On 14 June 2022, Prof. Lau Chong-fuk (Professor, Department of Philosophy, Chinese University of Hong Kong) delivered a talk titled “The Philosophy of College Education.” The talk begins with an introduction of CUHK (established in 1963) and the college system. Founded in 1986, Shaw college is the fourth college of the growing CUHK, thanks to generous support by Sir Run Run Shaw. Unlike Chung Chi College which has a missionary background, Shaw College emphasizes the importance of “whole person education.” It aims to nurture students who possess “excellence with a soul” and “leadership with a heart.” In this sense, Shaw College shares the same cultural mission of New Asia College, which was established in 1949 by Chinese diaspora scholars. In fact, the motto of Shaw College is from Book VII of The Analects: “It is these things that cause me concern: failure to cultivate virtue; failure to go more deeply into what I have learned; inability, when I am told what is right, to go over to where it is; and inability to reform myself when I have defects.” Prof. Lau, who taught General Education courses for the college and is one of the wardens of the student hostels, emphasizes the importance of informal education outside the lecture halls. If university is an institute for research and education, college could be understood as a platform for personal development and social contributions. The spirit of college education, in short, is about freedom and democracy. Komaba campus used to have autonomous student dormitories, but unfortunately they were all abolished in 2001. While EAA is looking for opportunities to develop itself as a residential college, at this moment we can only envy the successful experience of Shaw College.
Report by CHEUNG Ching-yuen (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)