PolyU makes service-learning compulsory in four-year curriculum

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With the implementation of the four-year curriculum starting September 2012, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University will introduce a credit-bearing “service-learning” requirement in the curriculum. All undergraduate students are expected to apply the knowledge and skills acquired from their studies to serve the community.

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With the implementation of the four-year curriculum starting September 2012, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) will introduce a credit-bearing “service-learning” requirement in the curriculum. All undergraduate students are expected to apply the knowledge and skills acquired from their studies to serve the community.

The launch of the Community Service Campaign – “PolyU Serves” was held today (9 February) on the university campus. Officiating at the ceremony were the Honourable Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Secretary for Labour and Welfare of the HKSAR Government; Mr Kennedy Liu, Chairperson of The Hong Kong Council of Social Service; Mr Lee Jark-pui, Chairman of the Agency for Volunteer Service; Dr Ng Tat-lun, Deputy Chairman of PolyU Council; and Professor Timothy W. Tong, PolyU President.

Addressing the ceremony, Professor Tong said, “We see this as a win-win situation for our students and the community. Apart from nurturing our students to be responsible citizens, we could have a long-term commitment to our service partners, providing additional and stable manpower resources to the social sector. Through service-learning, PolyU hopes to nurture students into all-round global citizens.”

Mr Matthew Cheung said, “I applaud PolyU’s decision to include service-learning in the credit-bearing academic curriculum from this year onwards. By launching ‘PolyU Serves’, I am sure more young people will fuse the spirit of volunteering into their professional and academic lives and make the best use of their knowledge and skills to serve the community.”

The “PolyU Serves” Community Service Campaign is one of the most important initiatives commemorating the 75th anniversary of PolyU which reaffirms the university’s continued commitment to serving the community while supporting the launching of the credit-bearing “service-learning” in the new curriculum. It is anticipated that when the service-learning structure is fully implemented in a few years’ time, PolyU will have around 3,000 students participating in some 70 projects per year.

The university has already invited over 75 Non-governmental organisations, schools, professional societies and government bodies to be “PolyU Serves” partners. PolyU also calls upon support and donations from different sectors of society so that more new initiatives could be launched by its students and staff in the future.

An Award Presentation Ceremony for Outstanding Service Projects was also staged on the same occasion to recognise students’ outstanding achievements in serving the community in the past academic year. One of the Gold award-winning projects was a service trip to Guizhou, China. Students from the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics have built 3D models for some local famous tourist spots in an old town using the knowledge and skills learnt in classrooms, while students from other disciplines including marketing, tourism management and English helped to collect and edit the relevant tourist information. The project aims at promoting the old town and attracting more tourists so as to boost the town’s economy and enhance the residents’ quality of life.

Another gold award went to a group of biomedical engineering students. They joined hands with the engineering students of the University of Pennsylvania to provide voluntary orthotics services for 50 children suffering from cerebral palsy in Zhaoqing, Guangdong. Students of the two universities worked together to assess, prescribe, construct and fit orthoses for the underprivileged children.

Before the curriculum reform, PolyU has been running a non-credit-bearing Community Service Learning Programme since 2004 with an aim of nurturing PolyU students’ sense of social responsibility through serving the community with their professional knowledge and skills.

Press contact: Ms Jeice Cheung
Student Affairs Office

Tel: (852) 2766 5597

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