Newsletter No. 114

Wei L un Professor Lectures on School Improvement P rof. Henry Levin, David Jacks Professor of Higher Education and Economics at Stanford University, gave a public lecture entitled 'Accelerated Education for an Accelerating Economy' in his capacity as Wei Lun Visiting Professor to the University on 26th September at the Ho Tim Building. For a rapidly growing economy like Hong Kong, Prof. Levin found that the local education system may not be capable of preparing students adequately for the fast changes in the work environment or sustaining economic growth in the next century. He suggested that Hong Kong should redesign its basic education system which currently attaches too much importance to memory, language proficiency, mathematic skills, and computer knowledge, and too little importance to initiative, cooperation, problem-solving skills, decision-makings learning skills, and multi-cultural skills, which together constitute the 'intangible capital' for accelerating economies. He also pointed out in his lecture that to create schools that could provide the new work skills and cultivate competencies for the changing economy, it was not only the curriculum content that should be transformed, but also the organization of schools and their instructional strategies. Prof. Levin was named one of the nine national leaders for Innovation in Education' by New York Times in 1991, and received the Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Contributions to Education in 1992. He has published 14 books and close to 300 articles on education and economics, and for the last 11 years dedicated himself to the establishment of the Accelerated Schools Project — a national school reform project for accelerating the education of at-risk youngsters in the United States. ARM OF TELEMEDICINE REACHES XINJIANG T elemedicine specialists from the Faculty of Medicine led by Prof. M.N. Hjelm visited the Faculty of Medicine of Shihezi University in Xinjiang and its First Affiliated Hospital last August, and signed a collaboration agreement on the development of telemedicine with the faculty on 1st September. The Faculty of Medicine at Shihezi University was founded in the 1950s. Directly under the Ministry of Agriculture, it is an important facility for training medical professionals in the agricultural areas. It has contributed significantly towards the development of medical and health systems in Xinjiang and nurtured a large team of medical and health experts to serve different races in the province. The First Affiliated Hospital is a provincial hospital with more than 300,000 outpatient attendance and 13,000 admissions per year. Because of Xinjiang's remoteness and vastness, travelling is very time consuming and the development of technology and medical facilities is greatly hindered. The introduction of telemedicine to the area will facilitate the exchange of information between the province and the rest of China and other parts of the world. Patients w i ll be able to receive sophisticated medical assistance immediately, and the standard of medical care in remote areas will improve. Collaboration between the two faculties will focus on telemedicine technology for case diagnosis, training programmes, and conferences for academic exchange, technology instruction, information and data delivery, and assistance to equipment breakdown. Orientation Day for Sixth Formers Visitors to the Programme in Materials Science eagerly watch how the transmission electron microscope is operated Over 16,000 local students visited the CU campus on the Orientation Day for Sixth- Formers held on 4th October. The University's seven faculties as well as their teaching facilities were open to the visitors. Detailed information about some 40 undergraduate programmes was supplied. There were also open-air performances, video shows, exhibitions, and counselling sessions. From 11.00 am to 12.00 noon, special talks to introduce the University to the sixth formers were held at the Sir Run Run Shaw Hall. Speakers included Vice- Chancellor Prof Arthur K.C. Li, Pro- Vice-Chancellor Prof. Kenneth Young, University Registrar Prof. Richard M.W. Ho, and teacher of Chinese language and literature Prof. Lo Wai Luen. The talks were televised live on a video wall in the University mail so that more can share the views and experience of the speakers. The First Centre for Evidence Based Nursingin South East Asia A Centre for Evidence Based Nursing was inaugurated at the Department of Nursing in partnership with the Prince of Wales Hospital on 24th September. The first of its kind in the whole of southeast Asia, the centre serves to promote research activities that wi ll improve the effectiveness of nursing practice and the outcome of health care in Hong Kong. These activities wi ll include systematic reviews of research literature in specific areas of nursing practice, such as pain management, management of continence, prevention of falls, prevention and treatment of mucositis in chemotherapy, and effects of exercise on health and recovery. Based on research findings, guidelines will be compiled to delineate what constitutes best practice in a clinical area. Nurses will thus have access to the most up-to-date information to guide their practice and decision-making about nursing care. The Hong Kong centre is affiliated to the Joanna Briggs Institute of Evidence Based Nursing in Australia, which means local nurses can share and exchange, at the international level, information on the effectiveness of research based practice. All publications processed through the Joanna Briggs Institute w i ll be made available to affiliated centres. Prof. Ann Mackenzie, chairman of the Department of Nursing, points out that nurses in hospital wards and clinics do not have sufficient time or advanced knowledge to review the latest research literature. The collaboration of experienced practising nurses with nurse researchers will thus provide a useful partnership for improvement and change in nursing.