Proposed centre should persuade students to stay 'at home' for further studies, and offer facilities to attract foreigners
Wong Joon San
As part of efforts to encourage lifelong learning, Hong Kong should set up an educational centre, Hong Kong Management Association deputy chairman Dr Dennis T. L. Sun said.
The centre, now in its conceptual stage, could help stem the flow of Hong Kong students seeking to further their education overseas.
'In another situation, instead of foreigners having to go elsewhere, like Taiwan and Singapore, to study about China, Hong Kong should have the facilities to attract them,' Dr Sun said. 'I think we can do it.'
Hong Kong parents spend large sums of money annually on their children's overseas education, he said.
The SAR should get overseas lecturers to come over to teach the local students, a much cheaper option for Hong Kong people, Dr Sun said.
As IT progressed, video conferencing could also be used for such efforts, and these were among many of the things Hong Kong could do, he said.
Dr Sun said no matter how much one studied, no school - including the HKMA - could teach a person everything.
One has to depend on oneself to acquire more knowledge and skills. A person has to continue learning wherever and whenever he gets the chance, Dr Sun said. 'This self-development is important.'
Dr Sun said he himself regularly takes part in seminars and conferences to update himself on what is happening in the world.
He can then apply whatever knowledge he gains to his company. Attending such courses could save time and provide good results, he added.
Dr Sun said one should also look for a good trainer. For example, a good trainer could teach a student to play tennis with just 10 minutes of coaching, he said.
He said the fear of certain coaches that teaching students to play tennis over a short period would mean a drop in income was unfounded.
If a student has a good coach, it is most likely that he will introduce more students to that coach because of his proved skill and ability.
Dr Sun added that there should also be a system in place that provides feedback from students on whether the teacher is good or not.
Trainers, he said, should also undergo a training programme from time to time to improve the overall system.
HKMA invites lecturers from other countries periodically to come to Hong Kong. If the students could see immediate results, then they would be more interested in what was being taught.
HKMA provides courses that cater to the needs of working executives who want to continue their education whenever they feel like doing so.
Dr Sun said that when the economy was not faring well, the people had more time to study, and they would come to the HKMA.
'So our courses keep on changing according to the needs of a particular situation, such as studying computers or languages,' Dr Sun said.
The HKMA is organising more talks on management. Everyone seems interested in improving their skills.
Students can apply what they have learnt to their jobs, whether their company is big or small, Dr Sun said.
'In my opinion, we must understand that when China liberalises its market, its economy will change. Hong Kong should not compete with the mainland to be cheaper,' he said.
Instead, Hong Kong should emulate the London example which gives visitors their money's worth.
They may feel it is expensive, but it is worth the price to be able to visit such a beautiful place, he said.
In addition, the SAR should improve its security so people would continue to feel safe when visiting, either for business or for a tour.
Although the labour available locally is expensive, it must be noted that Hong Kong people have three times the ability and expertise of other people, Dr Sun said.