It is well-known that education in Hong Kong is tough and stressful.
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology(HKUST), which ranks the first in Asia(QS 2014), has a nickname of Hong Kong University of Stress and Tension/Tragedy. If you have no idea about that, check the news here: goo.gl/dVugW8
(HKUST, by Alan Levine, cogdog@Flickr, under license of creative commons)
So, let’s take a look of how are the students doing in lectures in HKUST. (I’m sorry for my poor resolution of my phone….)
The pictures are taken in a 9am life science core course in LT D. I arrived at the lecture room at 8:45am, and it’s not full but people are sitting quite far away from others. Some of the students are reading the lecture material.
Okay…Lecture starts! Most of the students were using laptops in the lecture and doing their own work (not the work from the attending course). The professor is from Canada and he was trying to make the lecture lively by doing different posture. I tried to get a front view of the students but unfortunately in the middle of the class but failed. By the time the lecture finished, I thought I could run to the front and quickly take a picture of the students, however, most of the students left early or “on time”. Their action is very fast, they packed their belongings 10 minutes before the lecture end and once the professor asked “any question?”, they left the lecture room immediately. I asked my friend for the reason of that, he explained that this is a class that takes attendance at 9 am, so after taking the attendance people starts to leave. Oooops.
Let’s take a look of another course! This is a course only for business student at 6pm in Room 1001, LSK Building. I arrived at 5:45pm and obviously too early for the lecture. The TA is setting up the PowerPoints and make sure everything is alright.
When the lesson is about to start, a few students bought food with them to the lecture and enjoyed their dinner during lesson. This did not cause any disturbance to the professor on giving a very informative lecture. Students in this class are totally different from the previous one, they take notes by hand writing and stay behind after lesson for discussion. Lesson supposed to end at 9 pm but they stayed till 9:20pm.
After 2 classes visit to HKUST yesterday and 3 year study experience here, I reckon the studying atmosphere is quite tense and everyone is competing for a good grade. No one is smiling or have a happy face during lesson. To be fair who care about the 5% attendance and what’s the point of waking up early and sleeping in lecture? The student said, “5% is very crucial in this University, you can never get 100% in exams or assignment so you have to be good in other area to get a good grade.”