Promoting a Vibrant Civil Society in Hong Kong through General Education

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Our Programs & Initiatives
HKGEI is currently promoting and supporting:

Hong Kong Plug Initiative

Hong Kong General Education Project

Hong Kong University Inclusion Initiative

Creative Initiatives Workshops for Universities

While each of the initiatives aims to carry out specific objectives, they all support HKGEI’s foundational purpose, which is to promote the study of and discussion about how Eastern Philosophy and Western civilization contributed to the development of Hong Kong’s unique cosmopolitan culture, rich quality of life, and exceptional degree of liberty and freedom.

In a global sense, Hong Kong has been successful because its citizens, business community, and civil servants hold their leaders and each other to a high standard of moral conduct. And, while we recognize that Hong Kong universities may not overtly support this point of view, we trust that they will give students an opportunity to explore this assertion by offering them a broad general education curriculum that includes courses in Chinese philosophy, Western civilization, and Hong Kong social history.

Nothing in our initiatives is aimed at infringing on academic freedom or credibility. Each partnering university is expected to develop its own curriculum and pedagogy in alignment with its vision, mission, and learning objectives.


The Hong Kong Plug Initiative (HKPI)

HKPI promotes the idea of establishing endowed university Chairs. These Chairs will oversee the development and implementation of general education courses designed to provide undergraduates with the opportunity to explore Hong Kong’s unique blend of Chinese and Western values, which we call the "Hong Kong Plug." As envisioned, a business leader would provide a grant in the amount of HK$10,000,000.00 to help his or her favorite university create the Chair position. The university would then apply to University Grants Committee for a matching grant.

During 2006, Po Chung contacted the eight UGC funded Hong Kong universities, in order to determine their respective levels of interest in HKPI. He also spoke with many business leaders who expressed interest in the idea, and agreed to provide a seed grant subject to their acceptance of the terms of the university’s proposal. Seven of the universities prepared proposals that were delivered to the pool of prospective donors. One chair was subsequently established at Hong Kong Baptist University. Several other donors are in the process of considering the proposals or have already established a relationship with a university. Click here to view a copy of the Request for HKPI Proposals, which contains a detailed overview of the program and curriculum.


The Hong Kong General Education Project (HKGEP) 

Between September 2008 and June 2012, HKGEP will bring 20 or more general education experts from foreign universities and liberal arts colleges to Hong Kong, to help local universities and support agencies plan and prepare for the transition from a three-year, academic discipline-based curriculum, to a more balanced four-year curriculum. The new stream will include undergraduate courses designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values they will need to become self-sufficient, productive, and contributing members of Hong Kong’s civil society.

Individual scholars will reside and teach at a host university. Teams of scholars will work system-wide as they consult with colleagues and committees responsibile for developing the overall four-year program, general education curriculum, first-year experiences, and liberal arts and discipline-based foundation courses.

The Po and Helen Chung Foundation provided more than US$1,300,000.00 in grants to enable participating Hong Kong universities recruit Fulbright Scholars to help carry out HKGEP. The University Grants Committee provided additional funding through its Matching Grant Program.

The FHKGEP will be administered by the Hong Kong American Center (HKAC). To view a description of the Fulbright Hong Kong General Education Program, click here.


The Hong Kong University Inclusion Initiative (HKUII) 

HKUII promotes system-wide initiatives aimed at fostering cooperation among Hong Kong universities, as they plan and begin to implement the new four-year undergraduate degrees.

The first HKUII was to promote membership in Hong Kong American Center (HKAC). Prior to the establishment of the Fulbright Hong Kong General Education Program (FHKGEP), only five of the eight UGC funded universities in Hong Kong were members of HKAC. Two more universities were able to join, thanks to grants from the Po and Helen Chung Foundation and UGC. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology became the eighth member. Thus, from 2007-2012, all UGC funded universities will benefit from the FHKGEP, which includes system-wide planning and curriculum development activities.

The next HKUII will be to promote international higher education conferences in Hong Kong aimed at contributing to the development of exemplary first year programs and general education courses.

 

Creative Initiative Process Workshops for Universities (CIPW)

The Creative Initiatives Foundation has offered to provide CIPW grants to HKGEI partner universities. A grant will enable a university to convene a Creative Initiative Process Workshop for the purpose of building consensus about how its general education curriculum can best support and enhance the University’s vision, mission, and learning objectives. HKAC plans to convene a system-wide CIP type workshop to help plan the system-wide support activities of the Fulbright Team of Scholars.

 

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