Enhancing Learning Experiences in Higher Education: International Conference, the inaugural international conference on teaching and learning at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) was held on the 2nd and 3rd of December 2010 by the Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL). With the purposes of exchanging knowledge and experience; appreciating contribution; academic networking and sharing achievements as well as updating current trends and future development of learning and teaching in higher education, the conference marked a changing era of teaching and learning as we move towards the new curriculum.   

The conference has attracted over 300 people, with more than 60% coming from overseas, including the Netherlands, United Kingdom, South Africa, North America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippine, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan and China. The total number of abstracts received was overwhelming and the final acceptance rate was only 35%.  This confirmed the interest in teaching and learning in higher education and indicated the timeliness and relevance of this conference.

Prof Roland Chin, Deputy Vice Chancellor/Provost, HKU addressed the welcome reception and Prof. Amy Tsui, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Teaching and Learning), HKU, delivered the opening ceremony speech.

To ensure an inspirational and intellectual-fulfilling experience for all the participants, the conference was deliberately designed to embrace a wide-ranging of subthemes, including –

  1. Transition and the first year experience
  2. Literacy across the curriculum
  3. Experiential learning and co-curricular
  4. Outcomes-based approaches to student learning
  5. Assessment and feedback
  6. Diversity and multicultural experience
  7. Enhancing learning through technology
  8. Learning communities
  9. Continuing education and professional development
  10. Problem-based learning
  11. Postgraduate student experiences
  12. Generic skills in higher education

Prof. Gary Poole, from the University of British Columbia, and Prof. Caroline Baillie, from the University of Western Australia, were invited as the keynote speakers to share their thoughts on ‘Continuing education and professional development’ and ‘Educating for a socially just world: a case of engineering education’ respectively.  To further enrich the programme, Prof. Ken Hyland, from the University of Hong Kong and Prof. Ray Land, from the University of Strathclyde, were invited as the plenary speakers who delivered topic on ‘Writing in the academy: reputation, education and knowledge’ and ‘Venturing into strange places: developing graduates for the 21st century’ respectively.

The event was sponsored by ProQuest, Routledge, Sage Publications as well as the Faculty of Education.  The post conference feedback showed very positive responses from the participants.  Overall, they were satisfied with the quality of the conference with 100% of them rated the conference as either slightly high or high quality. They expressed that the conference was well organized. They had an opportunity to share their research experiences and meet academics from different disciplines and even different countries. Some were pleased with the hosting, the quality of the keynote and plenary speeches as well as student performance. They also found that the atmosphere of the conference was friendly and productive.


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