The Technological and Higher Education Institute of
Hong Kong (THEi)
Vocational Training Council
New Campus Construction Ceremony
on 3 June 2015 (Wednesday)
Speech by Secretary of Education
Dr CHEN [Cheng-jen, Clement] (Council Chairman), Dr Yau [TSANG Ka-lai, Carrie] (Executive Director of VTC), Professor Lim [Lun Shu, David] (President of THEi), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning. I am delighted to join you today for the New Campus Construction Ceremony of the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi) of VTC.
Established in 1982, VTC has been the close partner of the Government in the provision of vocational education for the benefit of our young generation. As the largest vocational education provider in Hong Kong, VTC plays an important role in nurturing local talent by offering wide-ranging programmes through its member institutions for people with different education levels.
Leveraging on its 30-year experience, VTC founded THEi in 2012 to offer self-financing degree programmes for young people who aspire to excel in their profession with a higher qualification. Not only does the establishment of THEi increase the articulation opportunities for students to further studies with multiple entry and exit points, it also reinforces the message that vocational education covers programmes and qualifications up to degree level with a high percentage of specialised contents in vocational skills or professional knowledge. In fact, vocational education in Switzerland, for example, also includes professional education. Vocational education equips students with technical knowledge and necessary attitude, and the practical mode of study enables students to have work experience before graduation. It is time to better promulgate to the public that vocational education is actually a valued choice which leads the youngsters to a bright future.
By working closely with the academia and the industry, THEi contributes to providing the requisite human capital through education with a fine balance of both theory and practice in various areas including design; management and hospitality; and science and technology. With a view to nurturing talents to meet Hong Kong’s social and economic needs, the Government, through the Study Subsidy Scheme for Designated Professions/ Sectors, would subsidize about 1 000 students per cohort to pursue designated full-time locally-accredited self-financing undergraduate programmes starting from the 2015/16 academic year. Under the scheme, six programmes of THEi will be subsidized for the 2015/16 cohort, benefitting a total of 280 students with a unit subsidy.
In support of VTC to provide quality professional education, the Government has allocated this land site to THEi for the construction of its new campus through the Land Grant Scheme. To finance part of the related construction costs, an interest-free loan of $670 million was also approved under the Start-up Loan Scheme. I believe this new site will further facilitate the whole-person development of your students, through a contemporary campus with advanced facilities.
We are delighted to learn that VTC is making good progress in the construction project and I look forward to the operation of this new campus in the 2016/17 academic year. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my gratitude to all those who have contributed to the campus development of THEi, as well as the industry partners who rendered concerted efforts in the operation of THEi. May I also wish VTC every success in the coming years. Thank you.