SCE campus needs staff to help it grow

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 November, 2007, 12:00am

One principle is paramount for the School of Continuing Education (SCE) at Hong Kong Baptist University. It is that opportunities for lifelong learning should be available for everyone, allowing people of different ages and from all walks of life to equip themselves with the skills and knowledge needed to be competitive in the modern workplace.

To help bring that about, the school, which is one of seven faculties in the university, opened its Shek Mun campus last year. This Sha Tin faculty is mainly for teaching full-time associate degree programmes. The school also provides bachelor's and master's courses, and various part-time short courses.

To keep pace with demand, the SCE, which has 370 full-time employees, is looking to fill several positions. There are openings for lecturers in English and early child education, academic advisers for accounting, an alumni development officer, a facilities maintenance officer, and for managers and officers in the learning centres.

Anyone applying to be an English lecturer for the associate degree courses must hold a relevant PhD or master's degree and have teaching experience. Native speakers are preferred. In career terms, good performance could lead to promotion to the rank of senior or principal lecturer.

'The lecturers will focus on classroom teaching so they must have passion and enthusiasm,' said Simon Wong Chi-hon, dean of the SCE. He noted that not all the students had been academically successful at secondary school level and, therefore, they might need more attention and support.

The academic adviser roles will entail designing and developing new courses, and helping to supervise teachers. Candidates should therefore have practical teaching experience to draw on.

Applicants for the post of adviser in accounting must have a relevant master's degree and a professional qualification such as a CPA and an up-to-date understanding of the sector.

The SCE already has teaching centres in Wan Chai, Sheung Wan and Tsim Sha Tsui and 'borrows' classrooms from schools in other areas to provide evening courses. 'We want to serve adults from all districts,' Dr Wong said. 'For example, our Shek Mun campus is now able to serve people who live in the New Territories and want to take part-time courses.'

Established in 1975, the school has many alumni and is now planning to set up an association for all former graduates.

The alumni development officer will be starting from scratch, so he or she should be innovative and have work experience in building an organisation.

'This is very challenging,' said Dr Wong. 'However, we would like to organise all our alumni and we believe this will be a very strong force.'

In line with its philosophy of encouraging lifelong learning, the school provides ongoing training for employees and offers development grants for further studies in Hong Kong or overseas.

Looking ahead, there are plans to introduce additional associate degree courses and offer English and Putonghua courses for adults.

'Since we have centres in different areas, office workers can do lunchtime courses and even taxi drivers can take a Putonghua lesson when they are having break,' Dr Wong said. 'People in Hong Kong should improve their language proficiency. It has been my wish for some time to make this possible.'

The SCE has also put much effort into improving early child education. It operates a kindergarten in Kowloon Tong, which introduces activity-based education and offers placement opportunities for students taking related courses.

'Overall, we have excellent facilities,' Dr Wong said. 'Our new campus in Shek Mun has labs, a library and an indoor heated swimming pool. It is not just a few classrooms in a commercial building. We are also confident in our ability to offer innovative courses including environmental subjects and cosmetic science.'

Way forward

The School of Continuing Education of Hong Kong Baptist University is hiring lecturers for English and early child education, and academic advisers in accounting

Relevant degrees and teaching experience are required

Lecturers must have a genuine passion and enthusiasm for teaching

Good performance can lead to promotion as a senior lecturer or principal lecturer

Staff can apply for grants from the school for further study

The school is planning to introduce more associate degree courses and part-time language courses for adults