Supporting the structural specialists

by Rachel Sproston

News every month from the world of academia

Ben Elder, director of business development
The College of Estate Management, UK
Photo: Wallace Chan

Leveraging the academic platform of HKCyberU, a division of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the College of Estate Management (CEM) in the UK continues to tailor professional real estate and construction education programmes which set the international benchmark for excellence.

Ben Elder, director of business development, the CEM, underlines the college's ongoing commitment to fostering lifelong learning when and where it suits each student.

"We get people who are returning to education in search of higher qualifications and professional credentials in particular," he reveals.

The college offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in quantity surveying, building surveying, estate and construction management, and arbitration. They target professionals who have made a commitment to the property and construction industry and who wish to upgrade their current capabilities.

To maximise subject mastery, a plethora of learning tools is now available at the CEM including video components to complement individual learning styles.

"Be the student a 'digital immigrant' like many members of today's older generation, or a member of the younger, 'digital native' category," various platforms exist to capitalise on educational opportunities," Mr Elder adds.

Regarding programme content, the CEM takes a proactive approach to both contemporary applicability and curriculum refreshment.

"We scrutinise the subject matter of every course annually following close liaison with prominent members of the property and construction industry and academia," Mr Elder asserts.

This ensures students remain at the cutting edge of academic superiority and practical capability.

Due to its reputation as an institution providing industry-specific courses, the CEM is regularly approached by leading companies to customise professional programmes for employees and in this sense the college bridges any gaps in the market which are an inevitable result of new theories or improved practice.

From a Hong Kong perspective, Mr Elder predicts a marked increase in the demand for professional qualifications in the property and construction industry in the foreseeable future.

"In the current financial turmoil, it is essential to have an internationally recognised certification in an industry that is moving forward. This, combined with the 10 mega construction projects planned by the Hong Kong government in the next few years will affect both the demand for, and content of, the CEM courses as the college continues its dedication to specificity rather than generalisation.

Mr Elder closes by reiterating the widely held view at the CEM that the college remains "the best kept secret outside the industry". Although the CEM is renowned within the property and construction industry, its illustriousness is still on the increase beyond the building industry and on an international scale.

"We advise many potential recruits to consider programmes elsewhere because ours are so specific, but what counts is matching the right course with the right individual at the end of the day," he concludes.

Taken from Career Times 05 December 2008, p. A10
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