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Engineering Education Opportunities, Perception, and Career Choice of Secondary School Students in Hong Kong SAR, China

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Engineering Education and Comparative Studies at Universities throughout Asia, Far East

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

25.543.1 - 25.543.10



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Paper Authors


Peter Jay Kutnick University of Hong Kong

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Peter Kutnick is Chair Professor of psychology and education, based in the Learning, Development and Diversity Division of the faculty of education at the University of Hong Kong. His research interests
include children’s social and interpersonal development within schools, attainment within classrooms (especially via effective group work), inclusion within early education, and school-based engineering education. More specific research interests include the use of within-class groups for learning and social inclusion, large- and small-scale studies of factors affecting academic achievement in the U.K. and in the Caribbean, the development of social pedagogic theory and practical alternatives to traditional pedagogies, and evaluations of education interventions, especially with regard to the promotion of engineering within secondary schools.

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Yuen-Yan Chan University of Hong Kong

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Yuen-Yan Chan is with the Department of Information Engineering, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She possesses a dual background in engineering and education, with a research focus on engineering learning at higher education and K12 level. Chan is the first non-U.S. Chinese receiving the NAE CASEE New Faculty Fellowship (2007), and she is the Founding Chair of the IEEE Education chapter in Hong Kong Section.

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Pok Yee Lee University of Hong Kong

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Pok Yee Lee is a Senior Research Assistant, the University of Hong Kong.

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Engineering education opportunities, perception, and career choice ofsecondary school students in Hong Kong SAR, ChinaAbstractThe quantity and quality of its engineers is vitally important in the development of Hong Kong(HK) and elsewhere. Engineering education in Hong Kong SAR, China (HK), however, is in afluid situation whereby there is a decline in number of local students pursuing training inengineering but an increasing number of mainland Chinese entering HK to study engineering.Here in HK, although a number of engineering outreaches have taken place; there is littleanalysis of the effect of these initiatives with regard to subject/ career choice. This paper presents an investigation into engineering education opportunities andengagement among secondary school students in HK. We adapted and validated an internationalquestionnaire and executed it in HK secondary schools. The questionnaire is designed to identifypedagogy, students’ perception, and experience (formal and informal) of engineering education,and measure their effects on students’ career choice in engineering. A key research question (RQ) is defined: RQ: How do factors like age, gender, family background (local versus new immigrants), subjects taken at school, and perceptions of the engineering profession affect their career choice in engineering?With a sample size of 730 HK secondary school students, some of our findings include: a highproportion of students in HK are interested in engineering topics, especially younger students;traditional teaching methods (characterizing mathematics and science) are unlikely to engagestudent interest; migrant and minority students are more positively inclined towards engineeringthan home students; and, girls’ interest is more likely to be enhanced via single-sex opportunities. Identifying factors affecting young people’s career choice in engineering is interesting asHK is in an early post-industrial position. Such study can provide an excellent comparativeexample to contrast between post-industrial societies such as the United States andindustrializing societies such as other cities in the mainland China.

Kutnick, P. J., & Chan, Y., & Lee, P. Y. (2012, June), Engineering Education Opportunities, Perception, and Career Choice of Secondary School Students in Hong Kong SAR, China Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21301

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