Globalization urges evaluation on tertiary design education: discourse on the strategic planning and curriculum reviews in the higher education in Hong Kong

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Conference Proceeding

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Globalization, Design education, Multicuralism multidiscplinary & interdisciplinary curriculum design


Globalization raises new issues, insights and directions on some old issues (McBurnie 2002) and creates new cultural and economic zones within and across the existing nations (Gibbens 1999). In view of education, McBurnie (2002) pays a particular attention to higher education in globalized world that urges necessary changes, share problems and collaborations among global educational communities. The globalization of economics creates opportunities for the mobility of knowledge-workers and knowledge-seekers across the world (Uvali’c-Trumbi’c 2002). According to Uvali’c-Trumbi’c (2000), the ultimate goal of higher educational communities is able to produce knowledge workers who can reconfigure and reshape knowledge in order to serve for regional and global purposes. Regarding the design education in Hong Kong, Professor John Heskett (2005), the 24 chair professor in School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, reminds design educators to pay particular attention in design profession and design study in the future. Heskett foresees that there are THREE main areas of changes in design study in the nearly future, they are (1) what changes are necessary to position design as a practice; (2) what changes are taking place in the context of business; and (3) what changes are functional as potential means of human fulfillment and social improvement. Echo to Heskett, this paper is aiming to explore the fundamental challenges of tertiary design education in the globalized world, with its focus on strategic planning, curriculum development, staff development and academic articulation. Emphasis is given to discuss the (1) impact of ‘Globalization’ in tertiary design education in Hong Kong; (2) strategic planning of pedagogy in tertiary design education; (3) issues of academic structure and curriculum reforms in Hong Kong; and (4) the needs of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to academic structure in design education. This study brought the merit of globalization in education to the fore and considers the challenges that it presents to multiculturalism; the diversity of curricula and national identities remain part of a continuing dialogue in the context of the global community. Researchers believe that the aforesaid issues could trigger the re-consideration on how design education might be restructured in order to promote intercultural cooperation in design profession in globalized world.

Source Publication

DesignEd Asia Conference 2007, Dec 10-11, Hong Kong

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