Cooperative programme is a triple winner

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The Faculty of Science and Engineering has introduced a pilot one-year cooperative programme with eight industrial partners, following the success of the Industrial Attachment Scheme (IAS). The latter is a summer placement exercise which gives students practical experience in an industrial setting. A Cooperative Education Centre, directed by Professor C H Chan, Assoicate Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) and Chair Professor in the Department of Electronic Engineering, was officially inaugurated in July, to enhance collaboration with industrial partners on education and training activities.

Under the programme, outstanding students of the Faculty will be offered a one-year placement with an industrial partner starting from the second semester of the 2002D03 academic year. Successful completion of the programme could lead to job opportunities.

Officiating the ceremony were Dr Rosanna Wong, Chairman of the Education Commission, and Mr Z N Chu, Director General of Education, Science and Technology Department, Liasion Office of Central People's Government in the Hong Kong SAR. Both spoke highly of the programme's combination of theory and practice.

"The cooperative programme has created a triple-win situation. Our students can gain hands-on industrial experience, the Faculty can foster closer partnership with multinational corporations, and the industrial sector can raise the standard of their research and development projects through cooperating with the University," said Professor Roderick Wong, Dean of FSE.

The IAS, launched in 2000, has been widely supported by the industrial sector. This summer, over 240 students were placed in some 60 industrial enterprises with plants in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta region. Each of them spent two months in an industrial setting to complete a project. The University Grants Committee has awarded CityU HK$3 million for further development and expansion of the scheme.

Mr Raymond Leung, President of SAE Magnetics (HK) Ltd, an enthusiastic supporter of the IAS, spoke at the inaugural ceremony. "I felt that the time spent in the IAS is too short, so I proposed to CityU that the students should continue working at our company in their third year of study," he said, "I am glad that this innovative cooperative programme, which will be beneficial to all parties involved, has been developed."

Dr K B Chan, Chairman and Managing Director of Surface Mount Technology (Holdings) Limited, who presented a donation of an IAS Scholarship to the Faculty at the ceremony, said, "The IAS is the right thing to do at the right time. It will provide us with a pool of new talent, able to combine theory and practice and with solid work experience in the China's mainland."

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

The IAS experience has proved to be invaluable for students hunting jobs. Miss Cheung Sze-ming, who successfully landed a job shortly after completing her programme in the Department of Electronic Engineering, said that many prospective employers showed keen interest in her IAS portfolio. "They appreciated my ability to communicate in Putonghua and to engage in team work." Mr Man Chun-pong, another recent graduate, said that the IAS experience had given him a valuable opportunity to lead an independent life. "Many of the prospective employers were impressed about that, too," he said.

 

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