The strong demand for training in information technology has prompted the School of Engineering at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (UST) to launch diploma courses and master's programmes. A master of technology management, for example, will be launched in September. Demand for the self-financed course is so great that admissions have been closed. Recruitment for next year's intake will begin in January. 'It was really in response to a voice from the industry,' said Wang Tin-yu, associate director, Continuing Education and External Development, at the UST School of Engineering. 'Hong Kong is turning into a knowledge-based society and a lot of people want a professional qualification. They want substantial training in the technology area and in management,' he said. Another programme, a diploma in computer forensics, will be launched in November. A 12-month graduate diploma in transportation logistics management was launched last year under the sponsorship of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management. Targeted at managers and engineers employed in the transport, logistics, distribution and related sectors, it will receive its second intake of students in September. UST's School of Engineering enrolls 40 per cent of the university's students. It has been offering continuing and professional education programmes since 1996. Until recently, most of the programmes were short courses in such diverse fields as engineering management, geotechnical engineering, environmental and safety technology and product design technology. Most of them last from two to five days. Participants are from the banking, software, security and insurance sectors as well as large corporations with IT departments. ' We also offer tailor-made training programmes,' Mr Wang said, referring to those designed for corporates. The demand for training in quality management cuts across all disciplines from manufacturing to the service sector, he said. 'It's one of the primary factors affecting productivity.' Recognising the need for training in quality management north of the border, the school will launch its first course in Shenzhen in September. 'Shenzhen has attracted so much money and business but they really lag behind in terms of quality,' Mr Wang said. 'We would like to help fill that gap.' Working professionals with five to 10 years' experience - often with corporate sponsorship - are the school's primary target.