General Education Programme
The General Education (GE) Programme at HKBU provides the foundation of a well-rounded university education. The goal of the programme is to promote Whole Person Education through exposure to a range of transferable skills, guiding principles, and attitudes that all students will need in their future professional and personal lives. Through whole-hearted participation in the GE courses, students will begin to construct a deeper understanding of the world around them by making connections at personal, societal, and historical levels. In doing so, they will begin to determine where they can best contribute their unique talents within the complex and ever-changing global community.
Programme Intended Learning Outcomes
The aim of the GE curriculum is to provide a foundation for each student’s development as a Whole Person. Accordingly, by the time students have completed the 38 units of the GE Programme, they are expected to have achieved a number of intended learning outcomes. Broadly speaking, students should be able to:
- Communicate effectively as speakers and writers in both English and Chinese;
- Access and manage complex information and problems using technologically appropriate means;
- Apply appropriate mathematical reasoning to address problems in everyday life;
- Acquire an active and healthy lifestyle;
- Use historical and cultural perspectives to gain insight into contemporary issues;
- Apply various value systems to decision-making in personal, professional, and social/political situations;
- Make connections among a variety of disciplines to gain insight into contemporary personal, professional, and community situations.
To foster the intended learning outcomes of the GE Programme identified in the previous section, the required 38 units are divided into two categories:
|Information Management Technology
|History and Civilization
|Values and the Meaning of Life
|Area of Learning
The aim of the Core Requirements is to provide students with the transferable skills, attitudes and values that will help them lead balanced and successful lives both during and following their university education.
All students are required to take 6 units in University English (I and II), 3 units in University Chinese and 3 units in Public Speaking. They have to choose one 3-unit course from each of the following categories: Information Management Technology, Numeracy, History and Civilization, and Values and the Meaning of Life. In addition, students have to choose two 1-unit courses in two different semesters to fulfil the 2 units required for Physical Education. (Subject to the approval of the Department of Physical Education, students with health problems may apply to enroll in a special Physical Education course.) Student are also required to complete the non-credit bearing University Life Programme, which comprises three U-Life Orientation Workshops, at least eight Co-curricular Learning (CCL) items, and Academic Integrity Online Tutorial.
University English (6 units)
The two courses aim to develop students’ general proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing, and foster appropriate communicative strategies and greater effectiveness in the use of English in academic, professional, and social settings. After completing these two courses, students should be able to:
- Identify and evaluate the main ideas in English texts in a range of genres;
- Comprehend English that is spoken in standard international accents in a variety of genres;
- Write English essays of an academic, expository or argumentative nature, expounding a theme or topic in a logical and coherent manner, with good grammar and choice of vocabulary;
- Participate in oral discussions and presentations in English in a coherent and effective manner;
- Improve their English proficiency independently using self-access multimedia resources.
Course syllabi are available at http://ge.hkbu.edu.hk/courses/languages/.
University Chinese (3 units)
The course aims to enhance students’ competence and interest in reading, writing, speaking and Chinese language knowledge, and to foster the linguistic proficiency and communication skills that are essential to their study and future careers. After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Identify and evaluate the main ideas in Chinese texts in a variety of genres;
- Write Chinese essays of an academic, expository or argumentative nature, expounding a theme or topic in a logical and coherent manner, with correct grammar and appropriate choice of vocabulary;
- Speak and debate in public with effective techniques and confidence;
- Clearly describe the cultural content of Chinese language through concrete analyses of Chinese characters and idioms;
- Improve their Chinese proficiency independently using self-access multimedia resources.
Course syllabus is available at http://ge.hkbu.edu.hk/courses/languages/.
Public Speaking (3 units)
The course aims to develop students’ public speaking skills in English and Putonghua for the purpose of effectively expressing their points of view in a variety of settings. After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate a grasp of key concepts, principles, and theories underlying effective communication;
- Conduct audience analysis to prepare speeches for intended audiences;
- Draw upon a variety of sources to enrich their oral presentations;
- Apply principles of effective communication to the preparation and delivery of presentations;
- Analyse and evaluate presentations produced by themselves and others.
Course syllabus is available at http://ge.hkbu.edu.hk/courses/languages/.
