Lingnan’s School of Graduate Studies is like a garden in bloom

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Professor Joshua Mok

If education is a garden that needs to be tended, then Lingnan University’s postgraduate studies programme has evolved from a tidy lawn into a panoply of plants in bloom. The new “garden” is Lingnan’s  School of Graduate Studies (SGS), which enlarged upon the University’s  Division of Graduate Studies when it was founded in July 2019. Professor Joshua Mok, Lingnan’s Vice President, is the Dean of the SGS.

Lingnan’s postgraduate studies programme began in 2016, when the University founded the Division of Graduate Studies. The division’s raison d’être was to promote Lingnan’s inter-university and inter-faculty taught postgraduate programmes. The aim was to provide students with more opportunities for multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary learning, and to further raise the University’s international profile.

 

New students orientation for postgraduate programmes 2019

The evolving demographics of the University led to this year’s establishment of the SGS. The number of Lingnan students taking postgraduate courses has more than doubled since 2016. Last year, over 700 students were enrolled in postgraduate programmes, and that figure is set to grow to over 1,000. Lingnan executives decided that a new school was the best way to serve the University’s growing number of postgraduate students. “Our graduate programmes were so successful, we needed a more established body to cope with the increase in the postgraduate student intake,” said Professor Mok.

The rapid development of the central government’s Greater Bay Area (GBA) initiative also played a part in the establishment of the SGS. The GBA, which is a special focus of research for Lingnan scholars, will link together nine cities and two Special Administrative Regions in southern China. As the GBA began to take shape, Lingnan decided it needed to strengthen its research facilities to keep up with the changes.

The SGS has many other tasks on its to-do list. For example, it works closely with different academic departments to oversee the launch of new postgraduate programmes. Beyond the campus, the SGS aims to collaborate with leading academic institutions around the world, and plans to co-organise numerous scholarly activities.

Lingnan University and University of Oxford co-hosted 2019 International Postgraduate Summer School

The SGS is currently developing the Curating and Museum Studies master’s programme, a new course scheduled to launch in 2020. The course is tailored to address Hong Kong’s rising demand for management talent in the creative industries. The SGS is looking to team up with universities in the UK to co-run the programme, and perhaps develop a related joint PhD. Such partnerships are important to Lingnan, and Professor Mok is to visit the University of Bath, the University of York, and the University of Essex in the UK to discuss joint degree programmes.

Partnerships raise the University’s international profile, but the students reap the greatest benefits. Hong Kong is an international city, and Lingnan aims to foster a global outlook in its students. “We are taking international collaboration to a new level in the realm of postgraduate education, and we are doing a great deal to promote international exchange. The SGS is an important milestone for Lingnan University,” said Professor Mok.