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Inspiring Future Leaders

Where academia and the real world intersect

“Service learning is not just volunteer work. It’s an integral part of a holistic education.”

In the past, many universities justly deserved to be called an ivory tower, a term used to describe “a state of privileged seclusion or separation from the facts and practicalities of the real world.”

But what if you could attend a university that gave you the opportunity to set up solar powered e-learning platform for underprivileged children in Rwanda? Or preserve the cultural heritage of a quake-hit village in rural China through eco-tourism?

If you were a student attending The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, that would be an exciting opportunity to apply your knowledge in improving the lives of those less fortunate. Starting in 2012 when the University implemented its four-year undergraduate curriculum, the Service-Learning programme has been a mandatory credit-bearing requirement. PolyU is the first university in Hong Kong to introduce such a programme.

This aligns with PolyU’s key goals of providing students with opportunities to become responsible global citizens who make meaningful contributions to the community. Through the Service-Learning programme, all undergraduate students are expected to apply the knowledge and skills acquired from their studies and help effect positive change.

According to President Prof. Timothy W. Tong, “We want to nurture global citizens and instil in them a serving heart and strong sense of social responsibility.” He adds that “Service-Learning is not just volunteer work. It’s an integral part of a holistic education.”

Also important is giving students the chance to prepare themselves in their chosen professions with real-world work experiences through what is known as Work-Integrated Education. This programme provides work-based learning experiences in organizations relevant to a student’s future profession and helps them develop generic skills that will be valuable in their careers. Opportunities include internships in Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland and overseas countries.

There is also a Student Exchange programme for the University’s students to go overseas and for overseas students to study at PolyU where a broad-based and multidisciplinary curriculum is offered with breadth and depth.

Through all these efforts, the University provides a high value-added education model for the rising generation, ensuring students to get the most from their studies at PolyU, where they will find a university that is both enriching and engaging.