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Ka Man Lam

Food Science and Nutrition

Food-Science-and-Nutrition_Student_Ka-Man-LamWhat appealed to you about Northumbria University / studying with the University in your home country?

I trusted my former lecturers from the department of Applied Science in Hong Kong Institution of Vocational Education (Chai Wan) because most of them have professional knowledge in food science and nutrition. I was looking forward to meeting the staff from the University of Northumbria at Newcastle as I expected that I could experience different teaching methods. I did believe that they could stimulate my thinking and help with problems when I had some enquiries about study.

Besides, the campus is familiar to me because I spent three years in this campus when I was a Higher Diploma student. The facilities and appearance in the campus are being continuously renewed.

What was it about the course that particularly appealed?

Since I have graduated for almost three years, I think it was time to review my career path if I wanted to change my job or get promotion.  This course offered a golden opportunity to enrich and equip myself to prepare for the coming change. Also, the study period was less than a year and perfectly matched with my time schedule.  

What qualifications did you have prior to commencing the course?

I graduated from the Hong Kong Institution of Vocational Education (Chai Wan) with a Higher Diploma in Food Technology and Environmental Health in 2007.

How did you feel during your first week on the course?

A one-week intensive course was held in Northumbria during the first week in the course. I remembered that Fiona Caple taught us Food and Nutrition – Policies and Issues. I felt a bit tense and strange because I had no idea on policy or the contents in the presentation and the many questions asked by Fiona. Therefore, other classmates and I concentrated on what Fiona said and tried to think of the answers. There was no doubt that I received new challenges from the different learning patterns from Hong Kong.

What do you like most about the course?

The tutorial fee is reasonable and worthy in this degree course with honours, compared with other courses, so that I could afford the fee. 

Additionally, I think that it is the fastest and direct way to get a degree as a Higher Diploma graduate after comparing it with other courses in my home country.

Can you give an example of a piece of work you’ve been involved with recently and what it involves?

Lecturers at Northumbria were willing to support us when we encountered difficulties in our learning. For example, free-of-charge journals were very important to us for doing our assignments. At the beginning, we did not know where we could get those journals. Then we asked lecturers at Northumbria for help. They were willing to solve the problems for us. At the end, there were no barriers for us to do assignments.

Did you feel part of Northumbria University during your studies?

I felt I was part of Northumbria during my studies, but the feeling was not strong. I understand we have geographical distances from the United Kingdom to Hong Kong so that I did not have the chance to experience my study and explore interesting things within the campus.  However, I am proud of being a Northumbria student.

I think if students and staff from Northumbria arrange some activities together when they come to Hong Kong, it would develop further friendship, not only the relationship between lecturers and students. I suggest we can be their tour guides and explore Hong Kong together in our spare time or have a meal together.  

Did you access the E-Learning Portal and the e-library facilities during your course via the Northumbria web site?

The E-Learning Portal and e-library facilities in the Northumbria web site are very useful for searching information. For example, I usually accessed e-library to download some journals if they were not free of charge. The e-learning portal is a good platform for students to raise questions with lectures.

Did you visit the School of Applied Sciences (now School of Life Sciences) web pages and the course pages to find out about your course before starting?

I did not browse the web-site before starting the course. I just read the information, which was attached with the application form.

What do you do when you’re not studying?

Actually, I was being a flight attendant while I was taking this full time course. Many friends wondered how I could handle it. To be honest, it was quite difficult to balance my job and study well. I would rather give up my time for resting and having gatherings than my study. At the end, I have finished my study.  I enjoyed this challenge of my time management skills and have no regrets.

How do you get on with your tutors from Northumbria?

I am so happy that I have a good relationship with Ian Brown from Northumbria. He is friendly and helpful. I appreciated that he tried his best to help classmates and solve the problems. I hope I can see him in the future.

How do you contact your tutors from Northumbria?


Do you have any advice for anyone applying for your course?

Whatever you are, a fresh graduate or not, getting a higher qualification is necessary in this competitive society. From my point of view, having a degree is a basic requirement for rising up the bargaining power on salary and having further promotion.

Post-80s is a current and hot term in Hong Kong. Many people think there is less chance to move up and that they are underpaid, compared with the previous generation. However, there is no use grumbling about the current bad treatments. Fate is grabbed with our hands because we are the ones who manage our life well. I suggest that they should ask themselves what they want to achieve in their life. If they want to improve their life, studying hard is the only way.

What are you waiting for? Take action! Apply for this course right now!

What would you like to do when you graduate?

I would like to be a consultant and give advice or develop programmes on food safety issues if people start the business in food industry.

What three words would you use to describe your time as a Northumbria University student?

Enrichment - enriching my life via achieving the course.

Efficiency - getting a degree within a short time period and reasonable tutorial fee.

Quality – having useful modules.

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