All Past Events

Higher Education in a Machine Age 1


Time 09:30 - 12:30


Dr Winnie Fung

Dr Mike Brownnutt

Dr Leung Wing Tai



Organiser :

 - FaSCoRe, HKU

 - Lumina College


flier agenda1 reading

Higher Education in a Machine Age 1:
Has machine culture kidnapped higher education? 

Technology is ubiquitous in education and has been for a long time. There are obvious technological developments – like written language, then printing, then the internet. There are less obvious technological developments – like classrooms, standardised tests, and rankings. These technologies mix together to create a new culture: a machine culture.

It is obvious that technology changes education: teaching with access to books is very different to teaching without access to books. But are these changes good, bad, neutral, or ambivalent? In this series of discussions, we will consider education, technology, how they interact, and what a Christian perspective brings to bear on how we engage with their interactions.

Agenda for Session 1.

In an elegant twist, we will hold this discussion by Zoom!

Preparatory readings for Session 1:

Chapter 13 of Pelikan, Jaroslav (1992). The Idea of the University: A Re-examination. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Chapter 1 of Ellul, Jacques (1967). The Technological Society. New York, NY: Vintage Books.

Chapter 8 of Selwyn, Neil (2016). Education and Technology: Key Issues and Debates. London: Bloomsbury Academic.               


LEUNG Wing Tai has had an education spanning science, theology, media, management, and communication. He has a PhD in Communication (Regent); Master of Fine Arts in Cinema-Television (University of Southern California); MTS in Christianity & Society (Gordon-Conwell Seminary); MA in Radio-TV-Film (Bowling Green State U); and a BSc in Physics-Chemistry (HKU). Dr Leung has demonstrated a life-long commitment to cultivate values and worldviews among youths and leaders, through the media and higher education. He served in (and later became the Head of) Breakthrough, a youth-culture organization. He currently serves as the founding President of Lumina College, a Christian higher education institute.

Mike BROWNNUTT obtained his first Master’s degree (MSci in physics) and his PhD (in experimental quantum mechanics) from Imperial College London. Following this he moved to Innsbruck, Austria, for eight years, firstly as a post-doctoral researcher and later as an Assistant Professor. He wrote his habilitation based on his research there, which centred on developing scalable architectures for quantum computers. He completed his second Master’s degree (MA in theology from the University of Chester) considering how faith is understood by various parties in discourse on the relationship between Christianity and science. Since 2015 he has worked at the University of Hong Kong, where he is Associate Director of the Faith and Science Collaborative Research Forum.

Winnie FUNG studied at Harvard University, obtaining her BA in Applied Mathematics and PhD in Business Economics. She is an Associate Professor at Lumina College. Prior to Lumina, she was an Associate Professor of economics at Wheaton College, where she also earned an MA in Biblical Studies. She has taught microeconomic theory, development economics, health economics, and quantitative research methods. Her research interests focus on poverty alleviation and economic development.

Session dates:

7th Nov. 2020: Session 1
Has machine culture kidnapped higher education?

5th Dec. 2020: Session 2
My faith, my discipline, my machine culture

6th Feb. 2021: Session 3
The totalising effects of machine culture in higher education  

6th Mar. 2021: Session 4
Community responses to machine culture

10th Apr. 2021: Session 5
Charting the future and engaging with technology