Hong Kong’s first university-wide cooperative education programme Co-op@CUHK officially launches
The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) launched Hong Kong’s first university wide Co-Operative Education Programme (Co-Op @CUHK) at a special event attended by industry partners, students, alumni, and a range of dignitaries to mark an innovative approach for work integrated learning which will provide scalable solutions which will redefine the way universities prepare students for career success.
The centrepiece of the programme is six to eight months of credit bearing, paid, full-time job placements which will see students placed in over 60 organisations in a range of sectors spanning financial services, FMCGs, government agencies and innovative startups. The industry placements are supplemented by co-curricular activities and coursework designed to ensure students are equipped with the soft skills, networking prowess and knowledge to succeed in the workplace.
Officiating guests at the ceremony included Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK and Mr. Stephen Phillips, Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong. They joined corporate partners and students participating in the programme to celebrate the milestone.
Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK said, “Co-op@CUHK goes above and beyond conventional internships. The immersive programme provides an enriching experience for students, giving them the opportunity to build up their soft skills, industry insights and professional networks while earning their degree. The programme also allows employers to develop their future pipeline of talent, strengthens the University’s industry engagement and contributes to the development of Hong Kong’s future economy”.
In addition, Co-op@CUHK will work with corporate partners to instil a strong sense of ethics and professionalism in students. As Professor Alan Chan, Provost of CUHK, explained, “The longer placement period will enable students to develop a sense of dedication and delight in their work. In doing so, we will foster a positive work culture and create an environment conducive to personal development and a stronger, more productive and more cohesive community.”
Mr. Stephen Phillips, Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, delivered a keynote address at the ceremony. He encouraged students to seize the placement opportunity to build their capacity and contribute to Hong Kong’s development. He said, “I hope that students will make the best of the programme to broaden their horizons, expand their networks and enrich their experience. As a corporate partner of the programme, Invest Hong Kong will continue to lend our support to this meaningful talent development initiative to support Hong Kong’s human capital development.”
Dr. John Lai, Director of the Office of Co-operative Education Programme, expressed his gratitude for the support given by corporate partners and university units. He said, “Since the programme debuted in August 2021, we have attracted nearly 60 corporate partners. Their partnerships are a decisive vote of confidence in CUHK and a clear indication of employers’ desire to harness fresh talent from various backgrounds to create diverse values for their organisations.”
Mr. Alvin Wong, a year 3 student majoring in Biomedical Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine said, “Co-op@CUHK equips us with essential professional soft skills such as developing resilience, how to successfully navigate in the workplace, and professional networking. The programme is more than placement opportunities. The extended placement allows us to make a greater contribution to the host companies and is also a valuable platform for us to extend our professional network.”
Given the positive reception to the inaugural programme, CUHK has already started its preparation for Co-op@CUHK 2022-2023. CUHK welcomes more corporate partners in the region and the Greater Bay Area to take part in the programme and provide students with invaluable work opportunities.
More details about Co-op@CUHK can be found at https://coop.cuhk.edu.hk/.