When Prof Lower set the learning objectives, he was aware of the need to internationalize the curriculum to cater to deliver the highly internationalized subject matter because Hong Kong law is originated from the English law. The teacher also displayed a high level of awareness on students’ need to be internationalized both academically and practically; and set objectives that could heighten student’s intercultural awareness. The law students were also aware of the need to be highly internationalized because most students preferred to work in renowned international law firms upon graduation. In an advanced course LAWS 4483, one of the course objectives aims to allow students to gain experience of working collaboratively. This is one of the major generic skills required in working in an internationalized workplace. This learning objective is realized by adopting a student-centred teaching which allows students to participate actively in group discussions. This will be discussed in detail in pedagogy and students activities.
Prof Lower made use of a plethora of international cases on teaching land law and property law when he designed the course materials. Since Hong Kong law is inherently English law, a lot of English cases were drawn upon. However, on specific topic such as the ownership of family home, case studies from England, Scotland, New Zealand etc. were used to show how family assets were settled in different countries. A carefully considered and well balanced glocal curriculum design is evident. A large proportion of international examples were used in designing the course materials while a small proportion of mainland examples were used to allow the students to know more about how law is practised in not only in Hong Kong but also in other countries with diverse cultures.
Prof Lower believes that by creating classroom communities of inquiry, it would allow students to engage actively with knowledge, in the process developing themselves as critical, creative and caring thinkers. This learning process prepares students to take their place in professional life and in society. The communities of inquiry approach also allow students to learn through collaborative discourse during which students build on pre-existing knowledge and shared perspectives to create new knowledge. This highly student-centred approach opens a space for students to think and communicate with other students who have a different cultural perspective or outlook of life. One of the benefits of using this pedagogical approach, according to Prof Lower, is that students can learn to be more understanding and respectful to diverse or even conflicting perspectives and eventually become more internationalized in their way of thinking.
Students in LAWS3152 were encouraged to engage in active and respectful dialogue by committing themselves in tutorials during which students worked in small groups and were guided by the course convenors to express their own understanding and ideas about the topics being studied. This student activity is in line with Prof Lower’s teaching philosophy and principal pedagogy of creating a community of inquiry. Through discussions, students learnt to respect different views from students who may or may not share the same cultural background. This practice was also adopted in another course taught by Prof Lower, LAWS 4483, Issues in Property Law. Students in this course would work in small, collaborative groups; by undergoing vigour discussions, students would develop collaborative skills and digital literacies that will prove useful in their later professional lives.
Mooting is a part of the law faculty’s curriculum in which students improve their advocacy skills and confidence in court-like settings. The Faculty of Law in CUHK support students to participate in local, regional and international competitions annually. By participating in these international competitions, students gain mooting skills which allow students to improve their legal research, legal reasoning, advocacy, communication and case analysis skills. Students can also improve their ability to think quickly on their feet and enhance self-confidence which is essential as a lawyer in court in real life. The Faulty of Law encourages students to participate in the world’s largest and most prestigious mooting competitions including Annual Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, The Annual Willem C. Vis/Vis (EAST) International Commercial Arbitration Moot, Annual Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Moot, and Joint University Mooting Competition, which is a local competition organized by the Advocacy and Mooting Society of the Student Union of the University of Hong Kong.
The Faculty of Law offers eligible students opportunities to study abroad in key institutions in the USA, Canada, South America, Europe, South Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand to learn new languages, making new friends, and broadening horizons. Current partnered universities include The University of Sheffield, Peking University, Tsinghua University, East China University of Political Science and Law, and National Taiwan University, Maastricht University, The University of Auckland, Bocconi University, and York University (Toronto, Canada) for undergraduate students. The Faculty of Law positively encourages its students
Study Abroad Programmes
Each LLB student is provided with a bursary of HK$10,000 by The Sir TL Yang Society. The financial support is to cover part of the cost for participating in the Summer Study Abroad Programme (SSAP). By participating in this programme, students are encouraged to learn not only about the law and legal systems of Hong Kong, but also given the opportunity to experience a broad and diverse legal education and are exposed to different cultures and legal systems. Cultural events and trips are organized by the host institutions alongside with lectures, seminars and tutorials.
A myriad of guest lectures, seminars and conferences are held to encourage professional development and enhance students’ understanding on global issues and updated legal practices. One of the events like ‘Brexit for the Airline Industry: Legal and Policy Consequences’ will introduce to attendees the consequences of Brexit which have profound consequences across all sectors of the UK’s economy. Events as such will allow CUHK law students to learn not only about local events but also trending issues around the world.