"The BBA already takes this into account, although this year we still have Form 7. Students will see this as added value," says college president Professor Thomas Wong.
He says the teaching objective is the holistic development of students, teaching them to communicate, work as a team and respect other's opinions while enhancing their critical and analytical skills. The school has decided on helping them gain real-life work experience by following the example of some North American, Japanese and Taiwanese universities which include paid work rather than internships in their curriculum.
Expanding this idea, Tung Wah College includes one year of fully paid, full-time work, which will run parallel with part-time teaching and coaching on the part of the university. This cooperative education is also a first in Hong Kong, Wong says. "Students will benefit from being coached by two groups of people - the company and the school - and the learning experience will become more relevant and real. We also want to develop their coping mechanism and strengthen their resilience."
The school has already signed up over 100 firms to the scheme, but jobs will not be allocated, so students will have to approach these companies and apply for a job. At the end of the year, they will undergo a joint appraisal by the school and the respective company.
To ease students into working life, the school made voluntary work within the college mandatory for freshmen. "They will tidy up the campus, make it greener and look after themselves, to feel they own this campus," Wong says. "In the second year, we will employ some of them a