Information Management Technology (3 units)
Courses in this category aim to enhance students’ ability (1) to keep track of the latest developments in information technologies and (2) to use modern technologies to access, organize, store, manipulate, interpret and present information, and thus to empower them to be more ready for problem solving and creative applications in their respective disciplines using computer-aided means. After completing a course in this category, students should be able to:
- Explain the important principles, new opportunities and challenges behind the latest development of information technologies;
- Use appropriate IT tools to manage numerical, textual, and multimedia information for problem-solving and creative applications;
- Demonstrate the ability to pursue independent information acquisition using electronic means;
- Manipulate quantitative data to find meaningful patterns using electronic means;
- Create charts and reports of different types for summarizing quantitative data.
Course syllabi are available at http://ge.hkbu.edu.hk/courses/gcit/.
Numeracy (3 units)
Courses in this category aim to strengthen students’ mathematical proficiency in order to enhance their ability to identify, model, and solve everyday problems mathematically. These courses will also improve students’ ability to reason and relate relevant phenomena in our society, and to understand and acquire new mathematical skills whenever necessary. After completing a course in this category, students should be able to:
- Manipulate the tools of mathematics for exploring quantitative relationships;
- Demonstrate a broad numerical awareness;
- Apply mathematical reasoning to identify, model and solve relevant problems in our society;
- Understand and explain the interrelationships between everyday phenomena and mathematics.
Course syllabi are available at http://ge.hkbu.edu.hk/courses/gcnu/.
Physical Education (2 units)
Courses in this category aim to help students acquire the fundamental knowledge and motor skills of selected sports, as well as understand the principles of an active and healthy lifestyle. In addition, they will learn how to apply these principles to their own lives. After completing two courses in this category, students should be able to:
- Explain the rules and safety knowledge of at least one individual and/or team sport;
- Participate in at least one individual and/or team sport at a social level;
- Apply sports science knowledge to learning sports and to developing an active and healthy lifestyle;
- Develop a sense of sportsmanship, fair play, and team work.
Course syllabi are available at http://ge.hkbu.edu.hk/courses/gcpe/.
History and Civilization (3 units)
Courses in this category aim to enhance students’ critical thinking ability when using a historical perspective to understand the past and present in academic, professional, and social/political situations. After completing a course in this category, students should be able to:
- Identify major trends and historical periods and figures in civilization in order to relate past events to present issues;
- Demonstrate an awareness of the uses and limitations of different historical evidence;
- Use appropriate tools and resources to conduct an inquiry into a current issue from a historical/cultural perspective;
- Evaluate their own historical tradition and heritage.
Course syllabi are available at http://ge.hkbu.edu.hk/courses/gchc/.
Values and the Meaning of Life (3 units)
Courses in this category aim to engage students in reflection on moral beliefs and practices, through inquiry into questions of ethics and morality as presented in one or more philosophical and/or religious traditions. These courses will help students to identify, understand and reflect on ethical issues, and to articulate, assess and defend moral judgments in an informed and thoughtful way. After completing a course in this category, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and theories behind ethical issues in one or more philosophical and/or religious traditions;
- Reason and argue about moral beliefs and practices, by questioning and evaluating the reasons for and against adopting particular moral concepts, theories and practices;
- Apply ethical reasoning to concrete dilemmas of the sort they are likely to encounter in real life;
- Explain their personal values and beliefs, and appreciate value systems different from their own.
Course syllabi are available at http://ge.hkbu.edu.hk/courses/gcvm/.
University Life (0 unit)
Workshops and activities in this programme aim to enhance students’ capabilities to face challenges and find solutions that come from academic or work environment. After completing this programme, students should be able to:
- Acquire the skills and knowledge that help them adapt to the new life at the University;
- Examine issues of academic integrity and global citizenship with an awareness of their communities;
- Develop leadership skills, communication skills and team work spirit that can be applied to their daily life;
- Plan activities that foster their academic and professional development;
- Evidence a better understanding of the Whole Person Education and the Graduate Attributes of the University.
Detailed requirements are available at http://ge.hkbu.edu.hk/ge-programme/ulife/.
The aim of the Distribution Requirements is to broaden the scope of students’ learning by having them pursue areas of knowledge outside of their major discipline. The identified Areas of Learning include: Arts, Business, Communication/Visual Arts, Science/Chinese Medicine, and Social Sciences. Students are required to take one course in each of the four areas outside of their own Faculty/School/Academy of Visual Arts, for a total of 12 units. Students may also take interdisciplinary courses to fulfill the Distribution Requirements. Interdisciplinary courses are listed for two (or more) areas of learning. Students have to decide which area (outside of their own Faculty/School/Academy of Visual Arts) they would like the course to fulfil.
