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					New Era Dawns with UIC
        The opening in September of the
   Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong
  Baptist University United International
      College (UIC), the first full-scale
   institution of its kind in which higher
  education centres in the Mainland and
   Hong Kong are joining hands, marks
           the start of a new era.
       Professor Edmund Kwok Siu-tong,
   newly appointed UIC Executive Vice-
       President, says UIC is the first
  Mainland university to promote whole-
  person education, giving equal priority
  to arts and science subjects. He offers
     his insights into the challenges of
      building UIC into an innovative
              educational hub.


      Situated in Tangjiawan in the Pearl     spent the past two decades helping the          people so as to provide further impetus
River Delta city of Zhuhai, UIC is a          Mainland with its educational reforms,          for its economic reform," he said. "In the
landmark collaboration between Beijing        sees the establishment of UIC as an event       early years, educational reform was rather
Normal University (BNU) and Hong Kong         of truly historic proportions.                  hasty with certain confusions created, but
Baptist University (HKBU).                           "To me the significance of UIC is that   that has now changed and more emphasis
      It is the first showcase for recent     it will place HKBU in a pioneering position     is put on delivering quality education,
Chinese legislation giving a green light to   in the Mainland's history of educational        including education imported from
this scale of cooperation with educational    development," he said with infectious           overseas. This has led in recent years to
institutions outside Mainland borders. As     enthusiasm. "As a historian I know well         collaboration between educational
such, it could serve as a model for other     that this is so important.                      institutions in the Mainland and those
similar partnerships.                                "Needless to say, BNU, being one of      'outside the border'."
      Starting this year UIC offers 4-year    the top universities in the Mainland, is              An important policy direction has
undergraduate programmes, and plans to        definitely a distinguished strategic partner    been set, certainly, but it's not easy to
launch postgraduate courses soon.             for the match," he added.                       follow. "It has been difficult," he says,
                                                     He said the Mainland's education         "because UIC is the first. There is no
MAKING HISTORY IN THE MAINLAND
                                              system has been set a clear course: it has      precedent." There are also challenges
    Professor Kwok, a distinguished           to raise its performance levels in term of      arising from different management
academic educator and historian from The      quality and quantity.                           cultures. "We have to act as pioneers to
Chinese University of Hong Kong who has              "Our motherland has to educate its       clear the way."

                                                                                                                                    5
      P ro f e s s o r K wo k i s a                        On the academic front, UIC
confident pioneer. He is highly                               will have three Divisions:
impressed with the team at                                     Humanities and Social
HKBU, which he says is very                                     Sciences, Business and
professional and possesses                                      Management, and Science
an amazing team spirit.                                         a n d Te c h n o l o g y. A l l
These qualities will be                                         programmes will be
crucial in helping the young                                    accredited and the initial
college to succeed and excel                                    programmes will be in
in its mission.                                                 Applied Economics,
                                                                Finance, Environmental
UIC Executive Vice-President                                   Science, Computer
Professor Edmund Kwok Siu-tong                               Science & Technology, and
       !"#$%&'()*+,-
                                                            Statistics.
                                                                  Elaborating on UIC's
COMBINING BEST                                              academic aspirations,
ELEMENTS OF MAINLAND                                        Professor Kwok sees it
AND HONG KONG                                                combining the best
      Located at the BNU                                     elements of the educational
Zhuhai Education Park, UIC will                              systems of the Mainland and
receive its first 500 students in                            Hong Kong. "There's no
September.        The UIC campus                             point in just transplanting
stands on spacious, verdant                                 the HKBU academic
g ro u n d s w i t h p h a s e o n e                        programmes to the
construction of the site to be                              Mainland.The vision is not to
completed in the summer of 2006 and the      duplicate. At UIC we need to develop
whole campus to be ready in 2007.            dynamically so there will be new
Meanwhile, students will use facilities at   programmes to bring back to enrich the
the Education Park.                          education at HKBU."
      The UIC is clearly a major strategic        UIC is not just a geographic or
development for HKBU, which will award       institutional expansion beyond Hong
the degrees. As well as providing a          Kong. "It's an academic expansion into the
platform for HKBU to maintain robust         Mainland so that we have a space for
growth in its academic programmes, it        academic development, experiment and
serves as a bridgehead to extend its         creativity."
services to the Mainland. HKBU is                 He sees the student mix as roughly
investing not less than HK$100 million in    50 percent from the Mainland and 50
the project, with funds coming from a loan   percent from Hong Kong, Macau and
from the reserve fund of the University’s    overseas, with similar proportions for the
self-financed School of Continuing           teaching staff. The interaction of students
Education.                                   and staff from different cultures should

