PolyU SPEED equips students with the latest professional knowledge and technological know-howEducation | 8 Jul 2020
With the rapid advance in technology, in addition to hard skills and fundamental knowledge, it is also important for professionals to keep up with the latest technology. The School of Professional Education and Executive Development of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU SPEED) aspires to help its students keep abreast of the changing times and meet the evolving needs of industry.
On the qualities that industry will be looking for in fresh graduates, Mr. Eugene Liu, Managing Partner & Head of Consulting at RSM Hong Kong, stresses that for certified public accountants (CPA) and business-related professionals, hard skills and soft skills – including language and knowledge of accounting and taxation – are equally important. He also points out that in the digital world, it is essential for professionals to be knowledgeable about IT and cybersecurity.
Dr. Jack Lo, Director of PolyU SPEED, says, “To enhance our students’ competitiveness in the job market, PolyU SPEED offers both application-oriented and professional-oriented programmes. Our programmes are also recognized by professional bodies, including the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA), CFA Institute, The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), the Hong Kong Institute of Construction Managers (HKICM), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), The Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors (HKIS), and the Hong Kong Institute of Marketing (HKIM); such recognition facilitates the professional development of our graduates.”
With “work-ready” as an objective for his students, Dr. Lo stresses that programmes at PolyU SPEED focus on work-integrated education to encourage students to go beyond the campus to connect with industry. Through work-based learning experiences, students can apply theories learnt in the classroom in the workplace. “All PolyU SPEED students are required to take internships of at least 300 hours in order to fulfill their graduation requirements,” he adds. “Our School has also set up an employability office to complement our holistic education and enhance our students’ employability and work competence.”
Dr. Artie Ng, Deputy Director of PolyU SPEED, explains that their programme curricula are reviewed regularly to ensure relevance to the ever-changing world. In addition to engaging external stakeholders from a relevant industry, they also seek inputs from members of their programme executive groups, including programme leaders, subject lecturers and student representatives.
“We devote extended efforts to researching market needs before launching new programmes, especially those that require accreditation by local or international professional associations” Dr. Ng notes. “Even after a programme has been accredited, the School continues to closely review its curriculum, especially its relevance to various business sectors undergoing rapid changes and developments.”
In addition, PolyU SPEED encourages its teaching faculty to maintain professional engagement with industry through various collaborative activities, including the annual career fair and joint consultancy-research projects. For instance, the School has recently completed with industry a joint research of 500 listed companies in Hong Kong on their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting quality.
Furthermore, many PolyU SPEED lecturers are research-active scholars whose output is closely related to industry today. PolyU SPEED aims to transfer new knowledge created through research into educational materials for its programmes, and there are currently two cross-disciplinary research centres funded by the Research Grants Council, namely the Centre for Ageing and Healthcare Management Research (CAHMR) and Research Centre for Advanced Design, Materials and Manufacturing Technologies(RCADMM).
In view of the increasing importance of digital competence, Dr. Ng points out that their programmes have incorporated various new subjects in order to build up students’ competence and readiness for a new world. These subjects include Digital Marketing Strategy, Digital Tools and Skills for Academic and Workplace Productivity, Information Systems Audit and Control, and Principles and Practices of FinTech. The subject on FinTech aims to keep business students up to date with the latest innovations and prudent applications of FinTech which is crucial to safeguarding and sustaining Hong Kong’s position as a global finance centre.