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Press Release 

  OUHK partners CITA on fashion business top-up degree 14/05/2008

The Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK) and the Clothing Industry Training Authority (CITA) today (14 May) signed a cooperation agreement to jointly offer a two-year full-time top-up programme in fashion business, providing opportunities for CITA diploma graduates in Fashion Business and Fashion Design & Development to obtain a bachelor's degree.

OUHK President Professor John C Y Leong and CITA Executive Director Professor Philip K W Yeung signed the alliance agreement at a ceremony held at the University's Ho Man Tin campus. Attending the ceremony were CITA Chairman Dr Lam Tai-fai, Associate Director Mr David Yip and Program Leader (Professional and Continuing Education) Dr Betty Li, and OUHK Vice-President Professor Danny Wong and Dean of the Lee Shau Kee School of Business and Administration Professor Y K Ip.

Speaking at the ceremony, Professor Leong commended the CITA for its commitment to upgrading the professional level and competitiveness of the local clothing industry. He said: "Since its establishment in Hong Kong over 30 years ago, CITA has been leading the training of technical and management talent for the local clothing industry with quality teaching and a top-notch faculty. We are honoured to team up with such an eminent and experienced academic partner."

"The Hong Kong textile and clothing industry is now going through a testing time following the implementation of CEPA in 2004 and abolition of the textile quota system in 2005. With rapidly changing production processes and marketing strategies and new products emerging all the time, as well as increasingly intensive competition from neighbouring areas, the fashion business is blessed with many opportunities but also has to tackle numerous challenges," he continued.

The top-up programme is designed precisely to meet the needs of the industry's fast-changing business environment. In addition to enriching students' knowledge in law, economics and management, the programme also focuses on deepening their understanding of the industry's operations and more importantly, broadening their international vision and acumen. It hopes to foster their independent thinking and analytical ability, so that they can make accurate and professional judgment even in a complex and volatile business environment.

Professor Yeung said, "According to the statistics of Recruit magazine published in late 2007, 64.97 per cent of merchandising and procurement job vacancies accumulated in the first ten months of 2007 was related to the fashion business, which amounted to more than 20,000 vacancies. This reflects that structural changes in the clothing industry have led to an acute imbalance in the demand and supply of knowledge-based professionals. It is time for educational bodies and training institutions to fill the gap."

The collaboration will last three years, with the first batch of students to be admitted this September. After completing the first year of study, depending on their interests and needs, students may choose to graduate with an associate degree or go on to the second year to obtain a bachelor's degree.


Upper photo caption (L-R): CITA Dr Lam Tai-fai, Prof Philip Yeung; OUHK Prof John Leong, Prof Danny Wong



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