The University's philosophy and mission are to develop all-rounded students with a solid disciplinary understanding and whole-person development. The Programme/ Department-level advisory system is essential in supporting students' academic development, which has also become part of the whole student support and pastoral care system. Academic Advisors not only give advice to students relating to their studies but can also provide information on other whole-person development opportunities to the students.
Academic Advisory System
The Senate Committee on Teaching and Learning (SCTL) at its Fourth Meeting (2010-11) endorsed the proposal "A Review of the Advisory System for Students". A Working Group on Academic Advising comprising the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), University Dean of Students and other relevant parties was formed to work out an implementation plan of the Academic Advisory System. The proposal on the implementation of a streamlined advisory system was approved by the Administrative and Planning Committee and the Senate in late 2011. A soft launch of the enhanced advisory system was rolled out in Term 2, 2011-12, followed by a full-fledged implementation from 2012-13.
To ensure a smooth implementation of the Academic Advisory System at various levels of the University, briefing sessions / workshops are organized by the Office of Student Affairs for Academic Advisors. As a means to monitor the progress of the implementation of the Academic Advisory System for reporting back to SCTL, annual sharing sessions with the Chairmen and representatives from each Faculty Committee on Academic Advising are organized for reporting and sharing of experience in the past academic year. Details of the implementation of academic advising at different levels of the University are available at:
Some frequently asked questions
- Every student (both undergraduate and postgraduate) is assigned an Academic Advisor (Level I Academic Advisor).
- Students with academic problems or on academic probation/ extended probation/ with GPA below a certain threshold are assigned designated Academic Advisors (Level II Academic Advisor). Faculties have the flexibility in determining the minimum GPA threshold with the range of 1.5 and 2.0.
- Departments/ Divisions/ Programmes nominate Level I and Level II Academic Advisors and submit the list of nominations to the Associate/ Assistant Deans concerned.
- A Faculty Committee on Academic Advising is set up in each Faculty and chaired by the Associate/ Assistant Deans concerned to help monitor the implementation of the Advisory System within each Faculty.
- Every full-time postgraduate student is assigned a Level I Academic Advisor, who can be the thesis supervisor in the case of research postgraduate (RPg) students, and the Programme Director in the case of taught postgraduate (TPg) students. For each Division, a Level II Academic Advisor should be appointed by the Division Head to handle problem cases.
- To meet with students at least once a year to provide general advice on issues such as course selection, guided study and adaptation to University learning mode.
- To become a resource person in his/ her Department/ Programme/ Division and provide information on whole-person development opportunities to students or refer students to suitable units, if necessary.
- To meet with academically marginal students with GPA below a certain threshold at least more than once during a particular year, so as to provide additional academic support to the students concerned and hopefully to help avert potential academic problems.
- To meet with students with academic problems (especially those placed on academic probation or extended probation) more regularly to provide advice and guidance.
- To endorse students on probation or extended probation for enrolment into appropriate courses in the next term.
- To refer problem cases to appropriate units for suitable assistance, e.g. College, counselling service and health service. If necessary, the case should be referred to the Associate/ Assistant Dean concerned.
- When improvement is seen in the student's studies, to decide whether the student case be transferred to a Level I Academic Advisor.
- To give advice on students' application for suspension of studies, if necessary.
Associate/ Assistant Deans:
- To give advice to Academic Advisors for the effective implementation of academic advising in the Faculty.
- To play the role of case manager for students who present very serious problems, and to coordinate all appropriate efforts within the University in helping students.
- To chair the Faculty-based Committee on Academic Advising which meets at least twice in each academic year, and to monitor the implementation of academic advising, including recommendations on student waiver cases before they are put to the respective Faculty Board for consideration.
- To assist in monitoring the implementation of academic advising at the Department/ Programme/ Division level.
- To remind Departments/ Programmes/ Divisions to assign Academic Advisors for their students and input the records in the Academic Advisement System under CUSIS.
- To coordinate with Departments/ Programmes/ Divisions in disseminating information for Academic Advisors, e.g. details of sharing/ training sessions, handbook for Academic Advisors, etc.
- To serve as the Secretary of the Faculty Committee on Academic Advising.
- Counselling/ sharing sessions are organized by the Office of Student Affairs (OSA), and all Level II Academic Advisors, especially new recruits, are strongly encouraged to attend.
- In-house training in occasions such as faculty retreats can be arranged by OSA upon request.
- General information in academic/ personal counselling is disseminated by OSA via pamphlet/ booklet for Level I Academic Advisors.
- Information given by OSA to Academic Advisors includes other whole-person development opportunities to students, including:
- student activities
- non-local students' support
- career consultation and internship facilitation
- student finance matters
- student exchange matters
The implementation of the Academic Advisory System is intended to give advice and provide assistance to students, and more importantly, enhance students' self-awareness and initiate their self-assistance. Students should make full use of the Academic Advisory System for enhancement of their whole-person development by attending the meetings with Academic Advisors.