Vice President Presents at Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education Conference
Professor Ka Ho Mok, Vice President and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, was invited to present a keynote speech entitled"Repurposing University Education: The Role of Liberal Arts Education in Asia" at the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education Conference 2023. The conference was held at York University in Toronto, Canada. His talk was also part of the York University Faculty of Education Dean's Office Public Lecture Series. Professor Mok presented his speech on 27 May 2023, critically examining how higher education development has been adversely affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. More specifically, Professor Mok highlighted major challenges facing liberal arts education, especially when higher education institutions are increasingly driven by economically-oriented purposes through measuring graduate employment and graduates' salaries as key performance indicators. He also emphasized that the call for developing more STEM-dominated courses has undervalued arts and humanities. Critically reflecting on the purposes of higher education, Professor Mok shared how some major liberal arts universities in Asia have made serious efforts in offering alternative learning through liberal arts education and whole-person development.
Professor Mok's lecture was delivered in a hybrid mode, accommodating both onsite and online participants. Professor Ruth Hayhoe, Former President of the Education University of Hong Kong, and Professor Noah M. Pickus from Duke University acted as discussants of the speech presented by Professor Mok. The lecture received positive feedback from the audience during the question and discussion session. After presenting the keynote speech, Professor Mok was invited to join the"Reimagining China Studies in North America: Current Conditions & Prospects Roundtable" as a discussant. The roundtable was well attended, with speakers including Joan Judge, Professor of History at York University; Yingyi Ma, Professor of Sociology and Director of Asian / Asian American Studies at Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs; Jeremy Paltiel, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Carleton University and Michael Szanyi, Frank Wen-hsiung Wu Professor of Chinese History, Former Director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University.