Transdisciplinary Experiential Learning Fund

Funded Projects 2023

Project Title
Project coordinator
Meaning of Life in the face of DeathMr Fung Pui Him Anthony
Student in Bachelor of Business Administration
24 Frames: A Student Short Film ShowMr Nikolas Ettel
Faculty of Architecture
Heartline HK Summer Mental Health FairMiss Wong Ho Sum Dipsy
Student in Bachelor of Social Sciences
International Yoga DayMiss Wang Yaxuan Crystal
Student in Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education
Human Monkeys: Unethical Research in ManchuriaDr Zohar Lederman
Department of Emergency Medicine
A One Health System Approach to Public Health, Environment, and sustainable aquaculture production in Hong KongDr Ginger Wai Kuen Ko
Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology
Rhythms of the inter-islandDr Otto Heim
School of English
Americaville; Hong Kong film premiere and film workshopMr Nikolas Ettel
Faculty of Architecture
Dumaguete Service TripMiss Anne Beatrice Ng
Student in Bachelor of Arts
Museum Visit: Explore the museum collection by creating sketches, gestures, poems
Prof Rainbow T. H. Ho
Department of Social Work and Social Administration
Infinite Frames: Students’ Short Film Festival Mr Nikolas Ettel
Faculty of Architecture
Building Bridges of Education: Hong Kong & Myanmar Migrant School ProjectMr Wong Tik, Dicky
Student in Bachelor of Science in Surveying

Meaning of Life in the face of Death (15 Jul 2023)
UG Student-initiated Project
Mr Fung Pui Him Anthony, Bachelor of Business Administration

A cemetery tour and an outdoor art workshop were organized in the Hong Kong (Happy Valley) Cemetery. A cemetery docent was invited to co-lead the tour by sharing the history, religions, and stories behind the cemetery and the deceased people with the participants.

The tour comprised a cemetery walk-through, followed by an expressive art workshop that allows participants to reflect on life-death issues and in search of the meaning of life. The tour lasted around 3.5 hours.

The project objectives were to educate our participants about the history and culture of the Hong Kong Cemetery and reflect on the death-related taboos, as well as encourage our participants to reflect on the meaning of life and live in the moment, knowing that life has an end.

24 Frames: A Student Short Film Show (23 May 2023)
Teacher-initiated Project
Mr Nikolas Ettel, Faculty of Architecture

HKU’s Common Core in cooperation with the CIC Initiative, The Faculty of Architecture, and the Austrian Consulate presented a selection of 24 short films produced by students from the University of Hong Kong, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, and the Technical University of Vienna from a variety of film-based courses on urban issues. A public discussion with invited professional film-makers, scholars and students followed the screening to entertain and share with the audience the fruitful potentials of film-making in Higher Education and beyond. Students benefited from the exposure of international produced students’ short films, and got the opportunity to explore film-making as an interdisciplinary engagement by bridging their own film experiments with colleagues from Vienna. Ultimately, this evening was meant to be the starting point for a continuous sharing engagement, and potential exchange opportunities for film-interested students to Vienna and vice versa.

Heartline HK Summer Mental Health Fair (26-27 Aug 2023)
UG Student-initiated Project
Miss Wong Ho Sum Dipsy, Bachelor of Social Sciences

The fair addressed the issue of stigmatization of mental health disorders and aimed to promote mental health awareness among the general public, which matched the third UN Sustainability Development Goal (SDG) – “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” We hope that the population was able to gain an in-depth understanding of an originally “negative” and “heavy” topic through a series of fun, interactive, and relaxing activities, altering their initial perception towards mental health. We also hope that they discovered new ways and activities to enhance their mental well-being. Finally, we also conveyed the message of how important it is to prioritize mental health, especially when we are living in such a stressful society and often occupied with work and responsibilities.

International Yoga Day (1 Jul 2023)
UG Student-initiated Project
Miss Wang Yaxuan Crystal, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education in Language Education — English

On International Yoga Day, celebrated worldwide to promote the universal benefits of yoga, our Heart and Soul Student Society (affiliated with PGSA) in collaboration with other organizations, aimed to host a free experiential event for HKU students and staff. The event aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being, emphasized the importance of promoting a healthy lifestyle. It aimed to address the pertinent issues of mental well-being and physical health, which are especially critical in light of the stresses engendered by modern living and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Human Monkeys: Unethical Research in Manchuria (10-12 Aug 2023)
Teacher-initiated Project
Dr Zohar Lederman, Department of Emergency Medicine

As part of a 3-credit Common Core (CCCH6001), future student participants partook in an experiential trip to Harbin in order to gain a deeper, and more insightful, understanding of Unit 731. Unit 731 was a biological warfare research and development unit spearheaded by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. Chinese (public citizens and prisoners of war) were subject to highly unethical human experiments and in many instances, resulted in death. It was understood the United States helped to bury the extent of the crimes committed in exchange for invaluable research data that has contributed significantly to modern scientific and medical progress since then.

A One Health System Approach to Public Health, Environment, and sustainable aquaculture production in Hong Kong (8-12 Jan 2024)
Teacher-initiated Project
Dr Ginger Wai Kuen Ko, Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology

To provide our HKU students with a close up learning experience in this global concept, this course incorporated One Health principles into the oyster farming industry in Hong Kong. Deepbay is home to a 700-year-old traditional oyster farming industry that is recognised as Hong Kong’s intangible cultural heritage. Additionally, the wetland next to the oyster farming areas attracts over 37,000 birds annually, and it has been identified as a priority area by regional governments for conservation and protection efforts.

