• Sun
  • Dec 28, 2014
  • Updated: 11:22pm
NewsHong Kong

University of Science and Technology parents' event ridiculed for 'babying' students

Mums and dads throng campus as critics take to social media to compare college to kindergarten

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 September, 2013, 7:40am

More than 3,000 people joined the first parents' day at the University of Science and Technology yesterday amid criticism that the students are clingy and their parents overly protective.

Parents who attended said they found the activity a good way to understand campus life. Not many of them were accompanied by their children.

"[Our son] would probably have found it embarrassing to come with us," said a mother who identified herself only as Mrs Law, and turned up with her husband and elder daughter.

She said her attendance did not mean she was overprotective towards her son, who has just started his first year at the university. "I'm not that worried about him being influenced by bad peers," she said.

"It's time for him to live outside his parent's protection and face the world on his own."

She said she found the parents' day informative. "I know there's nothing much I can offer in the way of help with his studies, but it's always good to get to know more," she said.

Another pair of parents, a Mrs Teng and her husband from Guangzhou, cleared their schedule for a day trip to the campus in Sai Kung, hoping to raise concerns about noise problems in their son's dormitory with the master of the residence.

"My son used to go to bed at 10pm, but he finds it difficult as his peers are making noise until very late," Mrs Teng said.

"He calls me at night, complaining his roommates are making too much noise and disturbing his sleep. I have told him to raise the problem with his accommodation hall's master, but the noise starts up again after a few minutes," she said.

The five-hour activity yesterday included welcome receptions at each of the university's four schools and two workshops for parents to learn more about campus life.

When the university sent out its invitation to parents early this month, critics said it was molly-coddling students and pandering to overprotective parents.

One internet user posting on Facebook wrote: "How sad our university is more like a kindergarten, where much aid is needed for our next generation."

The university's president, Professor Tony Chan Fan-cheong, told the South China Morning Post that it was the first time the university as a whole had held a parents' day, prompted by questions from those who accompanied their children to an orientation day.

Chan said the event was held to help parents learn about the university environment so that they would be ready to provide support for their sons and daughters.

He said it was also designed to get the message across that the parents should let their children make their own decisions.

He added that he himself had attended a parents' day when his son went to university in the United States, and that it was normal for US universities to hold parent days. "It's not news," said Chan. "It's not an issue at all."


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This article is now closed to comments

I find it nice that parents are participating in their children's future. They are after all the people paying the bills. There is nothing patronizing about this. Open Days in Australian universities are full of parents also. A potential student there trying to make up his/her mind by himself/herself is more to be sorry for.
Filler article in order to avoid talking about real things , like the Eurozone imminent collapse or the US government shutdown .
When you go to a computer store , you expect to buy a computer
When you buy a newspaper,you expect real news , not this bullsxxt
I don't read any newspaper from cover to cover. You select what you want to read, and what newspaper to buy.
SCMP scraping the barrel for your another piece of **** journalism!
A parent's open day is not news!!!
It is not unusual to have family days at US universities. My son is attending USC and they do it there, although they call if family day. As they said, the parents are paying the bills. I am sure not everyone went there to try to molly coddle the children. Parents can understand and be involved without overprotecting.
Worked full time at a cafe then an office job covering offshore hours (overnight) while studying full time paying my way through Uni. Parents were there and were happy to offer but didn't think it was right after being looked after for so many years already. (And this was only about 5-6 years ago.)
Honestly, preferred it the way I did it because you come out of uni with some life experience and understanding that everyone in the world is not there to serve you.
Not sure why kids don't see that point anymore; and more alarmingly, don't see why parents don't see that a little bit of tough love for their kids can go a long way.
hard times !
if our so-called elite undergraduates are treated like kindergarten kids,what is the hope of our youngsters' future ? I wonder.If our freshmen at the H.K.Univ.of Science & Technology are not mature enough,how can we expect them to be independently-thinking youth who can seek knowledge and train their minds during their four years in this tertiary institution ? Regrettably,it is learnt that this HKUST is going to place more emphasis on English Usage and Mathematics in her coming criteria in the acceptance of students---and both Chinese subject and Liberal Studies will be sacrificed ! What a wrong step it has taken ! Hongkong has become part of China for over 16 years and Mainland China's economy is rapidly developing,how can we expect our young elites not be good enough in their mother language or Liberal Studies which is aimed to train their independent thinking and a better understanding of the society/world where they live ?
Filler piece - must be an intern's piece for the holiday. Not news and certainly of zero value!
Congratulations. You must be one in a million of university students who choose to pay his/her own way. Many parents would appreciate your action and maturity.
If it were a graduation ceremony I would understand but for crying out loud a Parent's Day for guys and gals who are nearly in their 20s. Ages ago when I first attended secondary classes I didnt want my dad or mom to accompany me. For the past few years I have been involved in Human Resources Management and I must say the new breed of youngsters simply doesnt cut it when attending job interviews. Most of the interviewees are university graduates but to me they seem to be just kindergarten leavers. Their brains cannot function properly at the slightest sign of adversity and their command of both languages is very poor.
Independence is a stranger to them as they have been coddled for far too long. The later they enter the workforce the less armoury they have.
What "elite undergraduates"? If past incidents are any measure, they are immature young people proceeding on to the next stage of their education. They have not yet reached adulthood even but they don't know it, witness for example the student protests at the HKU centenary celebrations, graduates turning their backs to the Chancellor at the graduation ceremonies etc. One hopes that they will at least mature AFTER they join the real workforce.
SCMP scraping the barrel for your another piece of **** journalism!
A parent's open day is not news!!!
No, but criticizing parents for attending an invitation to open day is, and being accused of mollycoddling for doing so. Universities overseas have massive parents participation at their open days, and nobody accuses them of over-protection of their offspring. Parents are generally the ones paying the bills, and helping with their children with the latter's problems. Why shouldn't they know what universities are all about?


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