Impact of collaboration with ICT industry partners on secondary students’ knowledge, attitudes, and IT competence

Kara Chan*, Florin C. Serban, Mandy Tse, Andrew Ho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


The information technology industry has been identified as a priority industry for development in Hong Kong. Within this sector, there are a growing number of “new collar” jobs that may not require a traditional four-year degree. However, these jobs require a combination of technical and soft skills that are not often taught in secondary schools. The Applied Learning course titled “Tech Basics” was introduced to five secondary schools in 2019. It has the unique feature of bringing together secondary schools, a local public university, and industry partners in curriculum design and program delivery, to provide students with work-integrated learning. The curriculum includes authentic work environment exposure components such as company visits, mentorship programs, industry-led project competitions, and internships. This paper is a case study presenting detailed information on the program’s model of work-integrated learning as. well as its evaluation. It explains the different roles of secondary schools, higher education institutes, and industry partners. To assess the impact of the program, three rounds of surveys were conducted among students taking the course and a control group over a three-year period. The theoretical framework of work integrated learning and mentoring was reviewed. Survey results and additional qualitative data are presented. Feedback from secondary school teachers and mentors from the industry is analyzed. Challenges for the future development of the Tech Basics course are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducation and Information Technologies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jul 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Information technology
  • Professional education
  • Vocational education
  • Industry partnership
  • program evaluation
  • train-the-trainers


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