Residents of Wolverhampton will be familiar with the sight of robed students hastening through the streets in September to collect their degree scrolls. This annual event is one of the highlights in the University calendar, providing a perfect opportunity to celebrate the varied achievements of students.
But as people watch the students heading to the city’s Grand Theatre, they may not realise that each year, family and friends gather for the same ceremony 6,000 miles away in Hong Kong.
The University of Wolverhampton has a strong partnership with City University Hong Kong’s School of Continuing and Professional Education (SCOPE). In November, 130 students graduated at the Wei Hing Theatre, watched by proud parents, friends and lecturers. They were joined by Vice Chancellor Professor Caroline Gipps and Director, International Jo Gittens, who travelled from the UK to attend the ceremony.
Professor Gipps said: “Graduation is always a time of celebration for students and their families and our 2009 graduates have a lot to be proud of. We have a strong relationship with City University Hong Kong’s School of Continuing and Professional Education and it gave me great pleasure to celebrate our students achievements.”
Students complete a wide range of programmes in Hong Kong, including Business and Management, Construction Management, International Corporate and Finance Law. These subjects help them progress to a range of exciting careers in various sectors.
Also taking part in the graduation procession were Director of SCOPE, Dr Charles Wong and Mr Henry Tang, Honorary President of the Hong Kong Alumni Association, which continues to support students after they have left the University. The Association was formed by a group of graduates in 2001, with the main aim of encouraging and assisting communication between its members. It enables graduates to maintain an on-going relationship with the University.
The Association also provides opportunities for the continuing professional developmentof members and provides links for alumni and staff to continue their association with the University. In addition, it organises social events and functions and works with any societies or organisations that have similar interests and goals to the Association. It is certainly a great benefit to the students who complete their studies and move onto the next stage of their career each year.
The Hong Kong graduation and the Alumni Association are part of a wider programme of activity for the University in the region and elsewhere in the world. The University of Wolverhampton has strong partnerships with several overseas universities and student exchanges with 30 countries. Last year 11 students visited Hong Kong and Shenzhen for a study trip, and a similar visit took place in India for School of Art & Design students.
Director, International Jo Gittens, recognises the importance of having a strong presence in Hong Kong.
She says: “Hong Kong is an important strategic market for us – in particular for Trans-National Education (TNE) programmes. The Hong Kong Government is aspiring to become a regional centre for TNE so we look forward to supporting them in achieving their objective. We have also had a long standing and successful partnership with SCOPE in Hong Kong and hope to continue to grow this relationship. Looking further into the future, it is important to consider Hong Kong as part of the broader China strategic development.”
And the close links of the University of Wolverhampton and SCOPE are set to grow further, following the launch of an innovative new business and law programme and a BA (Hons) International Business Management.
The University wishes the 2009 graduates and current students the best of luck for the future.
For more information about the University’s International Centre, visit: www.wlv.ac.uk/international