New College Environmental Education Course

A. Course Information

1. Course Name Sustainable Living
2. Course coordinator Dr. Billy Hau, Deputy Master
3. Course aim The course is designed for students from all walks of life including those without any prior training in environmental science, management and policy. This course teaches students what is sustainable development and how should they relate sustainability in their daily living. Through lectures, seminars and field trips, students will be exposed to knowledge, skills and real-life examples of implementation of sustainable living in all three pillars of sustainable development i.e. social, environmental and economic sustainability. The course will highlight the impacts of human activities on the environmental and what human should do in achieving sustainable development.
4. Course contents There are four core lectures (2 hours each) covering the basic concepts of sustainable development and sustainable living. These four lectures are compulsory and will be run once at the beginning of each semester. There will be regular seminars (2 hrs each) on hot environmental topics in current affairs throughout the residential year by outside guests or the course coordinator. Students are required to attend a minimum of four seminars in a year. Examples of seminar topics are Convention on Biological Diversity; developments in green belts and country parks; the 3rd Runway System of the HK International Airport. The seminar will also cover case studies on sustainable development such as corporate social responsibility programmes of multi-national companies in Hong Kong. Lastly, students have to attend at least two field trips or visits in a year. Apart from the “Nature Appreciation Series”, special field visits will be organized in this course such as guided tours in the Zero Carbon Building; the Refuse Transfer Station in Kennedy Town.
5. Learning hours 8 hours of lecture plus a minimum of 8 hours of seminars and 16 hours of field trips/ visits i.e. minimum 32 contact hours
6. Assessment methods Course test on core lectures 40%; One seminar report (30%); One field trip report (30%)
7. Learning outcomes After completing the course, students will be able to:

–        Correlate sustainable development with their major curricular at HKU

–        Practice sustainable living in their daily life

–        Evaluate the sustainability of development plans or projects in the society

8. Course quota 60

B. Class Schedule

Requirements: All students taking the course must attend all four compulsory lectures plus any four seminars and any two field trips/visits


Class Date Topic Teacher
Compulsory lectures (7:30-9:30pm at D304)
Lecture 1 27/1/16 What is sustainable development? Dr. Winnie Law, Kadoorie Institute
Lecture 2 3/2/16 Biodiversity and sustainable development Dr. Billy Hau, New College
Lecture 3 17/2/16 How to measure sustainability? Dr. Winnie Law, Kadoorie Institute
Lecture 4 25/2/16 Who cares about sustainable development? Dr. Billy Hau, New College
Seminars (any 4) and Field visit (any 2)
Seminar 27/2/16 Waste management in HK Dr. Billy Hau
Field visit


12:00pm-5:00pm The plastic recycling centre at Eco-Park, Tuen Mun Yan Oi Tong
Seminar: Dinner & film screening 2/3/16


Film screening: Jumbo Wild (presented by Patagonia) at College hall Dr. Billy Hau
Seminar 7/3/16


The environmental concerns on the 3rd airport runway of the HK Airport Dr. Billy Hau
Seminar 9/3/16


Coastal biodiversity and development threats Mr. Samson So, Eco-Institute and Billy Hau
Field trip 11/3/16 am Lung Mei and Ting Kok, Tai Po Mr. Samson So
Seminar & Field visit tbc 19/3/10 pm Green Building Development in HK and Zero Carbon Building Seminar + guided tour
Dinner Seminar 23/3/16


Corporate Sustainability programmes of HSBC (College Hall) A representative from HSBC
Seminar 6/4/16


Developing our Country Parks? Dr. Billy Hau
Seminar & Field visit tbc 9/4/16 am Urban Trees and wall trees on Forbes Street Mr. Ken So, Conservancy Association
Dinner seminar tbc 11/4/16


Green Monday (College Hall) A representative from Green Monday
Seminar & 13/4/16 7:30-9:30pm HK Butterflies and Dragonflies Mr. Samson So
Field trip 16/4/16 8am-2pm Hok Tau Reservoir, Fanling Mr. Samson So
Assessment 20/4/16


MCQ examination (40%) Dr. Billy Hau

Other suitable public seminars in HK will be listed on the course when appropriate!

C. Additional Information


The examination on the core lectures will be a MC questions paper. The examination will be held 20 April 2016 in the evening.

The seminar report should be around 1000 words which should contain the views of the respective student on the seminar topic.

The field trip report should be a PowerPoint presentation of the field visit highlighting the key messages of the field trip.


Learning credits

Students must complete the 4 core lectures plus 4 seminars and 2 field trips to meet the minimum course requirement and gain 24 learning credits (2 credits per lecture/ seminar and 4 credits per field trip). Students meeting the minimum course requirement and passing the course assessment will gain an extra 12 learning credits. Student passing the course will gain additional learning credits for attending additional seminars (2 credits each) and field trips (4 credits each). All students passing the course will receive a certificate of completion signed by the master.



Up to 3 scholarships (HK$5000 each) will be awarded to students with outstanding performances in the course.



Please send your following information to and on or before 25 January 2016:

  1. Full name in English;
  2. Room number e.g. D2601A;
  3. Mobile phone number and
  4. Email address