Prof. Charles Kwong Che-leung, Dean of School of Arts and Social Sciences of the OUHK (left) and Lieut-Colonel Bob Lee Kong-chew, Officer Commanding of The Salvation Army Hong Kong and Macau Command (right) signed a MOU yesterday (14 August) to strengthen the education and research collaboration.
Group photo of staff members of the School of Arts and Social Sciences of the OUHK and representatives of The Salvation Army.
The Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) yesterday (14 August) with The Salvation Army, an international charity which has been serving Hong Kong for over 85 years. The two entities will join hands to offer more practicum opportunities and service learning experiences for OUHK students, as well as to develop joint research activities which will bring benefits to our community.
At the signing ceremony, Prof. Charles Kwong Che-leung, Dean of School of Arts and Social Sciences of the OUHK said that the University is delighted to partner with The Salvation Army. He said, "The collaboration will definitely bring enormous benefit to our students, academic staff and the community. Through the internships and other co-curricular activities jointly organized by the University and The Salvation Army, students will gain invaluable learning experience and opportunities to better equip themselves, which can also help enhance their social responsibilities and deepen their understanding of various social issues. The partnership will also facilitate cross-disciplinary knowledge exchange and collaboration between the two entities. As a result, our academic and research staff will acquire more resources to develop social research projects which would contribute to Hong Kong's development."
Lieut-Colonel Bob Lee Kong-chew, Officer Commanding of The Salvation Army Hong Kong and Macau Command, said, "Our educational services are committed to developing the body, mind and spirit of each child in our care with the love of God. In view of the increasing integration in transferable knowledge and educational training services between higher education and non-government organization in recent years, we believe that further cooperation of the two entities, especially in collaboration of talents from the OUHK and The Salvation Army, will strengthen the educational training development of both entities and bring about complementary advantages."
Under the MOU, the OUHK and The Salvation Army will strengthen the education and research collaboration. Practicum opportunities will be offered to students of two OUHK programmes, namely the "Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours in Ageing Society and Services Studies" and "Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours in Psychology and Mental Health" (to be offered in 2020/21 academic year).
During their practicum, students of the Ageing Society and Services Studies programme will be assigned to intern at the elderly centres operated by The Salvation Army to gain exposure and work experience. This will offer them valuable opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned in identifying, analyzing and evaluating issues arising out of an ageing society and related to services provision.
On the other hand, students of the Psychology and Mental Health programme will be able to complete their supervised counselling practicum at local schools operated by The Salvation Army. They will be arranged to handle cases of students with Special Education Needs (SEN) and their parents, as well as to organize training workshops and seminars for school-aged children. The practicum will provide excellent opportunities for them to apply their theoretical knowledge to practical situations.
In addition, the OUHK and The Salvation Army will develop a wide array of service learning initiatives to allow students to gain a deeper understanding of the social needs and contribute to the community. Under this meaningful collaboration, the two parties will share resources and leverage on their expertise and experience to carry out research activities on various social, economic and educational issues which benefit the society at large.
In view of the growing ageing population and the manpower shortage in elderly health and social care services in Hong Kong, the OUHK has launched the "Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours in Ageing Society and Services Studies" (JS9006) in the 2019/20 academic year. The four-year programme will equip students with the professional competencies, transferable generic skills and critical reflectiveness required in the planning, provision and evaluation of services and support essential to ageing population in Hong Kong and overseas. For the "Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours in Psychology and Mental Health" which will be offered in the 2020/21 academic year, it is designed to equip students with solid knowledge and basic applied skills in psychology, mental health and counselling.
About the OUHK:
Established by the Government in 1989, The Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK) has developed into a full-fledged university providing high quality and flexible university education at various levels to secondary school graduates and working adults. As a dynamic and innovative university, the OUHK currently offers about 220 programmes to nearly 10,000 full-time students and about 9,000 part-time students. Its mission is to advance learning, knowledge and research that meet students’ learning aspirations and society’s talent needs, focusing on practical and professional programmes.
OUHK comprises five Schools, i.e. School of Arts and Social Sciences, Lee Shau Kee School of Business and Administration, School of Education and Languages, School of Nursing and Health Studies, and School of Science and Technology. The Li Ka Shing Institute of Professional and Continuing Education (LiPACE) provides lifelong learning opportunities by offering full-time sub-degree programmes, community learning and professional programmes. OUHK website: www.ouhk.edu.hk.
About The Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army is an international Christian church and charity working in 131 countries and has been serving Hong Kong for approximately 90 years since 1930. With the commitment to transforming lives, caring for people and making disciples, the Army is currently operating almost 80 social services units, over 30 educational services units, 16 corps (churches), 1 outpost and 17 Family Stores in Hong Kong and Macau. There are offices in Yunnan and Sichuan for poverty alleviation development in China. The Army is called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Salvation Army is dedicated to supporting the people in need in Hong Kong, Macau and Mainland China; and strives to respond to local needs, emergencies and disasters with the love of God. Its work spans a diverse range of areas including, but not limited to People with Spiritual Needs, Families facing Crisis, Disadvantaged Elders, Children and Youth, People with Disabilities, The Marginalised Minorities as well as Disaster Survivors.