We are living in a world of rapid changes. Globalization, economic re-structuring and the rapid development of the Chinese mainland have constantly altered the economic and societal contours of Hong Kong. For examples, we have experienced several financial crises after 1997 and service industries have contributed to more than 90% of the GDP in Hong Kong in recent years. How can university students and graduates adapt to such unprecedented changes and thrive in a balanced manner? Obviously, besides academic knowledge, cultivation of different qualities such as communication and leadership skills as well as development of personal and social responsibility is of paramount importance to contemporary university students in Hong Kong.
Although The Hong Kong Polytechnic University is often seen as a University focusing on science, engineering and applied professional disciplines, our vision about student development is not just limited to impartation of professional knowledge. Under the New Undergraduate Curriculum, we encourage students to have all-rounded development through the fulfillment of the General University Requirements (GUR). As GUR occupies one-fourth of the credits (30 credits) to be taken by PolyU students, the Office of Undergraduate Studies (OUS) was established to give academic advice to new students on how to fulfill GUR and to oversee the planning, implementation and evaluation of GUR through two sub-offices: Office of General University Requirements (OGUR) and Office of Service Learning (OSL).
Apart from overseeing the operations of GUR, the Secondary School Relations Section under OUS fosters positive relations with secondary schools and other educational stakeholders in Hong Kong.
The vision of the OUS is to strive to be a leading body excels in education on General University Requirements (such as first year experience, general education and service learning) and academic advising. The mission of the OUS is to nurture PolyU students to be critical thinkers, effective communicators, innovative problem solvers, lifelong learners and ethical leaders through education in GUR. At the same time, OUS is dedicated to liaise strategically with senior management of secondary school so as to promote our undergraduate programmes and attract good quality students in a more strategic manner.
Although GUR is a requirement, it is our sincere wish that students will see GUR as a challenge and an opportunity for growth. We encourage students to develop their interests through GUR, enjoy the learning experience and reflect about the meaning of university education and the public perception that university students are “intellectuals”. It is our expectation that through GUR, a new generation of university graduates will be nurtured who will adapt well under global, regional and local challenges and contribute to the well-being of mankind.
Prof. Daniel T.L. Shek
Associate Vice President (Undergraduate Programme)