Adjusting to the tech age

It’s not difficult to define the terms “technology” and “entrepreneur,” which are the two most powerful words of this century, but a definition for the term “technopreneur,” the amalgamation of the two, requires more thought.

Collins Dictionary defines a technopreneur as “entrepreneurs who begin and manage their own tech business.” Technopreneurs continually and persistently look for ways to improve the ways people, companies, industries and countries as a whole work.

Generally speaking, a technopreneur is a tech-savvy, creative, driven, innovative and dynamic person who thinks out of the box.

These may sound like hollow words, but the City University of Hong Kong is starting to teach students to be technopreneurs through a new program.

Offered by the College of Science, the bachelor of science degree program with a stream option in global research enrichment and technopreneurship will begin next year. 

The dean of the college, Chan Hou-du, said it is designed based on future trends in social development and market demand for talent, citing the Report on Manpower Projection to 2027 published by the Hong Kong government.

Aiming to nurture students who are interested in pursuing a career in scientific research or starting business ventures that involve the use of new scientific discoveries and innovative technologies, the research-oriented program will offer students a tailored first-year curriculum and a subsequent stream option provided by the departments of chemistry, mathematics or physics.

By integrating novel scientific knowledge and innovative technology, the program will equip students with knowledge regarding topics such as patent applications and intellectual property rights, entrepreneurship and business plans.

Besides going overseas for academic exchange and study for at least one semester, students will also have the opportunity to intern at overseas or local technology startups for at least a year, which will be supported by the Federation of Hong Kong Industries. 

Yip Chung-yin, the chairman of the FHKI, emphasized that Hong Kong plays an important role in the Greater Bay Area as there are many Hong Kong-invested factories in the region. 

He believes the program responds well to market demand, especially demand from the Greater Bay Area, for professionals who excel in research and innovative technology.

The college’s ambitions to develop interdisciplinary programs and talent do not stop here. A new five-year double degree program for the bachelor of laws and bachelor of science in computing mathematics is the first of its kind offered by local universities. 

There is an increasing number of legal tasks in which detailed knowledge of mathematics is a significant asset to lawyers, said Tan Cheng-han, dean of the School of Law. 

“Financial institutions in Hong Kong, for example, need people with legal and mathematical knowledge,” he said.

Aiming to groom students to become professionals with legal knowledge and the ability to engage in mathematical analysis, the program, which begins in 2021, will offer courses in law, mathematics and logic through which students can acquire critical knowledge, such as probability, statistics, quantitative analysis and formal logic, which can be put to use in analyzing related legal cases.

Moreover, the double degree program’s law component covers the required legal units, meaning it entitles graduates who wish to practice law in Hong Kong to apply for a postgraduate certificate in laws program.

In addition, two joint bachelor’s degree programs work with CityU’s new partners, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Manchester, will be available in the new school year.

Students majoring in computing mathematics can choose to study at the University of Edinburgh, and students majoring in chemistry can look to the University of Manchester. They will take CityU courses in the first two years and then complete the remaining two years at overseas institutions.

(This article was published at The Standard on December 29, 2020: Education: Adjusting to the tech age )

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