Practical qualifications based on international collaboration

by Aldric Chau

News every month from the world of academia

International collaboration closes learning gaps and achieves academic excellence
Photo: Wallace Chan

To meet the growing demand for tertiary education, the University of Greenwich has joined forces with Hong Kong's ABRS Professional Learning Services to provide an array of distance learning programmes from diplomas to master's degrees.

Students enrolled in ABRS can choose to take their postgraduate programmes in the UK. Such flexibility has made it possible for students to attain a UK university degree that carries international recognition.

Tessa Blackstone, vice-chancellor of the University of Greenwich, says, "We collaborate with ABRS in many areas such as programme and curriculum design and student communications." Regular meetings in both countries and constant communications help both parties work closely together for the betterment of the programmes.

As a result of their close partnership, Baroness Blackstone says, the programmes have met with excellent results and growing popularity.

Greenwich stands out for its highly flexible and student-oriented study module. "Students can always obtain course support materials if they miss scheduled tuition when snowed under by work," says Margaret Noble, pro-vice-chancellor, University of Greenwich.

Founded in 1890, Greenwich has a considerable reputable for the quality of its teaching and its links with numerous institutions. The university's graduates are offered great opportunities and links to attain professional qualifications such as ACCA for accounting and CFA for finance, where they may obtain course exemptions.

The university focuses on the local market environment, thereby allowing students to benefit by learning transferable skills and knowledge that can be applied in the workplace. "To ensure everything is kept up-to-date we work with ABRS constantly to review the syllabus and assessment methods," says Nick Hand, academic director for Chinese collaboration, University of Greenwich.

Raymond Kwan, a graduate from this year's computing degree programme, finds the programme materials very useful and practical. "As a programmer, I learned so much not only from the computing subjects, but also from other courses like project management, which has definitely helped take me to the next career level," says Mr Kwan.

"Business-related subjects such as project management form the backbone of our programme, helping students to become well-rounded professionals in the commercial world," emphasises ABRS programme director Bernard Chan.

Kwok Wai-lee, another graduate from the computing degree programme, notes that the incorporation of the latest mobile computing subjects into the syllabus creates a positive influence for students' career development in wireless communication and networking.

The university makes every effort to ensure quality and maintain consistent standards for both local and overseas programmes. As assessments and marking of papers are conducted in the UK, external examiners ensure objectivity assessment materials are standardised and lecturers from the UK are invited to conduct lectures in Hong Kong. Additionally, a regular and thorough inspection of the collaboration work with ABRS gives the institution a chance to review the effectiveness of the programmes.

"Our programmes offer students great flexibility. Since the majority of our students are working adults who spend a great deal of time at work, this particular feature enables them to learn at their own pace without having to set aside time to meet rigid class schedule," notes Peter Morris, an ABRS' link tutor.

Taken from Career Times 05 December 2008, p. A10
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