Students from secondary schools across Hong Kong got a sneak preview of City University’s new Sha Tau Kok Aquaculture Research Centre on Friday, as part of a Veterinary Summer School organised by the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences.
Students got up close to nature on their tour of the centre, visiting nearby mangroves and measuring various fish and crustaceans. They also fed the large grouper fish being raised in the centre’s aquaculture pond, which features 12 different species of marine life.
Twenty-eight students were selected by their school principals to join the two week programme, which introduced them to the basics of biology and veterinary medicine. The classes, which ran from July 31 to August 11, included laboratory work and practical lessons on biology. The summer school helps students decide what they would like to study in the future.
“I have always been interested in animals and wanted to study veterinary medicine,” said Tang Ching-kit, 16, from TWGHs Lo Kon Ting Memorial College, who joined the summer class after being recommended by his teachers. “Society seems to ignore the welfare of animals, but we cannot ignore them,” he added.
The new Sha Tau Kok facility will be the cornerstone of City University’s new Bachelor’s of Veterinary Medicine, according to Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, Michael Reichel.
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“This the first course of its kind in the region,” he said, “the course will allow students to study veterinary medicine locally but at a similar standard to overseas.”
Despite the new course, some students still wanted to study abroad. “There isn’t a lot of wildlife in Hong Kong,” said Lai Man-ching, from St. Stephen’s Girls’ College, who wants to study in Europe.
The Sha Tau Kok Aquaculture Research Centre is expected to be up and running for students by the fourth quarter of this year. Cheung Wo-wing, visiting fellow at City University, said that the facility will provide a “natural classroom” for students and researchers at the university. The centre will also provide a space for NGOs to promote the conservation of local marine species.