Co-op programme is a triple winner

Regina Lau

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Following the success of CityU's immensely popular Industrial Attachment Scheme, the Faculty of Science and Engineering has introduced a one-year co-op programme with six industrial partners that will give students practical experience in an industrial setting.

The faculty officially inaugurated on 10 July a Co-operative Education Centre, directed by Professor C H Chan, to enhance collaboration with industrial partners on these education and training activities. Beginning in the second semester of the 2002-03 academic year, outstanding faculty students will be offered a one-year placement with an industrial partner. Successful completion can lead to job opportunities.

"The Co-op Programme has created for us a triple-win situation," said Professor Roderick Wong, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. "Our students can gain hands-on industrial experience, the Faculty can foster closer partnerships with multinational corporations, and the industrial sector can also raise the standard of their research and development projects through co-operating with the University,"

The Industrial Attachment Scheme (IAS), launched in 2000, has been vigorously supported by the industrial sector. This year, over 240 students were placed in some 60 industrial enterprises with plants in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta Region. Each of them will spend two months in an industrial setting to complete a project. The University Grants Committee has allocated HK$3 million for further development and expansion of the scheme.



Mr Raymond Leung, President of SAE Magnetics (HK) Ltd, an enthusiastic supporter of IAS, spoke at the inaugural ceremony. "I felt that the IAS has been rather short, so I proposed to CityU whether the students could continue working at our company in the third year of their study," he said. "I am glad that this innovative co-op programme -- which will be beneficial to all parties involved -- has come into being."

Dr K B Chan, Chairman and Managing Director of Surface Mount Technology (Holdings) Limited, who presented a donation of IAS Scholarship to the faculty at the ceremony, said: "The IAS is a right thing to do at the right time. This will provide us a pool of new talent who are able to combine theory and practice and who have solid experience working in the mainland."



Another industrial partner of the co-op programme, Mr Wong Ming-yam, JP, Senior Vice President of Philips Electronics Hong Kong Ltd, was also impressed with the innovative input of IAS students. "Their performance in contributing new concepts and product development has been most impressive," he said.

The IAS experience has proved to be invaluable in students' job hunt. Miss Cheung Sze-ming, who successfully landed a job shortly after completing her programme at the Department of Electronic Engineering, said that many prospective employers have shown a keen interest in her IAS portfolio. "They have confidence in my ability to communicate in Putonghua and to engage in team work," she said.



Mr Man Chun-pong, another recent graduate, said that the IAS experience has been a valuable opportunity that helped him lead an independent life. "Many of the prospective employers were impressed about that, too," he said.

Officiating at the ceremony were Dr Rosanna Wong, Chairman of the Education Commission, and Mr Z N Chu, Director General of Education, Science and Technology Department, Liaison Office of Central Peoples Government in the Hong Kong SAR. Both complimented the programme's combining of theory and practice.



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