Rhythms of the inter-island (1 Sep – 31 Oct 2023)
Teacher-initiated Project
Dr Otto Heim, School of English

This project invited students to engage with and contribute to the Inter-Island Festival 2023, which was held in Peng Chau, Mui Wo, Chi Ma Wan, and Cheung Chau throughout November 2023. Students were invited to participate in one of four featured projects, entitled “Rhythms of the Inter-Island”, which was designed to draw attention to, and made accessible to auditory experience, enjoyment, and reflection, overlooked qualities and dimensions of the relationalities that characterize and distinguish life on the islands. This project, involving contributions by Celestial 天上, The Gong Strikes One, and Lingling Lee, created and used music composed and performed in dialog with sounds and voices heard and overheard near the sea to explore and appreciate the vibrancy, fragility, and resilience of the inter-island environment that sustains the culture and identity of islanders. The experiential learning project initiated and guided students in collecting and recording sounds in relevant locations, analysing them in terms of audible and musical properties of ecological and cultural habitats and environment, and arranging or reworking recorded sounds in a format or installation that can be incorporated in the soundscape of the Inter-Island Festival.

Americaville; Hong Kong film premiere and film workshop (20-21 Oct 2023)
Teacher-initiated Project
Mr Nikolas Ettel, Faculty of Architecture

Americaville was a new collaboration project between award-winning filmmakers who shared their experience with film-interested students in order to help them create their own short film ideas and to provide deeper insights to the magic of documentary filmmaking. 

This followed the huge success of 24 Frames; A Students’ Short Film Film Show at Tai Kwun in May 2023 in which our team brought together over a hundred film-enthusiasts discussing films from three international universities. 

Dumaguete Service Trip (2-10 Mar 2024)
UG Student-initiated Project
Miss Anne Beatrice Ng, Bachelor of Arts

The Dumaguete Service Trip was a collaborative project with International Care Ministries (ICM), a non-profit organization based in the Philippines. The project focused on poverty alleviation and community development in rural areas, aiming to provide practical assistance and spiritual support to those living in ultra poverty, which is defined as less than USD $0.50 per day per person. The main objective of the project was to build rural toilets, locally known as Comfort Rooms (CRs), in order to improve sanitation practices in these communities. The project spanned five days, with each day dedicated to specific tasks such as digging a hole, building the septic tank cover, constructing the walls and toilet bowl, painting the walls, and completing the installation of the vent pipe. In addition to building CRs, the project also includes making tippy-taps (improvised faucets) and container gardens from upcycled materials to promote handwashing, village self-sufficiency, and environmental sustainability. The activities were designed to be experiential, allowing participants to actively participate and gain hands-on experience.


Museum Visit: Explore the museum collection by creating sketches, gestures, poems (16 & 23 Mar 2024)
Teacher-initiated Project
Prof Rainbow T. H. Ho, Department of Social Work and Social Administration

In line with our course CCHU9044’s objectives, we wished this project could facilitate students to develop holistic understanding on arts appreciation to understand the world, others, and self. It also provided a chance to educate, inform and raise awareness among students through arts.

M+ collaborated with us this year to deliver 4 guided tours (30 students per tour) by in-house curators. Ms. Gigi Leung, curator from M+ Learning and Engagement, had first delivered a guest lecture on art curation in Hong Kong on 21st Feb 2024 for our students. All students who are currently taking CCHU9044 were invited to join the tour at M+ on 16th/23rd Mar 2024, to facilitate their learning progress within the classroom through experiential learning at M+. An overview of M+ and current exhibition has been introduced to students during the guided tour.

Infinite Frames: Students’ Short Film Festival (17 May 2024)
Teacher-initiated Project
Mr Nikolas Ettel, Faculty of Architecture

This interdisciplinary project titled ‘Infinite Frames: Students’ Short Film Festival’ with this year’s topic of “Unleash Infinite Possibilities” was scheduled for May 2024. The event aimed to promote dialogue, networking, and collaboration among talented students from The University of Hong Kong, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, and the Vienna University of Technology. The project was designed to address the United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goal (SDG) of Quality Education (Goal 4) by fostering creativity and innovation in the field of film-making using Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI).

This event can be seen as the successful development of last year’s 24 Frames; A Student Short Film Festival in which a selection of CiC-badged Common Core Course film outcomes has been shown. Hence, this year, to diversify and allow the audience better insights to the institution’s diverse teaching outcomes, Infinite Frames showcased a broader spectrum of motion pictures. Participants in this project engaged in experiential learning activities, including the production of short films that demonstrate the integration of human imagination with GenAI technology. The target audience for this project included students and educators from the participating universities, as well as the general public who will attend the festival. The activities during the festival provided hands-on experience for students, allowing them to explore the creative possibilities that arise from combining GenAI with traditional film-making techniques. These activities addressed the need for innovative approaches to storytelling, visual arts, and technology in an increasingly interconnected world.

Building Bridges of Education: Hong Kong & Myanmar Migrant School Project (23-29 May 2024)
UG Student-initiated Project
Mr Wong Tik, Dicky, Bachelor of Science in Surveying

A major current pain point in the migrant schools of Mae Sot is the lack of resources to address the challenges posed by the region’s high temperatures. Mae Sot, being located near the equator, experiences hot weather conditions, with an average annual high temperature of 30.7ºC. Unfortunately, migrant schools struggle to acquire essential resources such as fans, curtains, and proper lighting for their classrooms and dormitories due to limited financial means. This situation further hampers the learning and living environment, making it difficult for students to focus and engage in their studies.