STEM education, VPET, International exchange, Technology enhanced learning, Multipleinstitutions collaboration
Vocational and Professional Education and Training (VPET) enhances learners to acquire professional knowledge, apply practical skills and develop positive workplace attitudes to support the long-term development of a country or a city. Established in 1982, the Vocational Training Council (VTC) is the largest vocational and professional education and training provider (VTC 2016) in Hong Kong. Through a wide range of pre-employment and in-service programmes, it establishes valuable credentials for approximately 250,000 students each year with internationally recognised qualifications. As a member institution of VTC, the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) offers fulltime and part-time programmes - covering an array of disciplines and at levels ranging from higher diploma to certificate - nurturing talents valued by industries. STEM (Wikipedia 2016), an acronym that refers to the academic disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM (Education Bureau, Hong Kong 2015) plays a pivotal role in educating students to meet the rapid changes and continuous challenges in our society and all over the world due to swift economic, scientific and technological developments. In alignment with this worldwide trend in education, the promotion of STEM in VPET, especially in the Applied Science (AS), Engineering (ENG) and Information Technology (IT) Disciplines, has been the major focus of development in VTC for years. In this paper, various STEM education strategies under VTC will be addressed. One important milestone is the setup of STEM Education Centre to serve as a platform for cross-disciplinary projects for STEM students and to promote STEM education to the public and primary/secondary school students through seminars, workshops and international events. Pertaining to the internationalisation of vocational and professional education, the implementation of exchange programmes in STEM study with overseas countries, local students and their counterparts is another strategic development of VTC. It broadens students’ horizon and generates their inspirations in team work and collaboration projects. The Engineering Discipline in IVE has completed a number of successful workshops with MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) students, in which IVE students were inspired to explore their learning, employing different learning methods and have gained insights into the development of STEM industries, as well as interests in STEM subjects. In June 2016, as another important event to internationalise VPET, VTC organised an international STEM Students Forum in the WorldDidac Asia in Hong Kong. This provided a golden opportunity for the local and overseas students from Australia, UK and Singapore to exchange a wealth of information from different perspectives in STEM education. A similar international STEM forum is underway for 2017 covering sessions with outstanding STEM projects from academic institutions, to study STEM teaching and learning pedagogy, and to look into the STEM project development with VTC students. Other strategies such as Science and Mathematics Help Desk, Technology Enhanced Learning and Teacher Support will also be discussed in the paper.
The 10th International Symposium on Advances in Technology Education
Lee, K.,& Liu, S. (2016). Promotion of STEM education in Vocational and Professional Education and Training (VPET). The 10th International Symposium on Advances in Technology Education, 73-77. Retrieved from http://repository.vtc.edu.hk/ive-eng-sp/40