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Work experience performance to impact student grades in change to vocational education

New VTC chairman shifts focus to more workplace assessment

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 April, 2018, 10:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 April, 2018, 11:49am

Students are to be graded on their performance while on work experience placements in a move planned by the city's largest provider of vocational training. 

In his first interview since taking over as chairman of the Vocational Training Council in January, Dr Roy Chung Chi-ping said he was hoping to introduce workplace assessment to more courses.

“In the future, we are working on having employers as our partners to have students not only work and learn there, but also have them assessed on what they learn,” he said. 

In other words, how the students fare at the workplace could ultimately count towards their grades, Chung added. 

The chairman said the council, which has 13 member institutions, began a pilot programme with two engineering courses in the 2016-17 school year, with partners including the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, MTR and CLP Power. 

He said that in coming up with a new model, the council had referenced New Zealand’s approach, and students’ ability to apply what they have learned, including practical skills and the use of professional knowledge, would be assessed.

The council’s deputy executive director, Dr Eric Liu Sai-lok, said that employers who opted to take part would go to the VTC to train before the assessment. 

Besides workplace assessment, the council is also looking to boost collaboration with industries through developing courses with the businesses’ own training academies, such as the MTR Academy.

Presently, the council has signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Hong Kong International Aviation Academy of the Airport Authority Hong Kong, MTR Academy, Hong Kong and China Gas Company, and CLP Power, to develop professional diploma courses and training programmes for VTC students. 

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Chung said that the collaboration would work on the basis of the VTC providing more basic skills training, while the academies offer more focused training. The benefit of the partnership would also be that parent companies often have access to technologies that the council does not.

Liu, meanwhile, said the academies would give their opinions on developing the curriculum and would occasionally provide equipment for teaching, if necessary. 

Chung said that if there was such a need, the council would look for more collaboration with other industry partners. 

He also shared an anecdote of a friend in the jewellery industry, who expressed interest in setting up an academy in the field with VTC. 

Chung said while people have moved to the mainland over the years, the city is developing a reputation for designing jewellery, putting the city in a position to further develop the industry.