Classics set to dominate curriculum

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 January, 2011, 12:00am

Exams are out, great books are in. In a far-reaching overhaul of undergraduate education, the Chinese University of Hong Kong will scrap exams for most mandatory subjects. Instead, instruction will focus on teaching both Western and Chinese classics.

The changes are part of the university's plan to lengthen degree courses from three to four years next year. Details of the change were revealed yesterday. They include a drastic cut in the number of final exams for mandatory courses in general education, languages, physical education and information technology.

'We will focus on the classics by [such authors as] Adam Smith, Charles Darwin and Karl Marx. We want students to cite classics when thinking about modern problems,' said Leung Mei-yee, director of the university's education programme.

'In place of exams, there will be continuous assessment in the form of assignments and discussions,' said Professor Ho Che-wah, chairman of the department of Chinese language and literature.