Engineering Education in Hong Kong Secondary Schools – the Applied Learning Course Approach
2023-09-14, 08:40– (Asia/Tokyo), Training Room 1

In Hong Kong, the efficacy of engineering education in secondary schools is always difficult to measure. This is mainly due to the fact that there are limited eningeering-oreinted subjects and few teachers with backgrounds in engineering. Engineering education is often infused into the curriculum of secondary schools through science, technology and mathematics (STM) subjects. Students’ involvement in engineering related school-based and extracurricular activities are limited. Only a few technical schools in Hong Kong are offering engineering-oriented subjects such as Electronics & Electricity and Technology Fundamentals.

Some previous studies have identified that the lack of engineering education in secondary schools may affect the students’ aspiration to become engineers. While some studies have looked into the gap of eningeering education at the secondary-tertiary interface. Likewise, many post-industrial societies are facing the same challenges as Hong Kong, which have strong demand for engineers but struggled with the low intake of engineering programmes in higher education and subsequent careers.

This paper responds to the addressed issues of engineering education in Hong Kong secondary schools, and performs a practical study of the effectiveness of Applied Learning Courses (ApL) which are introduced to diversify the curriculum of senior secondary students by the Education Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR government. The design of ApL emphasizes the development of fundamental skill set, career-related competencies and generic skills of students, and explore their career aspirations and orientation for lifelong learning.

The overall design, curriculum and pedagogy of two selected ApL courses in engineering (Digital Construction and Electircal & Energy Engineering) will be studied to investigate how the courses can instill engineering knowledge, provide practical ‘hands-on’ experiences and enhance engineering aspirations among secondary school students.

The study also provides recommendations on improving the design and structure of ApL courses as an approach of effective engineering education in secondary schools.

This is a practical study to investigate the effectiveness of the Applied Learning (ApL) Course as an approach of engineering education in Hong Kong secondary schools. Two ApL Courses are examined in this study. The result will provide useful insights across different post-industrial societies which have strong demand for engineers.


Engineering education, Applied learning, Curriculum and pedagogy, Secondary schools, Engineering aspiration

See also:

Ken Hui is the Project Manager of the Engineering Discipline of the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education, VTC. He assists the Academic Director (Engineering) of IVE in the management, planning and development of the Discipline. He has been the Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader in the Department of Construction, and is a professional quantity surveyor.