Applied Psychology graduate Kelvin Ching hopes to contribute to the community and inspire the next generation
Programme pursued at Lingnan University: Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) 2016
Further studies: MA in Philosophy, University College London
Thanks to Lingnan, I was able to gain an understanding of the importance of liberal arts and a dedication to the community.Kelvin Ching
It is undeniable that Kelvin Ching, graduate of Applied Psychology and now a master’s degree student at University College London, is an outstanding Linganian. In 2016 alone, he was the awardee of The Most Distinguished Student of the University Award, Excellent Social Sciences Student Award and Mr Wong Sai Ping Memorial Scholarships. He was also on the Dean’s List from 2014 to 2016 and was offered a one-year study placement at the University of Leeds as the "President's Scholar" in addition to receiving other awards and scholarships granted over the years.
The Leeds experience
At the University of Leeds, Kelvin realised that a high level of self-directed learning and self-discipline was expected of students. "I had a taste of the global academic culture and, at the same time, rediscovered the distinctive qualities of liberal arts education," added Kelvin as he reminisced appreciatively on the Leeds experience. The exchange, as Ching puts it, also makes him a better Lingnan "endorser" and supporter of his alma mater. "My exchange experience inspired me to rethink the role of Lingnan in society and its relationship with it. This motivated me to reach out to various stakeholders in Hong Kong for Lingnan for the purpose of showcasing how the liberal arts university in Hong Kong contributes to the community and understanding their expectations on Lingnan," he says.
As a result of his studies in Lingnan and Leeds, Kelvin has become a global citizen who is interested in developing a career in education. "I think our generation is more connected to the world than we could imagine, so it is both important and inevitable to be a competent global citizen," he says. "Many of my activities overseas are related to social welfare, urban-planning, education, legal and political systems in the UK and various European countries with different sociocultural values (Germany, Finland, Sweden, France, and the Czech Republic and more). As such, I developed a career interest in education - mainly educational psychology - and public administration."
Taking the lead
In 2013, Kelvin established a community-based research project in India under the guidance of Dr Carol Ma, the former Associate Director of the Office of Service-Learning and Dr Rajesh Tandon, one of the Chairpersons of the UNESCO. Through visiting universities in India which place heavy emphasis on Service-Learning and community engagement, Kelvin and his mentees shared Lingnan's experience of applying Service-Learning to enhance teaching-and-learning quality and tackle social issues, and also researched into similar experiences of the host universities.
The project turned out to be very rewarding. "We succeeded in establishing a very stable connection with Participatory Research in Asia and the UNESCO, and connected with people from six local universities. The academic research quality is also high, so much so that we are about to publish our findings in an international service-learning journal," says Ching.
Combining the East and the West
Currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy at the University College London, Ching has not forgotten what he learned from Lingnan nor life in Hong Kong and incorporates this schooling and cultural grounding into his thesis. "Thanks to Lingnan, I was able to experience quality liberal arts education and develop a sense of dedication to the community from it. Now, I am planning to integrate my understanding of the thoughts, values and behaviour of Hong Kong people into my master’s dissertation," he says. "I think the simplest thing we can do as members of Hong Kong society is to appreciate the unique features of our culture and promote them to others. These features may include heritage, language, lifestyle and more."