What's Happening in IPO

4 Jun 2019

IPO Supports Elder Academy Scheme 2019


HKUST participated in the Elder Academy Scheme jointly launched by the Labour and Welfare Bureau (LWB) and the Elderly Commission (EC) in Spring 2018-19. Division of Environment and Sustainability (ENVR) supported the scheme by offering the course SUST1000 - Introduction to Sustainability and received positive feedback from the senior students, Ms. Windy LEE and Mr. Julius CHOI.

The Elder Academy Scheme encourages educational institutions to join hands in operating Elder Academies so as to provide more learning platforms for elders and encourage them to widen their social networks, maintain physical and mental well-being and foster sense of worthiness through life-long learning.  The scheme emphasizes active ageing and inter-generational harmony.  The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology joined the scheme in promoting continuous learning for the elderlies. Eligible senior students can enroll in the courses they find interesting and curious to learn more about.

SUST1000 aims to provide students with a holistic, interdisciplinary, evidence-based understanding of the challenge of ensuring the sustainability of humanity on a planet with limited natural and social capacities. The course requires students to actively participate in group discussion and class activities to express their opinions on sustainability issues.

The course instructors, Prof. Arthur LAU and Prof. Zhongming LU found the teaching experience very pleasant and rewarding. Prof. Arthur LAU shared that “It was my first time to have senior student in class. Windy is an active learner. She was willing to share her experience and views during group discussion which brought in new perspectives for students to analyze the issues. Windy shared the water shortage in 1960s and how manufacturing industry bloomed in 1980s and 1990s that may be remote to current generation. It really boosted the group dynamics. The vibe was excellent!” Prof. LAU thought that sustainability is a good topic for elderly education which is a new concept to elders and the two generations can exchange thoughts on a this daily-related topic.

“It was great to see the spark within the group. It was insightful to have Julius joining the discussions. He built a genuine relationship with other students.” Prof. Zhongming LU welcomed senior students to join the class.  Their rich life and work experiences can become valuable resources.  He wishes to engage senior students more in class next time.   

Both Windy and Julius found the class enjoyable and fun to understand more about the sustainability development in Hong Kong. Julius mentioned that “Learning about sustainability requires general knowledge from different areas. I did spend time to read most of the materials provided, so as to have a brief concept before in-class discussion. Frankly, I expected the class to be in a lecture format. It would be better if the participants can know the class format before enrollment. Though, it was a good way to learn through discussions.” Windy admired how Prof. Arthur LAU handled the class. “Prof LAU was really good at teaching. He has a sense of humor and made the class a joyful one. The harmonious atmosphere encouraged everyone to learn more. I had a great time with my classmates. They were open to my opinions and sharing.” Both Windy and Julius said they were interested in courses about sociology and current affairs and would definitely love to join other classes offered by HKUST again.

  • Ms. Windy LEE (second-left) enrolled in the course SUST1000 - Introduction to Sustainability and participated in group discussion

  • Mr. Julius CHOI (third-right) enrolled in the course SUST1000 - Introduction to Sustainability and participated in group discussion