CityU Study Tour

CityU with UTAR staff and students.

The Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) and Centre for Extension Education (CEE) hosted a study tour programme for the Department of Chinese and History from City University (CityU), Hong Kong from 5 to 25 June 2017 at Kampar Campus.

A first for both UTAR and CityU, the month-long “Field Trips and Travel Studies” is an initiative led by CityU Department of Chinese and History Deputy Head Assoc Prof Dr Chan Hok Yin, Assoc Prof Dr Fan Ka Wai, Dr Jin Huan, Dr Lam Hok Chung, Dr Lai Hing Fong and Calvin Wong to strengthen the collaborative ties in research and teaching between the two universities. During their stay at UTAR, Dr Lai was the person-in-charge to conduct classes for students while Dr Lam and Wong were responsible for the student’s life guidance.

Dr Lai (front, right) with students.

Welcoming the CityU delegates were ICS Dean Assoc Prof Dr Chong Siou Wei, R&D and Postgraduate Programmes Deputy Dean Assoc Prof Dr Wong Wun Bin, Head Department of Chinese Studies for Kampar Campus Toh Teong Chuan, CEE Kampar Campus Head Mohd Faizul Bin Ahmad, other ICS academics, namely Assoc Prof Dr Khor Boon Eng, Dr Wong Lih Lih, Dr Tan Ai Boay and Mok Tuck Hau.

Dr Khor (from front, right) and Dr Lam with students.

The CityU delegates had the opportunity to attend classes conducted by the ICS academics to provide them a better understanding of the historical and cultural background of Malaysia. The classes included the History of Malaysian Chinese Education, the History of Chinese Immigration, the History of British Malaya, the Malaysian Chinese Literature, the Comparative Literature of Malay and Chinese in Malaysia, and also Field Study.

Dr Wong explaining to the CityU students the cultural diversity and heritage of the Kinta Valley during one of the field trips.

Field study at Kampar Gu Miao.

The delegates visiting the Chinese-Muslim mosque Masjid Muhammadiah in Ipoh.

Dr Lai (second row, first from right), Dr Wong, Tan Sri Hew, Dr Lam and CityU students.

To provide a better understanding of Kampar’s history and development, an interactive luncheon was held on 21 June 2017 in which UTAR Planning and Development Committee advisor-cum-former Kampar MP Tan Sri Hew See Tong was invited to share his experience and view with the CityU members. Tan Sri Hew delivered his warm welcome to the CityU delegates and said, “We welcome researchers and students from abroad to Kampar for literary and historical research activities to make a spare effort for the development of the history of Kampar.”

Dr Wong briefly introduced the collaborations between ICS and CityU Department of Chinese and History and said, “UTAR and CityU have become sister universities following an MoU signed last year. The collaborations of both institutions originated from a visit by Dr Chan when he attended a conference at UTAR a few years ago and discovered that Malaysia was a suitable place for Hong Kong’s students to carry out their fieldwork and research study.” He added, “This ‘Field Trips and Travel Studies’ of CityU is a flexible teaching programme that allows their lecturers or instructors to move their class to Malaysia, to UTAR, for the students to have their on-the-spot learning, and these may also help in activating the History studies.” He also expressed his hope for more close collaborations and exchange of knowledge between UTAR and CityU academics as well as students.

During their stay in Malaysia, the CityU delegation also visited several heritage sites around Kampar, Gopeng, Ipoh and Penang, and was also introduced to the local delights.

Dr Lam was impressed with the heritage buildings in Malaysia, and he said, “A heritage site needs continuous maintenance and conservation. The heritage buildings in Malaysia are still well preserved and not many changes have been done compared to Hong Kong. It has still retained the originality of the buildings and it’s very suitable for historical research and fieldwork.”

Dr Lai was impressed with the multi-religion environment in Malaysia, especially in Penang and Gopeng. “Mosque, Chinese temple, Hindu temple and the Church gathered in a place show the harmony between the multi-religious culture and the harmony between the various ethnic groups. It is worthy to be a role model for global learning,” she told.

Besides that, Dr Lam and Dr Lai mentioned that they enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the UTAR Kampar Campus. Dr Lam said, “The campus provides a good learning environment for the students to experience a green campus life.” Dr Lai said, “The architectural design of the campus shows ingenuity, such as the poetic and picturesque courtyard design in the Learning Complex I building, an ideal place for students to think, exchange and rest while waiting between classes. The murals and slogans drawn by the students around the campus are eye-catching too. It exudes a strong atmosphere of culture around the campus.” Both of them expressed their gratitude to the University for the arrangements made for accommodation and transportation for their students.

CityU students Chong Ka Yan and Li Yim Ping mentioned that the biggest gain during this study tour was the warmly ‘human touch’, “The Utarians and also the people that we met during our stay in Malaysia were very kind and helpful. Before heading to Malaysia, we were quite worried about the communication and language because we do not speak Malay. But we found that many people here were willing to speak in Cantonese with us. Even some of the Indians can speak Cantonese well. We are impressed with the multi-language talent of Malaysian.”

UTAR and CityU signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in December 2016 to facilitate the exchange of academics, research and administrative personnel as well students. The MoU also spurs both parties to explore and collaborate further in areas including teaching and research.

CityU students enjoying their meal at UTAR cafeteria.

CityU students tasting the local Hakka food “lei cha”.

Exploring Kampar Old Town via bicycles.

The CityU students were all smiles after receiving the certificates from CEE.

拉曼大学 Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)
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