Career Advice Job Market Trend Report

Colleges put faith in teaching talent

To set up an independent Catholic private university, Caritas Institute of Higher Education (CIHE) began offering graduate degrees last year. To affirm its status, it also changed its name from one honouring the first Chinese bishop, Francis Hsu.

Last year, CIHE launched streams in accountancy, corporate management and information systems - all under the bachelor's in business administration category. It will also be offering event, hotel and tourism management and marketing.

"We are hiring as we are expanding with new degree offerings and due to the new academic system. In the next three years, there will be more students graduating and wanting to enter post-secondary education," says Professor Reggie Kwan, president of CIHE and its sister college, the Caritas Bianchi College of Careers (CBCC), which offers higher diplomas and associate degrees.

The two institutions consolidated administratively in 2007 under one president, but have separate deans. The two schools are spread over three campuses - in Tiu Keng Leng, in Kowloon Tong and on Caine Road - and accommodate about 3,000 students.

CIHE will likely need 10 to 30 lecturers, depending on the rate of applications, says Dr Dennis Law, CIHE's dean.

"Recruitment aims at doctoral degree holders who also have practical work experience, as well as considerable teaching experience."

Meanwhile, Dr Philips Wang, acting dean of CBCC, says they are hiring about 10 lecturers because they are expecting more students and will be introducing two sub-degree programmes - pharmaceutical dispensing and property management. 

"We need professionally qualified pharmacists with teaching experience. We hope to get [property management] applicants with hands-on as well as teaching experience. They should have a master's degree."

The right fit would be someone who loves teaching, cares for students, is patient and is willing to spend a high proportion of time teaching. Applicants should also be able to manage change well.

"They should be flexible, because we are changing a lot," says Law, referring to their long-term plans.

Adds Kwan: "Religion is not a requirement - we just want to make sure there is no conflict. We don't ask about religion during the interview. We search for the truth, emphasise learning, and moral, spiritual and ethical well-being. We try to bring that out in the curriculum, and hopefully our graduates will be very sensitive to these ideals." 

New hires will join a diverse group from Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, China and New Zealand.

Both colleges encourage staff to go to conferences, and get a doctorate with HK$20,000 a year towards the fees. They also provide workshops on outcome-based teaching, classroom behaviour and electronic teaching.

Hiring has begun, with teaching staff to join between now and August.