-clad student helpers were the most eye-catching of all. He plans to study a programme related to Social Science and came to collect information about schedules and the future prospects of the programme. Somehow, he got distracted¡K

Mr Murakami Hitoshi, Lecturer in the Language Studies Division of the College of Higher Vocational Studies pointed out the reasons for the outstanding Applied Japanese Studies (AJS) programme display: "Here, we can not only promote Japanese culture to Hong Kong's secondary students, but visitors' feedback can help our staff to improve and arrange the course schedule." Mr Murakami and his student helpers prepared Japanese toys and crafts to introduce to visitors. A video of a study tour to Japan was also used to promote the AJS programme. But the student helpers in Japanese traditional style attire seemed to attract the most attention.

"I love Japanese and wanted to get everyone interested in it this way," Mr Li Kin-hung, a Year 1 Japanese language student attested. "It's practical to take an Associate Degree programme. I, for example, aim to become a translator or a guide, and I believe my language skills will be most helpful in landing a job." And why did he choose to spend his Saturday on campus? "I love CityU—its student-centred activities like shows, dances and bands are really fun. The students here are friendly, and I have good mentors, too. All my teachers are my favourites!"

Many visitors were keen to explore CityU beyond the teaching and learning facilities. Sophia, a student helper guiding visitors around the Student Hostel found it interesting to act as a tour guide. The 30-minute tours were provided in six sessions: three in the morning and three in the afternoon. A lot of preparation led up to the tours. "First, I needed to obtain information on the Student Hostel," she acknowledged. "Second, I needed to join a demonstration tour and undergo some training. I hope that the visitors I met today will apply to get into CityU successfully and we can meet again some day."

By the end of the Day, that sentiment had been expressed over and over again, by secondary school visitors and student helpers alike. As they meandered off the campus with satisfied smiles, arms laden with folders, flyers and souvenirs, another Information Day in the life of CityU gently came to a close.






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