Welcome to the big family of CityU research students

Karen Lai

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Around 100 new research students, together with senior-year mentors, joined the Orientation for Research Degree Students organized by the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) on 12 September.

Research degree programmes commence at different times of the year. With the start of the new academic year, the Orientation is the first occasion for new comers from different departments and different countries, enrolled since January 2006, to introduce one another as members of CityU’s big family of research students.

At the opening ceremony, Professor Roderick Wong Sue-cheun, Vice-President (Research) and Dean of Graduate Studies, expressed his warm welcome to new students. “Research interest is of prime importance in your pursuit of knowledge at research degree level,” said Professor Wong. While each research student might have a different reason or purpose to study for a research degree, Professor Wong pointed out, a keen interest and persistence would be the key to success. He encouraged research students to make good use of the University’s resources and learning facilities, for example, the newly introduced 1-1 Thesis Writing Consultation Scheme, the consultation service from the English Language Centre and the conference grants for attending overseas conferences and workshops. “I hope all of you will cherish your precious time at CityU,” he said.

This year marked the launch of a new mentoring scheme especially designed for research degree students. Both mentors and mentees commented that the orientation activities were a good opportunity for them to get to know each other and enhance their friendship.

Ms Song Tingting, a mentor and a PhD student of the Department of Electronic Engineering, said that the orientation activities started right on the first day when the new students arrived at the Department. Tingting came from Sichuan University two years ago. She felt that the orientation provided new students with a much-needed get-together occasion to get acquainted with their fellow and senior students, because the research students would spend most of their time on individual projects once school started. As mentor, she would help the new students to adapt to the learning style at CityU, giving them advice on how to strike a good balance between research and studying.

Ms Jessica Ng Yee-ha and Ms Cecilia Pun Fung-kan, MPhil students from the Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics (CTL), decided to pursue further study right after completing their undergraduate degrees at CityU. Jessica and Cecilia would do machine translation and text analysis, respectively. Both of them concurred that knowledge was never enough and they were happy to join the big family of research students.

Mr David Zhang Junfeng and Ms Mu Yuanyuan, both new PhD students of CTL, thanked SGS for the warm welcome. They said that they came to CityU for research study because it was well-known for its academic excellence and applied research. “Studying here will allow me to have ample exposure to different schools of thoughts and cultures. I look forward to having more interaction with my professors and fellow students,” said Yuanyuan.

Also present at the Orientation ceremony was Professor Hui Yer-van, Associate Dean of SGS, who introduced the research-degree programme structure, financial assistance, career prospects, and the key persons new students should know during their years at CityU, such as representatives from Faculties and Schools, the students’ academic supervisors, administrative staff, and the CityU Postgraduate Association (CUPA).

CUPA Vice-President Mr Lion Liu Yi, a MPhil student of the Department of Public and Social Administration, gave a warm welcome to the students as well. Lion said that CUPA provided a common platform for communication and sharing of skills and experience. He said as research students came from different strata of society, they could learn from their differences and work together to promote the academic and postgraduate study environment. He encouraged new students to actively participate in CUPA activities and ensured them that they would benefit from these activities.

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