December 2021

Dear Alumni,

Updates to Alumni from the College Management

Wish you all have joyfully relaxed yourself in a well-earned Christmas and New Year holiday!  Enjoy a real break and celebrate the festive season with your family and friends.  As 2021 is drawing to a close, it is a pleasure for us to share with you some updates on College operation.  

Teaching and Learning

It is a blessing that there has been less operational challenges with face-to-face teaching resumed and smoothly delivered in the past few months.  Thanks for the on-going support and efforts of staff and students, the College management has been able to maintain a safe campus for in-person teaching and activity.  With the completion of the first semester, it’s time for review of teaching and learning for areas in need of improvement. The Student Staff Consultative Meeting was conducted for each learning programme and all students were invited to complete the Teaching Evaluation Questionnaire for courses run in the 1st semester.  

Student Development

It is encouraging to us that the College assemblies in the first semester recorded good turnout with positive feedback.  Efforts have been made to ensure students’ engagement, hoping that they could take the opportunity to widen their horizons from the sharing and enlightenment of the speakers.  

The government-funded project, “A Multi-dimensional Approach to Narrow the Learning Gaps among Students”, has been running for a year and a half.  Professionals of the project team have designed more tailor-made workshops for the 2nd semester for enhancement of students’ learning capacity and personal development. 

Programme Development and Re-accreditation

The combined exercise conducted by the Social Workers Registration Board to assess the new Higher Diploma in Social Work Programme and to review the existing Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Programme was smoothly conducted on 25 and 26 November 2021.  Application was also made to add a 3-year part-time conversion mode (Year 3 entry) to the BSW Programme.  Initial recommendation for approval was indicated by the Panel, subject to the final result to be reported at a later stage. 

Re-accreditation of two higher diploma (HD) programmes, i.e. HD in Transformative Business Management, and HD in Psychology and Counselling, was also smoothly conducted, via zoom meeting, by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications on 8 to 10 December 2021.  The interim report indicates that both programmes can continue to be offered with a validity period of three year.

National Security

Subsequent to enactment of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“NSL”), the Education Bureau has been communicating with the higher education sector on the legal obligations stipulated under the NSL.  Like all other local post-secondary institutions, GCC is expected to suitably strengthen our mechanisms and operation with a view to effectively preventing on-campus acts that may contravene the NSL and other laws of Hong Kong.

Graduation Ceremony

Given the absence of new Covid-19 cases for months in the local community and taken into consideration of other public events held lately, the College management finds that it would be an opportune time to plan for the Graduation Ceremony of the College, which will be the first one since the College’s establishment.  The Ceremony is tentatively scheduled for 11 March 2022 (Friday) at evening time.  The venue is Southorn Stadium in Wanchai.  Further details will be announced in due course.

Alumni Website

With input and feedback collected to touch up the design layout and features included in the alumni website, the structure is basically in place.  It will be the central platform for providing alumni information, operating service and support work for alumni.  Further efforts are being made to co-ordinate and prepare with relevant parties involved to fill in the details for formal operation. 

Finally, we would like to convey our best wishes to you all.  Hope you will all feel refreshed and energized after the holiday season.

Best wishes to you all,
College Management

September 2021

Dear Alumni,
Updates to Alumni from the College Management
Warmest greetings to our first issue of Updates from the College Management of 2021/22!  After the prolonged suspension of normal campus life, students of Gratia were finally back to school and could meet everyone face-to-face (with a mask though) on campus.  Let us take this opportunity to update you on alumni matters and walk you through the latest situation of College operation.
Support and Services to Alumni
Progress has been made in developing the platform for operating service and support work for alumni as mentioned in the last issue.  With efforts made to do the groundwork in the past few months, preliminary design of the alumni website is ready.  Further work is in progress to co-ordinate and prepare with relevant parties involved before rolling out for use.  Keep checking out the update from the College.
Graduate Survey and Graduation Ceremony
With the 3rd cohort of graduates in place, the College will soon roll out the survey to invite graduates of 2021 to update their status and destination.  Graduates of the year are kindly requested to revert the response upon receipt of the invitation.  As for the graduation ceremony, we share your frustration that it has been further postponed under the threat of the pandemic in the last two years.  Although we have in our schedule tentatively planning it for some time in December 2021, the threat of the COVID-19 variants in the local community has aroused considerable safety concerns.  We therefore have to cautiously monitor the situation before we could confirm whether it is feasible to pursue the plan.  We shall update you on the matter as soon as a decision is made.
Teaching and Learning                             
In the past few months, the key priority of the College management was establishing a safe environment for full resumption of on-campus operation in the new academic year.  Health and hygienic measures have been stepped up, an important one of which is implementing the requirement of COVID-19 vaccination or regular testing for the entire College community, including both staff and students.  As for day-to-day learning and activities, students are requested to observe social distancing in classrooms and anywhere of the campus.
Student Support and Activities
This year, we have engaged Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service as the service provider of student counselling and personal development programme.  Counselling service has been strengthened with on-campus consultation of the counsellor increased to three days a week.  With the resumption of on-campus operation, more workshops will be run for skills enhancement and for enrichment of students’ learning experience.  The government-funded project, “A Multi-dimensional Approach to Narrow the Learning Gaps among Students”, will continue this year to run a variety of workshops.  As of last academic year, the project counsellor will be stationed in Gratia, also 3 days a week, to provide support to students.
Programme Development
To meet the needs of the sector for professional development, application was made to add a 3-year part-time conversion mode (Year 3 entry) to the Bachelor of Social Work Programme.  Proposed addition was in principle approved by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications.  Subject to approval of the Social Workers Registration Board, the conversion mode will be offered in September 2022.
Enjoying Campus Life Again
Notwithstanding the need to maintain social distance and the inconvenience brought by the anti-epidemic measures, both staff and students treasure being here altogether and be able to enjoy campus life again.  We also look forward to the opportunity where alumni could meet and catch up with each other at Gratia.  We also hope that it won’t be long when it is feasible for organizing alumni activity on campus.
Best wishes to you all!
College Management