Service Learning is entering a new phase at our university. We have been offering credit-bearing service learning subjects since the summer of 2011. Up to now, 200+ students have taken the 8 subjects offered. They have taught Cantonese and computer animation to African and South Asian refugees, worked in community centers for the elderly and the ethnic minority, and provided help to people living in dilapidated buildings in Hong Kong. They have also taught English and constructed orthoses for the underprivileged in rural China. They have even taught robotics and computer animation to children in the slums of Cambodia, and much more.
Starting with the cohort who have just entered the university for the new 4-year undergraduate programs, all students will take service learning as a required subject. At this point, we have a total of 17 service learning subjects covering languages, information technology, real estate, social work, nursing, nursing, textiles and biomedical engineering. Soon, we expect to add subjects in tourism, engineering, design, environment, rehabilitation, business, etc., covering the whole wide range of programs taught at the university.
In a few years time, at full implementation, we expect to have 2,000+ students taking 60+ service learning subjects each year, serving the needy in Hong Kong, mainland China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Burma, Africa, and many more places. It is a huge challenge, but one that is truly worth the hard work, and appreciated by all parties.