Monday, November 30, 2015   

Fresh lunches offer food for thought

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Junior model Chrissie Chau Sau-na has done it again.

A seminar she appeared in is the talk of the town.

The seminar, "Unscrambling the Chrissie Chau Phenomenon," was organized recently by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology's School of Science as part of its "Knowledge Unlimited" series.

The aim of the seminars is to widen students' horizons.

But the school has gone further in its attempt to bring out the best in undergraduates - it also hosts luncheon meetings with freshmen to discuss campus life.

A friend at the university said several professors dug deep into their pockets to come up with the money to pay for the lunch gatherings.

First-year students are invited in batches to meet the lecturers over a meal.

It is hoped the lunch will help students discuss problems and ensure they are put on the right path so their time in university is both fruitful and bright.

As a bonus, communication between staff and students gets off on the right footing when they discuss issues leisurely outside the classroom.

This was one of the original aims of the dean, Cheng Shiu-yuen.

Speaking about the luncheons, he said he has always wanted to strengthen communication with students.

In the past, some professors have invited students to lunch. But the outcome of these earlier gatherings was not satisfactory. Why? "The professors could not play computer games and the generation gap continued," Cheng said.

So the dean and other professors e
ach donated HK$5,000 in order to invite junior staff and freshmen for lunch.

More than 100 students have dined with lecturers since the lunch program began at the start of the academic year.

Cheng said their discussions revealed that many students have talents outside their field of study.

For instance, some play several musical instruments while others excel at multimedia editing.

To put the various talents to good use, Cheng plans to organize a series of academic interviews with prominent people and university professors. This will help other students get more information about lecturers.

The university has taken the initiative to help students develop other talents while studying for their particular degrees.

The "Knowledge Unlimited" seminars and the informal lunches show that thinking outside the box may bring many benefits.

Other universities may want to follow with their own initiatives.

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