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PolyU programme is 'a first' in Asia
Susie Lunt
update on Saturday, May 15, 2010

Polytechnic University's (PolyU) master of design (MDes) programme allows practising designers, with many years of professional experience, to become design educators - or to advance in their careers.

"The MDes is the first and only design education programme in Asia," says programme manager Christine Tsin.

Although most design educators are experts in their respective disciplines and enjoy strong content knowledge, they lack pedagogic knowledge, Tsin says. "Doing design is different from teaching design," she adds.

The goal of the course is to strengthen one's ability to conduct academic research which contributes to the scholarship of teaching and learning in design education.

It emphasises the value of learning by doing and by becoming a critically reflective design educator.

Above all, the programme is for those who are passionate about design and education, Tsin says.

Ten places are available on the course. Target students are design teachers, experienced designers and design managers. While candidates must hold a bachelor's degree in design, the ideal applicant is already a design teacher, with substantial experience as a practising designer.

"We are looking for mature people with high integrity," Tsin says. "They should be enthusiastic knowledge seekers."

There is an increasing need for design teachers on the mainland because of the rapid expansion of design programmes.

Some students are looking for opportunities in nearby regions. "Thanks to the number of countries starting to recognise the value of design, in terms of bringing together people and increasing economic development, other students

are aiming to contribute to establishing better design education in their home countries," Tsin says.

"The programme not only prepares students to be design educators, [but also] design managers and personnel in supervisory positions who can advance their leadership skills in strengthening the teams they lead in terms of providing training, building up a community of practice and so on."

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