Readers might be familiar with Alan Ng – the moderator of The Standard’s Student Globetrotters series on YouTube, who interviews local students studying abroad to share university admission tips and overseas experiences.
Ng, the founder of the educational organization InNordics, is someone who is willing to share and connect different cultures. In the past two years, he has spoken in local universities, on radio as well as in colleges and primary schools about his knowledge of and unique experience in the Nordic countries, where he earned his bachelor’s degree.
Describing his four-year student life in Finland’s Turku University of Applied Sciences as “life-changing,” Ng said he always wants to try new things.
Though he studied international business, Ng completed his degree with a research piece that compared education systems and marketing factors worldwide, which rooted his interests in the education industry.
After a couple of years working in an IT company in Hong Kong, his willingness to explore again led him to change careers.
“Money is not the most important thing for me but rather what I can get from my career,” he said, thinking that a career related to overseas education might be his next goal.
Starting with the short-term objective of understanding the market, Ng offered consulting services for students seeking an overseas study experience, mainly in Britain, the United States and Australia.
But Ng himself is used to being a student who often chose less popular destinations, as he felt the mainstream options were “too traditional” for him.
“I started to realize that I don’t want to waste my knowledge of the Nordics and my resources and network in Finland,” said Ng. “So I thought that it’s a good time to start something new, to create a new study-aboard option awareness among Hongkongers.”
For Ng, the most significant difference between education in Finland and Hong Kong lies in the mindsets of both children and parents.
“Hong Kong kids are used to squeezing their time to compete with their peers and are always asked to achieve some academic goal in a limited time, while, generally speaking, Hong Kong parents are too focused on children’s academic results and how they affect their future study and career.”
Ng believes that playing is the kids’ job and happy learning is the key to developing curiosity and creativity – a core spirit of Finnish education that Ng thinks helps broaden students’ thinking at an early age.
That’s why InNordics’ new Whampoa and upcoming Tseung Kwan O study centers will offer a spacious set-up for kids to work with others during their Finnish Steam and Nordic Classroom programs, which offer a Nordic-style education comprising world-class innovation and clean tech.
Collaborating with Kide Science, a Finnish Steam education expert offering programs for ages three to eight, the centers’ Steam-Up Kide program provides fun play-based and story-based experiments that lead children to do the experiments and communicate with others like a real scientist, rather than only getting an experimental conclusion.
The programs are offered at the centers and are also available on campus upon request.
The Nordic Classroom program incorporates UN Sustainable Development Goals as a blueprint and promotes sustainable living and social responsibility through augmented reality games. Some topics covered are biodiversity, renewable energy and green technology.
“Collaboration is the key to innovation,” said Ng, adding that the education centers’ programs offer children plenty of time to think, cooperate, seek help and discuss.
“We want to bring children and parents an unconventional way of teaching and learning and a new perspective of lifestyle, which I think can really change how people think,” he said.
(This article was published at The Standard on April 20, 2021: Education: Nordic provides fine Finnish )