Service-learning as a core academic component in undergraduate programs - a brief introduction to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University model

S.C.F. Chan, Grace Ngai

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic research

242 Citations (Scopus)


Community engagement has been integrated into undergraduate programs to varying degrees in many universities. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, in particular, has made it compulsory for all students to take at least one credit-bearing subject in Service-Learning (SL). Each SL subject is offered with purpose-designed academic teaching, rigorous service and structured assessment components. At full implementation, in each year, more than 2,800 students enrolled in 4-year full time undergraduate programs are expected to enrol in around 60 subjects offered by a wide range of departments and faculties across the university. They cover a diverse range of topics, such as digital divide, learning difficulties, engineering design, healthy living environments, orthotics, and eco-tourism, to name a few examples. The target beneficiaries are equally diverse: students serve slum dwellers, disabled people, children with HIV, villagers without water nor electricity, new immigrants, mentally ill patients, ethnic minorities, and so on.To date, they have served in Hong Kong, Chinese Mainland, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Rwanda. This paper reports on the pedagogical design of the program, challenges and strategies for implementation, and the experiences so far, with around 2,000 students enrolled in 2013-14.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 1st International Conference on Service-Learning, Nov 20-21, 2014, Hong Kong
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event1st International Conference on Service-Learning [ICSL] - , Hong Kong
Duration: 20 Nov 201421 Nov 2014


Conference1st International Conference on Service-Learning [ICSL]
Country/TerritoryHong Kong


  • Service learning
  • Academic requirement


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