Career Advice Job Market Trend Report

Hunting lessons

New Centennial College is seeking 20 lecturers

Hong Kong has been an important centre of learning in Asia for a long time, offering growing job opportunities for academics.

With a slew of recently-opened post-secondary colleges for self-financed students, the hunt is on for the best lecturers who are well versed in both teaching and research.

Centennial College, a member of the University of Hong Kong Group, opened last September in Pok Fu Lam and expects its student population to reach about 800 this academic year.

The college is recruiting about 20 associate and assistant professors in many disciplines, such as accounting and business to Chinese and English language, media, cultural and religious studies, maths, IT and social sciences. They will teach one or more subjects at undergraduate level.

The college currently offers four-year full-time bachelor of arts (BA) programmes in global studies, China studies, language and communication, integrated business and professional accounting.

“We aim to provide well-balanced liberal education, nurture our students with an inquisitive mind and imbue them with the values of fairness, integrity and social responsibility,” says Professor John Malpas, president of Centennial College.

Applicants should believe in and share the college’s vision. A strong academic background is important, but they also have to be interested and enthusiastic in nurturing students in whole-person development. They should also be skilled in using modern teaching techniques, such as interactive teaching and out-of-class learning experiences. “They should be able to communicate well with students, willing to guide them in their learning and understand their learning difficulties,” Malpas says.

An important aspect of a lecturer’s job is to help students appreciate the connection between knowledge and real-life applications. They should also motivate students, increase their interest in learning and inspire them to aim high, while establishing an approachable yet professional image.

“For academic positions, candidates are expected to have a completed or nearly completed doctoral degree in the relevant discipline. Full-time teaching experience at tertiary level or a teaching qualification will be an advantage. Preference will be given to those with relevant research experience and professional qualifications,” Malpas says.

Applicants must have a high command of oral and written English, the medium of teaching. Those teaching China-related subjects should be able to speak Chinese. Contracts are usually for two years, with an end-of-contract gratuity plus medical and dental benefits.

The college emphasises teaching but also expects the lecturers to keep abreast of developments in their discipline and related fields.

“We place special emphasis on and strongly encourage self-development. We support our staff with conference grants to participate in international academic conferences, forums, symposiums or workshops in their profession or specific field and give subsidy for publication of papers in academic journals,” Malpas says.

The college looks forward to boosting its popularity in the coming years, which will provide much room for development. As it builds its reputation, members of the academic staff will be able to derive much satisfaction from the appreciation of their contributions and increasing opportunities for developing a promising career within the college, Malpas adds.