Public service programme and volunteer work on way

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 February, 2009, 12:00am

The Hong Kong branch of the Savannah College of Arts and Design is to organise a public service programme and volunteer work to fulfil the social enterprise role set for its revitalisation scheme, its president said.

'We could provide tutoring for adolescents and children, offer lectures and films at no charge for the public to enjoy,' said Paula Wallace.

The school was looking for a partnership with local arts groups and organisations, chief operating officer Brian Murphy said, adding that it was approaching the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre in Shek Kip Mei.

He said there had not been much contact with the local community beforehand because the school was required by the Development Bureau to keep applications confidential.

It has teamed up with an architectural firm to undertake renovation, which the school will finance to the tune of about HK$100 million. One court room, one jail cell and the lobby spaces will be preserved and open to the public.

When it opens in 2010, the school will offer 14 degree programmes in subjects including advertising design, animation, graphic design, game development, motion media design, photography and visual effects. Tuition fees will be about US$27,000 a year.

Horace Ip Ho-shing, acting dean of City University's school of creative media, said he was surprised the government had handed a public property to a foreign institution, and hoped it had given an opportunity to local people to build up conservation experience and skills rather than 'outsource' this. But he believed the college in Hong Kong would not have a bad impact on the local education market, and it could stimulate more academic exchanges.

'We are targeting different students as they [the college] charges much higher tuition fees. Perhaps they would have more appeal to mainland students,' the acting dean said.