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Service-Learning in Higher Education: Teacher Development Course 2023

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  • Fundamental principles and theories + Pedagogical project design + Research-based findings + Case studies sharing + Onsite experience in Cambodia

About the course

Service-learning (SL) is an experiential learning pedagogy that integrates community service with academic study and reflection. SL has been shown to be a high-impact educational practice over the years. It has been demonstrated to be effective at training students’ empathy and sense of social responsibility because students are immersed into the community and get first-hand experience of community and societal needs. This course is devised for teachers or practitioners who are interested in developing and teaching SL courses at the higher education level.   

This course integrates lectures and discussions with an on-site experience in Phnom PenhCambodia in early June 2023. Participants will be able to:

  • Articulate the general principles and theories in SL and learn about effective SL design and assessment;
  • Observe our service projects and potentially interact or interview with our students, teachers, and the local NGO partners; and
  • Get hands-on practice in designing your own project and have a chance to receive feedback on your project proposal. 


 Teachers/ Practitioners  who are interested in developing and teaching service-learning (SL) courses/ projects in higher-education institutions 

Application Fee

HKD9,900 / USD1,260

*The cost will cover airfare, ground transportation, accommodation and meals in Cambodia. The travel grant will be available for participants from developing countries or who have financial needs.


Key Dates 

Information session (online)

13 Apr 2023 (Thur) 6:00-7:30pm HKT
Application deadline 17 Apr 2023 (Mon) 12:00nn HKT 
Admission results 28 Apr 2023 (Fri)  
Briefing session (Face-to-face)  5 May 2023 (Fri) 4:30-6:00pm HKT 
E-Learning (Self-study) 31 May 2023 (Wed)  
On-site experience in Cambodia 5-9 June 2023 (5 days 4 nights) 

Information Session(Online) Registration

Date: 13 April 2023 (Thu)

Time: 1800-1930 (HK Time)

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Course Application

Deadline: by 23:59 HKT, 17 April 2023 (Mon)  

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About the Instructors

(Left to right: Dr Stephen Chan; Dr Grace Ngai)

  •     Service-Learning at PolyU has been awarded the  Winner of poster THE Awards Asia 2022: Teaching and Learning Strategy of the Year, as well as the QS Reimagine Education Awards 2017/18. 
  •     SLLO won the 2020 International Research Award of International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE).  
  •     Dr Grace Ngai and Dr Stephen Chan were the recipients of the University Grants Committee (UGC) Teaching Award in 2016
Dr Grace Ngai Head of Service-Learning and Leadership Office (SLLO) and Associate Professor of Department of Computing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 
Dr Stephen ChanFounding Head of SLLO, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Board of IARSLCE  


The course will be delivered by Dr Grace Ngai and Dr Stephen Chan, the current and founding Heads of the Service-Learning and Leadership Office, respectively. Since PolyU made academic service-learning an institutional strategy for all-rounded education in 2012, Dr Ngai and Dr Chan have demonstrated outstanding academic leadership in helping university management to conceptualize SL as an integral component of the PolyU undergraduate curriculum and to implement SL as an institutional teaching and learning strategy. Over the past ten years, PolyU has gone from having six service-learning courses enrolling 200 students to almost 70 courses enrolling 4,000 students annually.  

PolyU’s service projects have expanded from Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland to Cambodia, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Rwanda, Vietnam and so on; improving the lives of people in need and inspiring the students involved to become responsible professionals and global citizens. Many innovative pedagogical practices have also been pioneered, such as multicultural student teams through partnerships with local NGOs, service-learning exchange and internship programmes, and an innovative ‘global SL classroom’ initiative that allows PolyU students and their overseas peers to attend the same lectures and develop project ideas via video conferencing, and then implement projects together in person at the service location. 



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Ms. Eugene Cheung

T: +852 3400 3410


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