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HKBU CIE organises the First Global Youth Forum to exchange the “Voice of the Future-Gen Z”

03 Dec, 2018

A changing global environment brings many novel challenges to all walks of life, creating issues that are common across geographical boundaries such as the lack of social welfare, job instability, environmental issues etc. which threaten to impact human welfare. At the same time, the world offers an abundance of opportunity for people to innovate, invent and solve these emerging challenges. With an aim to provide our youth with a platform to explore their differences, share their similarities, and through diverse cultural differences to find common understanding, the College of International Education (CIE), Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) organised the first Global Youth Forum on 20 November.   

The Forum collectively brought together around 100 overseas educators and students from across the globe, to engage in stimulating discussions with local educators and students on the topic of “Voice of the Future – Gen Z”. The College was very honoured to have invited Dr. Choi Yuk-lin, JP, Under Secretary for Education, HKSAR and Prof. Clayton MacKenzie, Provost of HKBU to be the officiating guests.  

At the Opening Ceremony, Prof. Ronald Chung, Dean of the School of Continuing Education (SCE), HKBU welcomed the students from 12 countries who came all the way from Europe, America and Asia to join the week long events. “We are honoured to host the Global Youth Forum as it allows students to meet people from different culture and social-economic backgrounds, and develop a greater understanding of diversity in the new generation. I hope our overseas guests will make the most of your stay in Hong Kong, and take home with you warm memories of your visit.” Prof. Chung said.

Addressing the Ceremony, Dr. Choi Yuk-lin, JP, Under Secretary for Education, HKSAR said: “Education nowadays is not confined to classroom learning or study within one’s home country.  To lead our young talents to an era of globalisation and an increasingly interdependent world, it is important to enhance their understanding about different cultures and develop their global perspective. As educators, we need to sharpen the competitive edge of our youth to prepare them for the challenges brought by the vast global movement.”

Delivering the keynote speech, Prof. Clayton MacKenzie, Provost of HKBU shared plenty of examples on how the younger generation continue to drive significant change across the world with great inventions and innovative solutions. He highlighted to a youthful audience the importance of being a global citizen. “Our world has become so complicated that no one person in one place can solve the big problems. The world needs multinational, multi-disciplinary teams of people to solve its enormous challenges. Diversity is the key, all the wonderful achievements in great civilisations of humanity were not achievements built by themselves, but by a mingling of other cultures, peoples and ideas.”

CIE Student Ambassadors Saima (Year 1, Psychology) and Weems Wong Wan Chi (Year 2, Psychology), also the Student Masters-of-Ceremony of the Forum, celebrated the event as a "distinctive opportunity to meet and interact with fellow students from around the globe". The Forum allowed them to share ideas about their diverse cultures, who gave them "common ground to hold discussion, and build up their confidence to converse with foreigners".

The Global Youth Forum is a signature event of the International Friendship Week 2018, which was co-ordinated by ELCHK Lutheran Secondary School and sponsored by HKBU Century Club. Other exchange activities throughout the week include sharing session and campus visit at CIE, Cantonese Opera Performance and Chinese Face Painting Workshop.