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Two self-paced online courses – An edge for academic success at HKU

Message from Professor Ian Holliday, Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning)

Dear Freshers:

We hope your first weeks at HKU are both exciting and fruitful!

We know that transitioning to university studies can be daunting!

To help you navigate, and give you an edge to academic success in the university setting, two self-paced, online courses are available to you as part of the Future Readiness Initiative – which aims to help students become future-ready in their HKU studies and beyond. A website for the Future Readiness Initiative is here:


Two courses

Both courses are online and self-paced, with about 20 hours of learning time each, for you to study at your own time and pace.

Course 1: Preparation for University: Essentials for Success, developed by CAES, highlights the differences between studying in secondary school and in the university, and emphasizes the communication and study skills that pave the way to fruitful studies

Course 2: Introduction to Research Methods, developed by FOSS, teaches research skills – but don’t let the word “Research” unnerve you
Almost every conclusion and decision we will make is going to be based on a kind of “research” as our society becomes more data-rich.  This course is designed to be easy and very accessible– so that year 1 and entry level students can learn the skills.  So, it is for you!

Completion of each course earns one out-of-classroom credit.  You can claim these as transcriptable credits in blocks of three.  So if you complete both of these courses, earning just one more out-of-classroom credit would enable you to gain an extra three academic credits on your transcript.

Students are welcome to complete these courses anytime, but we hope you do so sooner rather than later! So, we have made it easy for you–  year 1 undergraduate students in 2023-24 are pre-enrolled into the courses through the HKU portal. Students who complete both courses by October 31 will receive a $50 voucher for the Visitor Centre store.

New one-stop shop for freshman students

A first year student website – has been set up as a one-stop-shop site for a lot of useful information, both academic events and extra-curricular activities for new students—come check it out!

Engage, experiment and enjoy!

Best wishes – Ian & Pauline

Prof Ian Holliday Prof Pauline Chiu