A new academic year begins, and it is also the fifth year of CUHK General Education Foundation (GEF) Programme since the launch of it in 2012. On 8th of September, Prof. LEUNG Mei-yee, Director of University General Education, Dr. Julie CHIU, Deputy Programme Director of GEF Programme and Dr. WONG Wing-hung, Associate Director of University General Education, have been honoured with the 2016 UGC Teaching Award by the University Grants Committee (UGC), in recognition of the excellent design and implementation of GEF Programme. The UGC has accepted team nominations for the teaching award starting this year to recognize the increasing importance of team teaching.
General Education has been an indispensable part of CUHK’s undergraduate experience since the founding of the University. With the 2012 new curriculum, General Education at CUHK was brought to a new height by the introduction of the GEF Programme, Apart from the existing “Four Areas” of University General Education, CUHK added 6 required credits of GEF programme for 4-year undergraduate students. The difference between “Four Areas” and GEF programme is that “Four Areas” encourage students to explore different academic disciplines, while GEF programme use a “common-core” approach, using selected classics to widen students’ horizon and at the same time, provide students a common intellectual and cultural experience. The ultimate goal of GEF program is to create an interactive and self-motivated learning community in the campus. It consists of two courses, In Dialogue with Humanity and In Dialogue with Nature, through which students engage in a weekly ‘dialogue’ at home with a classic from the humanities or the sciences, to be followed with a ‘dialogue’ in class with fellow classmates and the teacher, as they jointly explore questions about good life, ideal society, controversies over science, etc.
Professor Leung, Dr. Chiu and Dr. Wong are deeply honoured to receive the award. Professor Leung said, ‘The award is recognition of the importance of a broad-based education for the personal development of young people. Nowadays, while the pursuit of professional qualifications seems the most prominent part of university education, CUHK is determined to foster in our students a yearning for a bigger, “wider” world.’ Three award recipients expressed heartfelt thanks to each member of GEF teaching team. They believed that the award not only shows recognition to the belief of CUHK general education, also a tribute to dedicated GEF teachers – for their wholehearted commitment in teaching and inspiring students.
The course contents and textbooks are designed and produced by the General Education team, and small class size limit is set to ensure quality of classroom interaction. To facilitate students’ intellectual and emotional development, innovative learning aids and enrichment activities for students have been developed, ranging from specially-designed mobile apps, Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS), reading and writing workshops, to GE salon, movie nights, etc. Apart from the two mobile apps which serve as optional online reading companions for students, the programme also makes extensive use of eLearning platforms and micro-modules (UGFN/UGFH) to facilitate flipped classrooms. GEF Teaching team also conducted teaching and learning research to examine course effectiveness, and explore different possibilities.
To look back these 4 years, GEF programme gained an encouraging amount of recognition in terms of awards, student feedback and researches. Three award recipients also expressed sincere gratitude to founding task force of GEF programme in the very early stage to set programme direction, and ongoing teaching support from Independent Learning Centre, library and Information Technology Services Centre.
Last year, GEF programme was granted the Exemplary Program Award for Improving General Education by the Association for General and Liberal Studies (AGLS), in recognition of its commitment to continuously improving teaching and learning approaches in general education based on students’ needs and learning outcomes.
CUHK: CUHK General Education Team Awarded 2016 UGC Teaching Award
GEF programme was granted the Exemplary Program Award for Improving General Education by the Association for General and Liberal Studies (AGLS), To know more:
CUHK Faces: The University General Education Challenge