Theme 1         Idea of a University
In order to provide background to new university students facing choices and uncertainties, an introduction will be given on: the origin and development of universities; the different and changing values and purposes; debates about university and higher education; and the different types of universities in the modern world.
Theme 2         Idea of This University
To prepare students as thoughtful and articulate members of this academic community, an introduction will first be given to the higher-education system in Hong Kong and the rest of Asia, and students will be invited to debate options and choices. Students will then learn about: the history and development of CUHK; its vision, mission and values; its plans and the future. Choices are then discussed: policy choices for the sector and for the University; choices for the individual student. These issues will be discussed in the recognition of plural values, changing historical contexts, external constraints and the consequences accompanying any choice, and in relation to students’ own need to exercise choice and set priorities in the coming years.
Theme 3        Tradition and Modernity, China & the West
Theme 3 is hinged on the University motto, and open students’ vistas onto wider issues, making them aware of and encouraging them to think about the connections between the University’s values and their own studies on the one hand, and the world at large on the other.

The first half of the University motto is ‘To combine tradition with modernity’. This module is intended to introduce the concept of modernity; the key transitions to modernity in Western civilisation; the process and pain of the modernisation of China from the mid-Qing dynasty to the present; tensions between tradition and modernity. Modernisation of China, especially through interactions with the West, China in the globalised international order.

Theme 4         Academic Study Skills
This theme on academic skills for university study will be dispersed as short modules throughout the term. In addition to skills such as reading, library use, and searching for information, as well as concepts such as academic honesty, the main emphasis will be on academic writing, in order to help students develop the ability to marshal an argument with cogency and present ideas in written form. Students will be introduced to the techniques of organisation, focus, attention to audience, referencing, and style. The theme will be correlated with the term paper required in the course (including the related intermediate tasks; see ‘Course Organisation’). The skills developed are intended not only for the term paper in this course, but for academic writing throughout university life, and indeed for formal writing in a variety of careers and tasks.

College Office
G/F, CW Chu College
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong SAR

Tel:(852) 3943 1801

Fax:(852) 3943 1802