Introduction

Conference Theme:  Service-Learning as a Bridge from Local to Global: Connected World, Connected Future

With globalization, the world gets more and more connected. Barriers to movement are being decomposed and local demographics are dramatically changing. The connected world calls for all parties to collaborate and work together for a connected future. The need for bilingual and culturally sensitive professionals and service providers urges the universities to prepare graduates with the ability to act in the world and for the world. For example, Lingnan University emphasizes a whole-person approach to education, which enables students to think, judge, care and act responsibly in a continually changing Hong Kong and wider world.

Apart from the development of well-prepared global citizens, it is also very important to explore the wise use of knowledge for the improvement of the world. The specialization and isolation of knowledge into different disciplines and departments have allowed limited dialogue between faculties. However, social problems may need to be addressed through an interdisciplinary approach. We need a platform to connect knowledge from different academic disciplines and different social sectors, to learn from each others’ best practices and to apply knowledge in different settings to achieve a better world.

Service-Learning is to prepare students with the knowledge, skills, and sense of responsibility they need to succeed in the future world. As defined by the Office of Service-Learning, Service-Learning fosters students’ social competence, communication skills, problem-solving skills, subject-related knowledge, research skills, and civic orientation.