Matching curriculum with the needs of business

Regina Lau

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The contributions of group of industrial advisers who help to match curricular design with the needs of the business sector were recognized at a gathering hosted by City University's Department of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management (MEEM) on 21 February. Some 25 industrial advisers and 30 MEEM staff attended the function, which marked a major Department outreach initiative to strengthen contacts with the business community.

Kicking off the reception,  Professor Michael Hung, MEEM's Acting Head, said, "Our goal is to produce graduates who can make practical use of what they learned. We are revamping our curricula so that they better match the immediate needs of the business sector." Emphasis is now put on experiential learning, he said. Students are encouraged to gain practical experience through participation in industry-sponsored projects, industrial placements and cooperative schemes, all supported by the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), Professor Hung said. MEEM will cater to the life-long educational needs of local professionals, occasionally providing courses for the employees of individual companies. The
Department also intends to entice secondary students with summer camps and workshops designed to motivate them to work on hands-on projects, such as building a radio controlled car, or designing an industrial product with CAD/CAM software. "At the end, each student will have a toy to take home."

 

 

Professor Hung also plans to mobilize the Department's research talents and equipment for the immediate benefit of local enterprises, which often suffer from lack of R&D resources. The focus of the Department's research efforts is to do applied research of practical value to the industry.

To this end, MEEM has stepped up its efforts to strengthen contacts with industry, appointing 22 industrial advisors to guide its programme design, and increasing the number of Departmental advisors from seven to 13, Professor Hung said. An FSE policy requires a Departmental Advisory Committee, comprising both CityU members and representatives from the business sector, to advise FSE heads of departments on research projects, course proposals and amendments, and how FSE can contribute to the development needs of China and Hong Kong.

The function ended with a slide show presentation of the FSE Cooperative Education Centre by Professor Paul Lam, Deputy Director of the Cooperative Programme, and a recognition presentation ceremony hosted by FSE Dean Professor Roderick Wong, who took the opportunity to announce the upcoming Faculty Industrial Day on 21 March, a showcase of the Faculty's latest endeavours to outreach to local industry.

 

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