Prospective engineering students shall prepare for a whole new way of becoming engineers and future leaders, with the exciting and ﬂexible undergraduate curriculum now being developed at the School of Engineering. The new curriculum is due to be introduced in 2012, as part of Hong Kong’s wide-reaching education reforms that will see local universities move from a three-year degree system to a four-year system.
The world is changing faster than ever, bringing new and pressing challenges on issues related to health, water, the environment and more. To ﬁnd solutions to tackle these important issues, engineers must not only be technically competent, but also equipped with transferable competencies such as communication skills, problem-solving skills and a global outlook. They must take into consideration multidisciplinary perspectives in designing innovative and sustainable solutions, including political and economic issues and the impact on people’s lives.
With the new curriculum, the School seeks to educate globally competitive engineers, helping students to develop into skilled communicators, analytical and inventive researchers, and innovative solution providers capable of continuous learning and taking up a range of roles in different types of organizations or running their own business.
The new curriculum adopts a student-centric approach so as to give the undergraduates the opportunity to discover the true excitement that an education in engineering can bring. The program structure will be broader and more ﬂexible, providing an all-around educational experience. Opportunities for enrichment programs will also be opening up so that students can choose to engage in exchange programs, internships, research, minor programs or service learning to fulﬁll their aspirations.
Under the four-year program, all students will be admitted to the School rather than individual programs. They will have about a year’s time to explore, interact with faculty and receive proper advice before deciding on a major of study. After they join their major, they will take interesting and stimulating introductory courses so they know why they are learning, what they are learning, and how they can apply what they have learned.
Students will be inspired to undertake inquiry-based methods of learning in their courses. Instead of being given instructions on what to do, they will need to ask questions, be able to carry out research, work in teams, and manage projects. The School is keen to further strengthen the links between its research excellence and undergraduate learning. In teaching, our ﬁrst-rate researchers can bring the latest research breakthrough into their classroom and develop students’ enquiring minds.
To support the implementation of this new curriculum, the School has established a Center for Engineering Education Innovation (E2I). The Center is dedicated to enhancing student and faculty development by drawing on the latest ﬁndings in engineering education research. It serves as a one-stop shop in advising ﬁrst-year students so that they can make a successful transition to university life and study, and make an informed decision on their majors. The Center will also work with engineering faculty in adopting innovative pedagogies and assessment strategies so as to maximize student learning.
The School is intent on leading the way worldwide in its approach to undergraduate education. The education reform will be a golden opportunity for the School to revolutionize the way it educates engineering students, to become a beacon of excellence, and to be a model for the world.