HKU SPACE International Conference - HKU SPACE
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HKU SPACE International ConferenceEvent Recap

Date
10 Dec 2020 (Thu)

Self-financed higher education is an important part of Hong Kong's education. Apart from local courses, international courses also play an important role. Since the 1990s, HKU SPACE has actively cooperated with reputed overseas universities to offer transnational education (TNE) programmes to enable citizens to receive education from foreign institutions of higher education and to obtain degrees from overseas universities.

Due to continuous change in the demand for transnational education, the College hosted the International Conference on Quality and Self-financed Higher Education “Connecting Local and Global” for the first time on 23 October 2020, inviting leaders from overseas and local education circles as guest speakers to share their experiences of and prospects for transnational education which attracted over 200 participants both physically and virtually across several time zones.

Professor Ian Holliday, Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of The University of Hong Kong inaugurated the conference and welcomed “all of the participants from different universities, institutions, professions and different parts of the world who are participating to exchange experiences, build capacity and expand their knowledge in the field of self-financed and transnational education”.

Then, Professor William K.M. Lee, Director of HKU SPACE, delivered a speech at the conference: "By bringing together people from different sectors and countries, we hope all of you will take home new thoughts and inspirations which will help us all in our endeavor to provide the best possible education provisions to our students and learners and promote lifelong learning for our society. "

Quality of University of London is strict and methodic

Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) of University of London, Professor Mary Stiasny OBE,  gave a keynote speech on the same day to share her valuable experience of internationalisation of the University. As early as 1858, it has already enabled students, wherever they were in the world and regardless of their ethnicity, religion, gender or any other identifier, to study for a degree at the University. And that was a major step in providing higher education opportunities to all. The University’s pedagogical platforms, provision of resources, evaluation of examinations and relationships with Teaching Centres worldwide all comply to strict systems to contribute to good education quality, global competitive advantages and reputation of the degree itself.

Over the last 160 years, the University has signed partnerships across roughly 50 countries and established a highly regarded education network around the world, creating an ideal learning platform for students.

Professional programmes enter the international arena

During the round-table discussion chaired by Professor William K.M. Lee, each of the four local and internationally distinguished speakers addressed different aspects of the topic ‘Quality of Self-financed and Transnational Education:  Future Trends and Outlook’. For instance, Mr Albert Chow, Executive Director of Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications, spoke from the perspective of a quality assurance (QA) agency and suggested how the role of the QA agency has changed from a traditional accreditation authority to one that emphasises the facilitation of quality enhancement of the stakeholders. Professor Chan Lung-sang, Deputy Director of HKU SPACE, discussed the paradigm shift in the self-financed sector in relation to the increasing prevalence and presence of technology in teaching and learning.

In the afternoon, seven parallel sessions took place with distinguished experts, officials, and educators from embassies and local and overseas universities discussing the various aspects of transnational and self-financed education and teaching and learning covering topics such as innovative teaching, policy landscape pertaining to transnational education, simulations in teaching practices, quality assurance issues in transnational and self-financed programmes, and transnational education experience in Hong Kong. 

Making the best use of technology to enhance learning efficiency

The advancement and development of technology have extensively transformed traditional teaching and learning models. Since 2016, HKU SPACE has started to develop VR applications to enhance teaching and learning experiences in our courses for various fields. The conference displayed the results of one such innovative project entitled ‘Development of a Virtual Reality Laboratory with Multi-User Virtual Reality Contnet for the Aviation Industry’.  The project obtained funding from the Quality Enhancement Support Scheme (QESS) of the Education Bureau and VR contents enabling multiple users to participate in a simulated scene was developed to train students to master the safety routines when an emergency landing has to be implemented on an aircraft.

Lastly, the School would like to extend our appreciation to our sponsor, Ms Maisy Ho, BBS, for her generous donation of $1.1M for the development of the Maisy Ho Centre for Teaching and Learning to enhance the quality of teaching and learning and for the Conference as well.