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Life at HKU SPACE Our Stories

Curtin University and HKU SPACECelebrating 25 Years of Collaboration

11 Oct 2014 (Sat)

Senior staff of Curtin University and HKU SPACE

Prof Lee, on behalf of HKU SPACE, presented the souvenir to Curtin University

Outstanding Alumni of Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting)/ (Accounting and Accounting Technologies) programmes: Mr Paul Hui

Outstanding Alumni of Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing and Advertising) programme: Ms Kay Li

Outstanding Student of Master of Finance programme: Mr Andrew Yeung

Outstanding Student of Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing and Advertising) programme: Ms Karena Poon

Outstanding Alumni of Master of Finance programme: Mr Anson Ng

Outstanding Student of Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting)/ (Accounting and Accounting Technologies) programmes: Ms Amina Abdul

To nurture students and equip them with a global mindset, knowledge, and internationally recognized qualifications, HKU SPACE has built long-term partnerships with top universities around the world, and provides a wide array of programmes in different fields in Hong Kong. This year marks the 25th year of collaboration between HKU SPACE and Curtin University, the largest university in Western Australia with strong academic achievement and reputation.

A milestone anniversary

“Our relationship with HKU SPACE started in 1989, and today we have thousands of alumni in Hong Kong,” says Professor Deborah Terry, Vice-chancellor of Curtin at the 25th anniversary celebration ceremony held earlier this year in Hong Kong. “HKU SPACE has a wonderful recognition and record of building strong partnerships internationally, and Curtin University is one of the beneficiaries of that capacity. The collaboration continues to be successful; we received our largest recruitment of students as to date into the undergraduate programme beginning in September, with 120 students enrolled into accounting and 90 into the marketing programme. It’s a wonderful achievement,” remarked Professor Terry.

Professor Lee Chack Fan, Director of HKU SPACE, highlights the importance of Curtin University not only to the institute but also to the city of Hong Kong. “Hong Kong is an international city, but we have limited natural resources…. The only resource we really have is human resource. If we don’t train our people, they will become a burden to the economy and society. But if we train them in a proper way with the right plan, they will become distinguished. In this, Curtin has been making an enormous contribution by teaching our people the skills and professionalism in the services industry, which contributes over 90% of our total GDP for a quarter of a century,” says Lee.

Many diploma students are budding entrepreneurs

To date, for the College of Business and Finance alone, Curtin is offering part-time and full-time programmes including Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting)/ (Accounting and Accounting Technologies),Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing and Advertising) and Master of Finance. At the 25th anniversary celebration ceremony, six alumni and current students from the three programmes were awarded for their outstanding achievement and performance.

Paul Hui, outstanding alumni winner of the accounting degree programme, believes the chance to study in Australia has helped shape his career. “I started with studying a higher diploma in HKU SPACE, and after that enrolled into the top-up degree and chose to go to Curtin’s Perth campus to study the last two semesters. It was a great experience not only could I meet many students and professors from other nationalities and backgrounds, but I experienced a different culture and life. It broadened my horizon,” says Hui. After graduating, Hui started his career in audit firms, and this year he established his own. “In fact, there are many fundamental accounting skills and concepts that I use everyday right now which I learned during my bachelor degree studies.”

Similar to Hui, Kay Li went to Australia to complete her last year of study, and started her own business two years after graduating from the Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing and Advertising) programme. “Because of my unsatisfactory result in the public exam, I enrolled into a higher diploma in marketing and then continued onto Curtin’s marketing degree programme, which was new at that time. Not long after graduating, I landed a marketing executive job at a healthcare product company in Hong Kong. And my boss told me afterwards that the reasons as to why he chose me, among other candidates who graduated from local universities, was because of my presentation skills and being able to think outside the box. I believed Curtin’s teaching, such as the focus on case studies and brainstorming methods, contributed a great deal. Also, it is when I realised that in the eyes of employers, my qualification is in fact in no way inferior to any of local universities; more still, I have overseas experience,” shares Li, the outstanding alumni awardee of the marketing programme. Li’s daily tasks and responsibilities as the founder and owner of a healthcare product trading firm are definitely beyond her education background in marketing.

The importance of time management

And to the outstanding student of Master of Finance, Andrew Yeung, to diversify his knowledge and skills was the key motive for him to opt to study the programme, and to study really hard. “I have an IT background and I want to change my profession and field by completing these studies,” says Yeung, who is currently working in the IT department of a bank. “Also, I have a strong interest in finance. Ultimately, I hope I can make use of my IT and finance knowledge and combine them into one for a brighter career and have a big career change.” To Yeung who is married with a job that requires working at “odd hours”, time management is all important.

Final year student of Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing and Advertising) and the recipient of outstanding student awardee Karena Poon agrees with Yeung. “Apart from knowledge and training I gained from the classroom and books, I acquired an important soft skill during the programme – time management. On the one hand, the schedule of the course is quite tight, and on the other I have a part-time job. During these past few years, I learned how to prioritise things. Also, by doing numerous group projects throughout the programme, I learned so much in how to communicate with others and present my own views and opinion in an appropriate way,” says Poon. She also reveals her secrets in becoming a top student: “Hard work is important, but it really makes a difference if you are passionate about and love what you do and study, and for me my passion is marketing.”

Lifelong learning and strong friendships forged with experienced peers and tutors

Anson Ng, outstanding alumni awardee of the Master of Finance programme, says it’s his classmates and tutors who make his study most valuable. “Assignments are not too demanding, but the programme requires us to do a great amount of research and group project. Take my team for instance: it consist of five people from different backgrounds and professions, and we all brought in knowledge and ideas from our own expertise, which makes the group holistic and I learned a great deal from them and by studying together with them. Till now, we still hold regular gatherings with the tutors, who are full-time, experienced industry practitioners and so it’s pretty much like a gathering of industry friends to share information and life, instead of a ‘teacher-student’ meeting,” says Ng, who is currently the head of investor relations of a Hong Kong listed company.

“I am now studying the accounting degree and expect to complete it next year. The main reason I took the course after the Advanced Diploma in Accounting at HKU SPACE is due to Curtin’s reputation and recognition. And I have no regrets in doing so. The tutors are great in the sense that they make the classes and concepts easy to follow and make them interesting. I am very determined to develop an accounting career,” stresses the outstanding student of the Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), Amina Abdul, who is now working in an accounting function and is determined to obtain the CPA Australia qualification in the coming future.