Professor Catherine SUN, Academic Vice President
The Chief Executive in Council approved Hong Kong Shue Yan University to award degrees for six MPhil and six PhD programmes on November 17, 2017. Professor Catherine SUN, Academic Vice President, announced that the University will start offering its first MPhil and PhD programmes in 2018/2019, and will ensure that the best possible resources are invested into them.
In an interview with Shue Yan Newsletter, Professor SUN said the decision of the Chief Executive in Council has great meaning to Shue Yan and Hong Kong’s history of private university because Shue Yan is the first private university in Hong Kong to get approval to award degrees in MPhil and PhD programmes. Moreover, it demonstrates the tremendous achievements made by Shue Yan in teaching and research which are recognized by the government and the education sector in general.
“If a university wants to be full-fledged, there must be substantial synergy between research and teaching. When a university has a balanced development in teaching and research, then a solid foundation can exist, and further developments are sustainable. Shue Yan is demonstrating a move in this direction by first offering taught master programmes, and now research postgraduate programmes.” Professor SUN said.
Offering the MPhil and PhD programmes is also one of the primary goals of HKSYU’s Strategic Plan 2015-2020. The application was first endorsed by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic & Vocational Qualifications in September 2017.
Professor SUN said by offering MPhil and PhD programmes, Shue Yan not only expands the supply pool of places in postgraduate programmes by research in Hong Kong, but also helps to nurture young researchers for the community. For Shue Yan, it can promote our research culture and strengthen the capability of the University as a whole to do research.
According to the planning of the University, the MPhil and PhD programmes are based on a British/American mixed mode, i.e. course work and thesis. The University has identified about 15 professors/associate professors with experience in supervising MPhil and PhD theses to be appointed as Principle Supervisors of students to provide guidance on academic matters. Moreover, teaching staff of associate professor or assistant professor rank with no experience in supervising MPhil and PhD theses but with robust research records, will be appointed as Co-supervisors to support students.
Professor SUN said the University hopes that this arrangement of co-supervisors can nurture these associate professors and assistant professor to become Principle Supervisors in the future.
The first six MPhil programmes and six PhD programmes offered include: English, Chinese, History, Economics, Psychology and Sociology (for details see Table 1). The University at this moment has no timetable as to when to extend research degree programmes to other disciplines.
For full-time MPhil programmes students, the minimum completion period is two years. For full-time PhD programme students (who are holders of an MPhil or a taught master’s degree), the minimum completion period is three years. Tuition fee for full-time MPhil and PhD programmes students is HK$69,000 a year, and HK$46,000 for part-time students.
The University will normally appoint full-time MPhil and PhD programmes students to be researchers or teaching assistants to support their Principle Supervisors’ research or teaching works. A monthly studentship of HK$15,000 will be given to them. The period of receiving scholarship is two years for full-time MPhil students and three years for full-time PhD students.
Professor SUN said it is expected that the total number of MPhil and PhD students in these research postgraduate programmes will not exceed 20.
“To offer MPhil and PhD programmes is a milestone for Shue Yan. It signifies that Shue Yan is going in the direction of creating substantial synergy between teaching and research to realize its goal of staying a “teaching led, research active’ university.” Professor SUN said.
[Source: November Issue 2017]