Area of Learning
Courses in this category aim to foster an appreciation of the height and depth of human achievement through its literature, language, performance, culture and thought. Courses will stress critical thinking skills, creativity, and the reflection on the role of the Arts and Humanities in society. After completing a course in this category, students should be able to:
- Identify and explain the critical elements and principles that define one or more of fields of inquiry in the Arts and Humanities;
- Evidence a broader understanding of the place of the Arts and Humanities in human history and experience;
- Demonstrate a sensitivity to the importance of the Arts and Humanities in enhancing whole person education;
- Analyse one or more major works/art forms, or utilize sets of skills in the Arts and Humanities.
Course syllabi are available at http://ge.hkbu.edu.hk/courses/gdar/.
Courses in this category aim to enhance students’ understanding of the role of business and management principles in shaping contemporary human experience. After completing a course in this category, students should be able to:
- Explain key principles underlying business and management decisions;
- Apply business and management concepts and/or economic principles in analysing business issues;
- Evaluate business, management, or economic activities using the principles learned in the course.
Course syllabi are available at http://ge.hkbu.edu.hk/courses/gdbu/.
Courses in this category aim to promote students’ sensitivity to modes of communication and self-expression through commercial media and the visual arts. They enable the students to develop sensibilities and skills vital for participating in contemporary exchange of information and deepen the students' understanding of the role that informative, persuasive, and aesthetic approaches play for the generation of meaning. Courses in this category are drawn from the media studies, journalism, visual communication and visual arts. Some are historical and analytical; others are more directly concerned with the production of creative works. After completing a course in this category, students should be able to:
- Identify and explain the key concepts, ideas, and systems of thought basic to our efforts to communicate with individuals, groups and society;
- Apply on a basic level the fundamental principles of at least one approach to the exchange of meaning and work with its essential tools;
- Generate a creative strategy to effectively express themselves through their work; and
- Demonstrate a sensitivity for the coherence of information, medium and meaning.
Course syllabi are available at http://ge.hkbu.edu.hk/courses/gdcv/.
Courses in this category aim to instil students with a solid understanding of the basic principles and concepts of science or medicine with the focus of Chinese medicine and their relevance to daily life. Designed for non-science majors, they also feature many of the major concepts/theories of science or Chinese medicine, presented in a way that will encourage students to appreciate their significance. Class lectures will be supplemented with demonstration, observation and/or experimentation so that students will learn to think critically and to develop a questioning mind. After completing a course in this category, students should be able to:
- Use real-life and contemporary examples to explain fundamental concepts/theories in science or Chinese medicine;
- Apply critical and independent thinking to solving scientific/health-related problems;
- Explain the significance of science or Chinese medicine in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and/or preserving the environment;
- Understand the implications of scientific advancements on the quality of life.
Course syllabi are available at http://ge.hkbu.edu.hk/courses/gdsc/.
Courses in this category aim to enhance students’ comprehension of the contribution of social science approaches to understanding human behaviour and events, and social and cultural life. Courses will address at least one of the following key social science areas: identity and citizenship; community; social environment; human, physical and social development; education, the individual and society; fairness and social justice; cultural heritage; public policy; spatial patterns and processes. After completing a course in this category, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of social science approaches to the study of human activity;
- Explain key social science concepts in relation to one of the above areas;
- Use evidence-based social science approaches to evaluate an event in everyday life;
- Demonstrate a capacity to be a responsible citizen with a sense of ethics and civility.
Course syllabi are available at http://ge.hkbu.edu.hk/courses/gdss/.
Interdisciplinary courses in the GE Programme strive to integrate knowledge and approaches from different academic disciplines in order to expand students’ intellectual horizons through exposure to different modes of thinking. These courses give students the opportunity to question customary assumptions about themselves and the world they live in. Designed to guide them to think "outside the box", these courses stretch students intellectually by showing them that creative solutions and innovative answers can be found through a combination of perseverance, open-mindedness, and imagination.
After completing an interdisciplinary course, students should be able to:
- Explain the key methodologies and principles of the disciplines under study;
- Synthesize the key concepts of the disciplines in order to gain new perspectives or insights and/or generate new solutions to problems;
- Assess the potential of unconventional and cross-disciplinary approaches.
Course syllabi are available at http://ge.hkbu.edu.hk/courses/ige/.
Available GE Courses
The list of available GE courses can be found on the GE website.