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Title: The relationship between internship programmes and skill development in higher education : a study of a business school in Hong Kong
Author: Iu Mei Ling , Melina
ISNI:       0000 0004 5354 7923
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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Hong Kong, as an open economy is susceptible to the tiniest changes in other economies. An ever increasingly competitive market has increased demand for a highly skilled workforce. Employers expect their employees to be more adaptive, well-versed and able to navigate this rapidly changing landscape with minimal supervision. Therefore, tertiary institutions, as a very important provider of vocational skills, are not only providing professional training but also instilling various soft skills, such as analytical and problem solving skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills and the like in the students. The formal classroom setup at universities is no longer the only way for students to acquire working knowledge. Hands-on learning is gaining popularity. Learning activities - such as group-based projects, field trips and internship - are branded as 'experiential learning' or "out~of-classroom learning" that provide alternative modes of learning to classroom teaching. Even as more and more institutions are adding experiential learning activities to the curriculum to enrich or fill the gap of classroom teaching, the impact of such learning activities on the skill development of students is not well documented. Internship, as a specific form of experiential learning, is least chronicled. This study aims at shedding light on what kind of internship experience helps students develop a set of soft skills commonly requested by local employers. A large-scale survey was conducted at a local Business School whose students have a long tradition of participating in internship programmes. Quantitative analyses were employed to identify what specific attributes, such as internship length, task spectrum, number of internship programmes and so on, of an internship could drive the skill development of a student. The regression models provided specific input to administrators and educators on policy design when they are developing internship programme while other qualitative comments from students gave meaning to the phenomenon. The results showed that length of time of internship, variety of industries and the spectrum of tasks given to the student-interns are perceived by the students as having a positive impact on the development of their skills, particularly in work attitude, problem solving and analysis and management. Other factors did not appear to significantly affect the skill development of students. This research has potential to inform the development of the future of internship programmes. Future research directions are also suggested given the findings in this study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available