New campus trains talent

June 30, 2019

Furnished with state-of-the-art facilities, the Technological & Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong's (THEi) new Chai Wan campus provides an interactive learning environment for professional training in the areas of design and environment, as well as management and hospitality. The facilities and laboratories include those tailored for programmes such as Horticulture & Landscape Management, and Fashion Design.


“Here at the THEi Chai Wan campus, as a new campus we have been able to really introduce new generation learning spaces. Not only are our classrooms and laboratory, and our lecture spaces equipped with the latest technology in learning and teaching, but we have some very specialist workshops and labs,” THEi President Christina Hong said.


Tree doctors
An increasingly popular course is the Horticulture & Landscape Management programme which includes a module on urban tree risk management. The first batch of graduates entered the workforce last year.


THEi Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Horticulture & Landscape Management programme graduate Lee Ching-yi said she studied modules including plant pathology, plant propagation and urban tree risk management - where she learnt professional techniques to determine a tree’s health from visual inspections to using testing equipment.


“Employers expect us to know how to use these methods and equipment, so they appreciate us having this set of skills,” noted Ms Lee.


Ms Hong explained that students in different programmes in varied specialisms have access to advanced laboratories, both from the scientific point of view for teaching and learning in horticulture and landscape management in terms of augmented reality and virtual reality.


Meeting challenges
In addition to teaching, programme staff conduct research. Assistant Professor Zhang Hao has been exploring how tree distribution can affect the absorption of pollutants and in turn, improve air quality.


The researchers collected data from 32 parks located near highways and found that planting trees with lower crowns in a tree zone that extends 15 metres can reduce pollution exposure from vehicles.


For other areas of the parks, they suggested planting trees with a high crown such as the Green Ailanthus near playgrounds and placing the Chinese Banyan in less densely populated areas.


THEi plans to submit the research findings to the Government to assist in its future urban planning. By selecting the right green infrastructure, researchers hope to improve the city’s air quality.

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