  6
           CAMPUS WITH A DIFFERENCE
                   !==        !




                                                                         CALENDAR OF EVENTS
                                                                                    !
                                                                 3/2004 Agreement signed between BNU and
                                                                        HKBU sets out framework of cooperation
  Simple, low-density design of campus buildings blends in                   !"#$%&'("#)*+,
               with the scenic surroundings                                  !"
                 !"#$%&'#()*+,-.                                 5/2004 HKBU Council approves setting up UIC
                                                                            !"#$%&'()*+,-./
   Pleasant, quiet lakeside campus nestles in green woods
                 !"#$%&"'()*"+,-.                               11/2004 State Ministry of Education (MoE) gives
                                                                        approval in principle for preparation to
  Veranda-style design makes full use of natural lighting and           start
                                                                              !"#$%&'()*+
                     fresh air circulation
                                                                              !"#
                   !"#$%&'()*+,-.
                                                                 1/2005 Visit to HKBU of MoE Vice-Minister
Extensive gardens and courtyards provide agreeable ambience             Zhang Baoqing
                   for student interaction                                     !"#$%&"'()*+,-
          !"#$%&"'()*+,-./)012345                                4/2005 Formal approval from MoE
                                                                             !"#$%&'(
   Lakeside student amenities centre to inspire creativity
                                                                 9/2005 Student admittance to UIC
           !"#$%&'()*+,-./01-234                                             !"#$%




                                                                                                          7
broaden the experience and outlook of                   Professor Zee says that with UIC
all concerned.                                     located in Zhuhai, programmes are
       "We are tr ying to develop a                designed to tie in with the needs of the        !"#$%&'("#
university that uses a multi-discipline            dynamic Pearl River Delta region, including
approach, trying to broaden students'              Hong Kong and Macau.
                                                                                                  !"# rf`                      !
perspectives in terms of attaining,
                                                   ALREADY LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
                                                                                                   !"#$%&'()*
widening and creating knowledge."
       Flexibility will be the watchword.                Professor Kwok speaks of building a      !"#$%&'()*+#
"We won't be working academically and              teaching team of enthusiasts who share           !"#$%&'
administratively along the lines of                the same vision, including academics of
d e p a r t m e n t s . We w i l l o n l y h ave   proven achievement who may be
                                                                                                   !"#$%&'()*
programmes, and if certain teaching                approaching retirement and "young
programmes turn out to be less than                entrepreneurial academics who join              !"#$%&'()
successful, they will be revised.                  because they are able to see the prospects."
       " We w a n t t o h av e c r e a t i v e           He sees no problem in building up
                                                                                                   rf`            !"#$
programmes to open up new areas that               the team even though staff members will        !"#$%&'()*+,
in Hong Kong we can't do."                         have to understand - like him -- there is a
       Professor Kwok, who obtained his            difference in terms of earnings between         !"#$%&'()*
Master's and Ph.D degrees from the                 Hong Kong and the Mainland.                           !"#$
University of California, Berkeley, says UIC             A number of prominent professors
will be keen to forge links with                   have shown interest. "Whoever gets
counterparts overseas so as to draw on             interested in this job, part-time or full-
their experience and achievements.                 time, has to subscribe to this mission of
       A n o t h e r ke y t e a m m e m b e r,     UIC as a pioneer to help the Mainland
Professor Zee Sze-yong, has been                   develop."
appointed Director of the Division of                    Professor Kwok sees UIC as a
Science & Technology. Professor Zee, who           starting point for hopefully much more
has extensive years of service at The              extensive involvement by HKBU in
University of Hong Kong, is an eminent             Mainland education. He fully supports
                                                   the vision of HKBU President                          UIC Director of the Division
botanist, a respected scholar and a highly
                                                                                                          of Science & Technology
productive researcher.                             and Vice-Chancellor Professor                            Professor Zee Sze-yong
                                                   Ng Ching-fai that UIC's long-                                     !"#
       He sees UIC as applying Hong Kong
                                                                                                                     !"#$%&'(
methods of management and operation                term goal is to bring quality
to a Mainland-based university. "It is in          Hong Kong education into the
itself a challenge, but we are confident that      Mainland.
we will be successful and make history,"                 "If this project is successful,
he said.                                           if we can get donors, new funds,
       "As English will be used as the major       we can set up another joint
teaching medium, we will make extra                venture, maybe in North China,
efforts to help students who are unused            Central China or even in Western
to such a learning environment."                   China. One never knows."

  8
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             !"#$%&'()*+,-.             !"#$%&'()*+,"-./0         More details of UIC in www.uic.hkbu.edu.hk
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                                                                                                           9

				
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posted:7/22/2011
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