The Vocational Training Council (VTC), in partnership with the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) of Singapore, has organised the two-day ITE-VTC International Student Seminar 2022 (the Seminar) (20 to 21 June). Young people from Singapore, Australia, Canada, the UK, the USA, Shenzhen and Hong Kong have joined the hybrid seminar, titled “Post Covid-19: Towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Future”, to explore issues which include how to use innovation and technology (I&T) to build a diversified and inclusive city in the post-COVID era. A variety of creative and inspiring student projects will be showcased concurrently.
The opening ceremony of the Seminar was held yesterday (20 June). On this occasion, the VTC and the ITE also signed an Addendum to the ITE-VTC Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on programme development. The two parties sealed the MOU in 1998, allowing for collaboration on various aspects like programme development, staff/student exchange activities, technical training and promotional activities with a view to exposing students to a diversified culture and developing quality future workforce for the two places.
VTC Chairman, Mr Tony TAI, delivered his welcome remarks. He said the global pandemic and ensuing travel restrictions changed the format of the Seminar, but collaboration between the VTC and the ITE was by no means hindered. The Seminar staged in a digitally enabled format this year was testimony to a new collaborative milestone in the digital age between the two parties. This year was especially meaningful as it marked simultaneously the 30th Anniversary of the ITE and the 40th Anniversary of the VTC. Chairman Tai went on to say that COVID-19 was game-changing. It catalysed innovative technology advancement and drastically transformed the education, business and socio-economic landscapes. As education providers, both parties saw a pressing need to equip the younger generation with new knowledge and skills to co-create a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable future for all.
ITE Chairman Mr Andrew CHONG noted that despite restrictions on travel in the past two years, the VTC remained one of ITE’s most steadfast and active international partners. Together, they organised close to 20 virtual exchanges, benefiting over 700 students from both institutions. Chairman Chong looked forward to the creation of an even better future than that promised in pre-pandemic times; one which is people-centred, inclusive and prosperous.
Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin OSMAN, Second Minister for Education and Foreign Affairs, Singapore, officiated at the ceremony. Dr Osman told the audience that it was heartening to witness the strong friendship and collaboration between VTC and ITE for more than two decades since 1998, started with sharing of expertise and experiences in technical education and training, and had expanded over the years to include staffs’ and students’ exchanges. ITE and VTC had enhanced the partnership further with plans on programme development. The seminar was also one of the examples of close collaboration between the two parties.
During the Seminar, students of the two places will discuss topics on three areas, namely Inclusivity, Reimagining and Sustainability and explore ways of innovation and technology to solve the problems. Students will present and showcase their research outcomes. Creative solutions from VTC students will be displayed at the Chai Wan Campus of the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi), a VTC member institution. One of the showcases is the app named “ELVIS”, conceived and designed by students of the Higher Diploma in Software Engineering programme with the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE). Tailored for the elderly, the app deployed Artificial Intelligence (AI) can restore old, mouldy and tattered black and white photos for the elderly. Better still, the AI inside can analyse the facial expressions and emotions of the elderly’s recent photos uploaded. Once the system detects negative emotions, the app will notify their friends and families to encourage more communication.
In tandem, IVE students of the Higher Diploma in Community Service Planning and Navigation programme and students of the Higher Diploma in Advertising Design programme with the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) co-developed a project named “Homie”. The team built a device into a shoe sole or a cardholder, allowing family members of patients with Dementia to be updated, in real time, on the whereabouts of the patients. Furthermore, the “From Farm to Table” project co-created by teachers and students of the IVE Health and Life Sciences Discipline, the Design Discipline and the Chinese Culinary Institute (CCI) is an all-in-one online shopping platform. Members of the public can select from the platform local food ingredients and family dining delivery services and also be given an analysis of the nutritional value of some local ingredients. This way, the importance of carbon reduction is promoted.
VTC and the ITE are respectively the largest provider of vocational and professional education and training (VPET) in Hong Kong and Singapore. The International Student Seminar is a biennial exchange event hosted by VTC and ITE alternately. Since 2007, the event has drawn the attendance of a total of 4,200 teachers and students.
Established in 1982, the Vocational Training Council (VTC) is the largest vocational and professional education and training provider in Hong Kong. The mission of VTC is to provide a valued choice to school leavers and working people to acquire the values, knowledge and skills for lifelong learning and enhanced employability, and also to provide support to industries for their manpower development. VTC has 13 member institutions, namely the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi) , the Institute of Professional Education And Knowledge (PEAK) , the School for Higher and Professional Education (SHAPE), the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) , the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) , the Hotel and Tourism Institute (HTI) , the Chinese Culinary Institute (CCI) , the International Culinary Institute (ICI) , the Maritime Services Training Institute (MSTI) , Youth College , Pro-Act by VTC , the Integrated Vocational Development Centre (IVDC) and the Shine Skills Centre.
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