OUHK to establish New College
on Chung Hau Street
||Following the successful bid last December, the OUHK will establish a college on the newly granted site on Chung Hau Street, Ho Man Tin, to offer full-time programmes in cultural and creative arts, testing and certification, and medical services, contributing to the development of three of the six crucial industries promoted by the Government. Half of the construction cost of the New College, OUHK (OU–NC) will be funded by a $317 million interest-free loan to the University that has been approved by the LegCo Finance Committee.
Describing the latest development as an important milestone for the OUHK, President Prof. John C Y Leong said it shows that the University's role in providing quality higher education has been acknowledged by the Government.
'The OUHK started offering full-time programmes ten years ago, with the number of students rising from fewer than 100 in the first year to over 5,000 at present. As applications have continued to grow in recent years, the land grant can be seen as the Government's recognition of the University's full-time programmes,' said Prof. Leong.
Prof. Leong said that the Chung Hau Street plot is hard to come by, given the high land prices in the urban areas. It enables the OUHK not only to expand and develop innovative programmes to meet society's needs, but also to build a campus with the appropriate amenities, such as Active Learning Rooms and Learning Commons to foster guided self-learning and active learning.
Building new programmes on existing strengths
Prof. Leong said supporting the six crucial industries is the guiding principle behind developing the programmes for the OU-NC. He said few local universities have programmes in cultural and creative arts, testing and certification, and medical services, while the OUHK has built up strengths in these areas.
On the topic of medical services, Prof. Leong said that the demand for talent is strong, and the OUHK has had substantial experience in conducting nursing studies programmes since 1997. 'Our programmes range from top-up to degree programmes. In 2004, we started offering full-time face-to-face nursing programmes, and student intake is steady,' said Prof. Leong.
Prof. Leong also said the two distance learning Bachelor's Degree programmes in Product Design, Testing and Certification, to be launched this April, are locally pioneering projects, enabling the OUHK to accumulate experience in this field.
As for cultural and creative arts, he believes the University is well-positioned to develop relevant subjects, having run a four-year Bachelor's Degree programme in Creative Writing and Film Arts for three years.
Promoting distance learning through blended learning
Prof. Leong said that offering flexible and open learning remains the mission of the OUHK, and the building of the OU-NC will not mean de-emphasizing distance learning programmes.
The University will instead seek to expand distance learning programmes and promote blended learning by adding the elements of guided self-learning and face-to-face teaching where appropriate, he added.
Taking a leading role among self-financing universities
Prof. Leong, who has recently been reappointed by the OUHK Council for another term of two years ending November 2013, pointed out that the University will face more competition with the development of self-financing institutions in Hong Kong. However, he is confident that the OUHK can take a leading role as the most well-established local self-financing university, with its 21 years of experience and highly assured academic standing.
New College, OUHK (OU-NC)
Gross floor area: 21,500 sq m (11 floors and a basement)
Key facilities: Active Learning Classrooms, Learning Commons, lecture halls/theatres, studios, laboratories, a multi-purpose hall, an exhibition hall, a library and a canteen.
Construction: incorporates green design features, with construction expected to start in the third quarter of 2011 and be completed by the fourth quarter of 2013.
Construction cost: $634 million
Programmes to be offered in the initial years:
- BA (Hons) in Advertising and Media Studies
- BA (Hons) in Animation and Graphic Design
- BA (Hons) in Photography and Visual Arts
- BSc (Hons) in Testing and Certification Technology (Engineering Materials)
- BSc (Hons) in Testing and Certification Technology (Product Design)
- Bachelor of Nursing (Hons) (General/Mental Health Care)
- Higher Diploma in Nursing Studies (General/Mental Health Care)
Student intake: Expected annual intake of 750 and total student population of 2,400.