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Saturday 15 June 2024
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Learning Benefits of Internationalisation


Organized by
Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL)

Summary of the workshop:

The first Join-the-Conversation was successfully launched on January 29, 2016, which attracted around 40 HKU colleagues and students. The event started with Prof. Grahame Bilbow highlighting the strategic importance of internationalisation in teaching and learning and giving an outline of the current picture of HKU. This was followed by a comprehensive and insightful overview of the topic by Prof. Dai Hounsell, including a framework of examining the issue through the lens of Global Outlook, Cultural Inclusiveness, Global Citizenship, and Intercultural Competence. Prof. Hounsell also presented eight key challenges and opportunities of internationalising teaching and learning at HKU (see the figure below), drawn from the literature as well as an analysis of the HKU context. A panel, consisting of Prof. Hounsell, Ms. Miranda Legg, Dr. Wilton Fok, and Dr. Tracy Zou, moderated by Prof. Bilbow, was assembled to discuss with the audiences some of these challenges and opportunities.

Many interesting and thought-provoking questions were raised. To name a few, several focused on language and inter-cultural competence, involving aspects related to students’ readiness and competence in using English to communicate; and the ways to make use of the cultural diversity to develop inter-cultural competence. Some participants, while recognising the importance of the language issues discussed, would have welcomed fuller opportunities to engage also with other issues raised by internationalisation. A few questions touched the ethical considerations of internationalisation, for example, the influence and problems of stereotypes. Comments were made on the awareness of one’s prejudice and the respect for one another’s backgrounds and cultures. The learning experiences of international undergraduate and postgraduate students at HKU were also talked about. Among several possible approaches, the residential education was mentioned as one promising way in facilitating a supportive environment.

Finally, Prof. Gerard Postiglione provided a succinct and inspiring closing comment based on the emerging discussions. He also pointed out that more needs to be done for HKU to fully internationalise its teaching and learning, especially in areas of the academic profession and classroom curriculum.

We are much aware that the first Join-the-Conversation only served as an introduction to the whole array of issues. There are still many questions remaining to be addressed. Having the overview of these challenges and opportunities, CETL is planning for future Join-the-Conversations that will focus on one or two specific topics at a time to allow deeper explorations. Please stay tuned with us.


· Professor Grahame Bilbow, Director, Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, HKU
· Professor Dai Hounsell, Professor Emeritus of Higher Education, University of Edinburgh
· Professor Gerard Postiglione, Associate Dean (Research), Chair of Higher Education, Faculty of Education, HKU
· Dr. Wilton Fok, Principal Lecturer and Assistant Dean, Faculty of Engineering, HKU
· Ms. Miranda Legg, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Applied English Studies, HKU
· Dr. Tracy Zou – Assistant Professor, Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, HKU
Date : 1 February, 2016 (Monday) 29 January, 2016 (Friday)
Time : 12:30pm – 2:15pm
Venue : Room 321 & 322, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building
Hot lunch will be provided from 12:30pm


In common with other leading universities, HKU is seeking to enhance the internationalisation of its curricula and its teaching. But what will this mean for student learning? How can internationalisation enrich what our students learn in their studies at HKU, while also having benefits that extend far beyond graduation?

Internationalisation of teaching and learning is the main focus of the UGC-funded “Communities of Practice” project this academic year. This Join-the-Conversation event is the first in a CETL series of events exploring various aspects of internationalisation. Drawing on ideas and perspectives from universities across the world, as well as experiences at HKU, it will open the debate by highlighting key learning challenges and opportunities, and invite you to consider their relevance to your own role and responsibilities. The ensuing discussions will help shape the themes, resources and interactions that the CETL project team will be collaborating on over the coming months.

For information on registration, please contact Ms Janice Leung by email janiceleung331@hku.hk