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The Inter-University Centre for Applied Language Sciences

The Department of English (ENGL), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures (DFLL), Tsinghua University (Tsinghua), and the School of International Studies (SIS), Zhejiang University (ZU), based on their academic collaboration for more than a decade at multiple levels, wish to further strengthen their ties by establishing “The Inter-University Centre for Applied Language Sciences” (hereinafter iCALS, or the Centre).

The representatives from the three parties have, based on a series of cordial discussions, agreed on the mission, management structure and operational details of the Centre as follows.

Centre Mission

The mission of the Centre is to promote, facilitate, host and organize academic activities among the three Departments, to deepen our understanding of the nature, development, learning, teaching and use of English as a second or foreign language or as an international lingua franca, with tertiary-level educational institutions as the primary research context. Where applicable, such activities can also cover other contexts, including professional workplaces, and other languages used as a second or foreign language.

Centre Offices

The Centre operates by three Centre Offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Hangzhou, which will collaborate with one another but take separate responsibilities for their own local activities. The three Departments will strive to provide office space so that the Centre will have a physical office at each of the three universities, for effective coordination of Centre activities.

Areas of Academic Inquiry

Specific areas of scientific inquiry will be identified after the Centre is officially established and the expertise of the membership is known, so that the areas can be accurately described. In principle, these should be areas where members of all the three Departments are able to contribute competently.

Centre Management Board

The Centre Management Board (CMB) has the highest decision-making authority over all matters related to the Centre. The CMB consists of twelve Board Members, with four from each University. The composition of the twelve members are as follows:

Ex Officio Members:

  1. Dean, Faculty of Humanities, PolyU, who serves as a Co-Chair of the Board;

  2. Dean, Faculty of Humanities, Tsinghua, who serves as a Co-Chair of the Board;

  3. Dean, Faculty of Humanities, ZU, who serves as a Co-Chair of the Board;

  4. Head, ENGL, PolyU;

  5. Dean, DFLL, Tsinghua;

  6. Dean, SIS, ZU;

Regular Board Members:

  1. Centre Director (ENGL, PolyU);

  2. Centre Director (DFLL, Tsinghua);

  3. Centre Director (SIS, ZU);

  4. An elected member from the Centre Membership at ENGL, PolyU;

  5. An elected member from the Centre Membership at DFLL, Tsinghua;

  6. An elected member from the Centre Membership at SIS, ZU.

Where a Centre Director is also the Department Head or the Faculty Dean , this Centre Director may, at his/her discretion, appoint an additional Board Member from the Centre Membership of that university. Each elected member serves a term of two years.

Centre Executive Groups

Under the direction of the CMB, the Centre's management team comprises three Executive Groups, namely, PolyU Executive Group, Tsinghua Executive Group, and ZU Executive Group. Each Executive Group is responsible for the operation of the Centre activities in their respective location.

Each of the three Centre Offices operates under the direction of the Centre Director (CD) based in the same University. The appointments of the CDs are nominated by their respective Department Heads, who also serve as ex officio members of their respective Executive Group, and are approved by the CMB. The CDs are responsible for coordinating the Centre operations which involve more than one Centre Office, and are expected to hold frequent and cordial discussions of matters concerning the effective operation and sustainable development of the Centre.

Each CD will be assisted by an Associate Centre Director (ACD), who is nominated by the CD and approved by the Department Head at the same university. The ACD reports to the CD, who in turn reports to the CMB on behalf of each Executive Group.

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