The launch of the School of Data Science (SDSC) and the Hong Kong Institute for Data Science (HKIDS) at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) heralds a new era in higher education in Hong Kong.
These initiatives directly respond to the increased demand for data scientists and engineers who will support future societal and economic developments.
“The new School of Data Science aims to become a world-class hub for excellence in this exciting new academic discipline,” said Professor Way Kuo, CityU President. “It is a strategic development of CityU to meet the demands of a data-driven economy in the future.”
At present, there is no freestanding academic unit such as a School of Data Science in Hong Kong. This makes CityU’s decision to launch the new school a first.
“CityU has world-class faculty and a substantial track record in research concerning data science, ranging from STEM, artificial intelligence, to business and social sciences. We possess both the vision and the necessary infrastructure to become a trailblazer for data science in Hong Kong,” said Professor Alex Jen Kwan-yue, Provost.
SDSC will serve as a campus-wide educational resource in data science, fostering collaboration and training high-calibre students for data science-related industries. It will comprise an interdisciplinary faculty team of leading academics including existing CityU faculty, joint appointments and new hires.
“The rapid growth in demand for graduates trained in data science has created many exciting opportunities for students, and the new undergraduate degree in SDSC will work to meet industry needs,” said Professor Li Duan, Associate Provost (Strategic Planning) and Chair Professor of Operations Research, who has been appointed as Acting Dean.
The proposed new data science programmes also align strongly with the government’s vision for developing Hong Kong as a world-class smart city.
“We see that the demand for well-qualified data scientists is growing, and salaries are increasing, too, but there is definitely a gap in Hong Kong. Our new focus on data science fills that void, which is good for Hong Kong and presents excellent career prospects for our students,” Professor Li said.
HKIDS will serve as a hub for joint research, tackling challenging issues in data science, building on the University’s strengths, and bringing together interdisciplinary faculty and students who possess similar research interests.
“HKIDS aspires to be an international focal point of excellence for research initiatives and translational activities in data science, and the region’s leading platform for leaders in the industry and for global experts. We aim to provide both researchers and practitioners with the necessary tools for harnessing the power of big data.” Professor Li said.