Postgraduate Joint Degrees Widen Horizons

It has been a productive year for postgraduate dual-degree partnerships at the School of Engineering (SENG), with three programs at top international institutions added to the growing list of collaborations arranged with leading global universities. Dual-degree programs enable SENG postgraduates to broaden their academic and personal horizons and networks through studying overseas; and provide valuable recognition of their studies through the awarding of dual degrees from both HKUST and their host institution. Such programs also add to SENG’s diversity, with students from partner institutions studying at HKUST.

A dual doctoral program in engineering has been established with the University of Waterloo in Canada that enables students to simultaneously earn a PhD from each institution. Since January 2016, selected students have had the opportunity to receive engineering doctoral supervision from both universities and spend around equal time at each campus. Students must meet the requirements of both institutions but only need to prepare one thesis and one thesis defense.

On successful graduation, candidates will receive a degree from each institution showing it was carried out in cotutelle, a French term indicating the PhD program was offered jointly. In the summer, a memorandum of understanding was agreed between HKUST and the University of Waterloo, expanding the arrangement of the dual-degree PhD program in engineering to cover other disciplines.

In March 2016, CentraleSupélec in France signed a cooperative agreement with HKUST that allows students to earn a master’s level dual degree in engineering from each institution. The program got underway this Fall. CentraleSupélec is a leading French science and technology institution and a founding member of the Université Paris-Saclay. CentraleSupélec was formed by the 2015 merger of two of France’s prestigious grandes écoles, École Centrale Paris and Supélec, and has 4,700 students of which 3,500 are engineer-students and 32% are international students. The dual-degree agreement enables students nominated by CentraleSupélec and HKUST to study at each other’s campus.

Also in March 2016, the School and Politecnico di Milano in Italy established an academic collaboration under which students from both universities can earn a dual degree in engineering at master’s level. Politecnico di Milano is Italy’s largest science and technology university, with a student population of more than 41,000. The highly ranked institution trains engineers, architects and industrial designers, placing emphasis on quality and innovation in teaching and research.

The three latest programs bring the School’s total number of postgraduate joint degrees with leading global institutions to six. Other dual-degree university partners are based in Korea, Mainland China and Iran.