Student development should run through students' university life with systematization and innovation, and the unique liberal arts education at UIC fosters well-rounded talents, said Associate Vice President (Student Development) of UIC, Prof Stella Cho.

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Prof Stella Cho

 

Developing well-rounded students

Prof Stella Cho is a seasoned accounting academic. She earned her PhD degree from the University of Hong Kong. Prof Cho’s teaching and research interests are in taxation and corporate governance. She has rich experience in university management, teaching, research, and professional and public services, both in Chinese Mainland and Hong Kong. She joined UIC in September 2008 and became the first Dean of the Division of Business and Management. In September 2020, she became Associate Vice President (Student Development).

Prof Cho said that the students would have different demands at different stages during the four years of university. For example, first-year students may mainly focus on the adaptation of university life; sophomore and junior students need to find the balance between academic studies and extracurricular activities and practice; senior students would need to work on further studies and seek jobs. UIC has different activities, projects and measures to provide students with targeted guidance and help.

For example, UIC has Whole-Person Education (WPE) courses focusing on tapping into students' potential. UIC also has a mentor caring programme to help first-year students adapt to college life, and it also provides psychological and academic counselling as well as abundant extracurricular practice, community activities, lectures on further studies and employment, etc. On the one hand, it gives students the impetus to move forward; on the other hand, it guides students to develop in an all-round way and cultivates their soft power in multiple fields.  

 

New way of thinking

Prof Cho also mentioned that career planning and development is an essential part for student development. It is of great significance for them to get in touch with society and occupations in advance as well as to explore their interests and future goals. She expects that the university can add up more resources to create more opportunities for social practice and internship for students and that all departments can strengthen cooperation, bring in new ideas and carry out services more systematically.

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Prof Stella Cho at the 11th International Postgraduate Education Information Fair

Prof Cho mentioned that further progress would be made from three aspects in the future: Firstly, strengthen internship coordination, make further contact with the business community, establish internship bases in large enterprises, and provide students with more high-quality internship opportunities; the second is to increase career development training and invite professionals and alumni to offer targeted sharing for students from different grades; the third is to encourage students to actively participate in various social practices and competitions, especially the activities held in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to enhance their understanding towards Greater Bay Area.

In terms of further studies, the college has continuously expanded its cooperation with famous universities in the world. At the international postgraduate education information fair this year, 53 institutions of higher education from 15 countries and regions participated, which in total increased by more than ten compared with 2019.

Also, the Career Development Office (CDO) in UIC initiated one-to-one consultation service for further education planning and has employed experienced teachers as tutors to help students identify their interests and potentials to make their own choices.

Prof Cho believes that the summer programmes in UIC are of great help to broaden students' horizons and discover their interests. In the future, the programme network is expected to be expanded to include programmes in the Chinese Mainland due to the rapid development that is taking place here. Prof Cho hopes that students can know about the latest developing trends in various industries.

 

How can students live a better college life?

In the college life orientation for first-year students this year, Prof Cho shared her suggestions with the newcomers. She expects the students to learn how to do time management, try their best to tap their interests and motivations to become independent learners. She also encourages students to improve their English ability, keep an open mind, enhance their teamwork ability and social responsibility, and strive to become a "whole person" integrated with leadership, professional knowledge and skills, as well as creativity and integrity.

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Prof Stella Cho (first from left) visits the students' dormitories to know about students' life and study

Prof Cho encouraged students to actively participate in professional competitions, apply their daily learning experience and broaden their horizons to proliferate. She has guided the students participating in the HKICPA Business Case Competition, HSBC Business Case Competition and won many provincial and national awards. She said that the most crucial factor in guiding students to success, whether in study, hobbies or at any level of life, is to give them a sense of accomplishment.

For students who have difficulties in study and life, Prof Cho suggested that they should actively communicate with their teachers to seek help. She has helped some students get back on track. There once was a second-year student who had got into trouble and almost considered dropping out of college, Prof Cho patiently enlightened her out of that depression. Later, she bumped into that student on the ferry back to Hong Kong surprisingly, and felt overjoyed when she found this student had successfully graduated and applied for a master's degree in Hong Kong.

Prof Cho said that she and her colleagues have always devoted themselves to their work with a caring attitude, providing support for students' growth and development. It is great to see students gain confidence and growth from the painstaking efforts they put into different projects.

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Prof Stella Cho is awarded the title of ‘Excellent Educator of Zhuhai’

In September 2020, Prof Cho was awarded the title of ‘Excellent Educator of Zhuhai’. She said that the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has a bright future. She expected the students to actively explore and practice, deepen their understanding towards society and career, and seize opportunities for future development.

 

From MPRO
Editors: Samuel Burgess, Deen He, Ma Yiran