The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) will launch Hong Kong’s first undergraduate program in ocean science and technology this September, to nurture a young generation of new professionals with first-hand experience on the investigation, conservation and management of marine environment.
Scientists around the world have joint hands in an increasing amounts of ocean expeditions and research missions in the hope to identify new resources and new lead for scientific breakthroughs. The quest is more important now than ever as human activities have caused unprecedented damages of our environment over the past decades. To nurture talent that could help promote sustainable development, HKUST is launching a new degree program BSc Ocean Science and Technology (OCES) to equip its students with skillsets and attributes that would make them educators, marine scientists, technologists and other professionals in the much-demanded environmental sectors.
With a multidisciplinary line of faculty and strong oceanic research profile, OCES is well-positioned in offering a comprehensive and integrative curriculum not only covering the basic principles, socioeconomic impact on conservation and fisheries, but also technological skillsets such as data mining and management, ocean modelling & visualization, pollution tracking and the discovery of marine bioactive compounds for industrial applications. The program highlights practicum experience and will collaborate with top ocean science institutes to offer capstone projects, internship and study trips in mainland China, Taiwan, Japan and other overseas locations with a strong presence in ocean research and marine industry.
“The oceans are truly frontiers of scientific pursuit. They are the major driving forces of global climate system and the least explored and understood environment and resources on earth,” said Prof. QIAN Pei-Yuan, Acting Head of the Department of Ocean Science and David von Hansemann Chair Professor of Science. “Marine industries are an important economic pillar for coastal cities such as Hong Kong, and sustainable utilization of ocean resources demands high quality talent as well as sophisticated technology. I am glad to see HKUST filling the niche by founding the city’s first UG program on ocean science and technology. I hope our next generation could understand more about the oceans and learn how to make good use of the resources to achieve a sustainable future.”
“We see a bright prospect for graduates of this program, as demand for ocean science talent is higher than ever amid an increasing amount of coastal infrastructure projects and a burgeoning ecotourism business. After four years of study, our students will be well equipped to work in a number of different sectors including marine industries, local environmental NGOs, government agencies, environmental consultancies, and academic institutions with marine studies,” added Prof. Stanley LAU, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator of Department of Ocean Science.
Commencing in the fall term of 2019, the program is expected to offer no more than 40 places each year. Applicants should first gain admission into the School of Science before declaring OCES as a major in the second year. HKUST also provides an MPhil and PhD program in Marine Environmental Science.