FAQs on the Work-Integrated Education (WIE)
Department of Computing

Responsible staff: Dr Robert Luk (2766-5143) and Pauline NG (2766-7319)


0. [  Enter WIE System  ]

1. What are rationales for the new WIE requirement?

The new WIE requirements are intended to address 2 aspects of student's learning at the PolyU (i.e., you need to show you have learnt in the job):

         Professional knowledge and skills (mostly related to your study), and

         Attributes for all-roundedness (e.g., communication, working in teams, life-long learning, etc.).

Therefore, the first aspect intends to further enrich the students' knowledge and skills in the Computing/IT/EIS/FinTech (related to your study) discipline. The second aspect is to sharpen the students' other equally, if not more, important attributes, such as communication, working in teams, exposure to professional working contexts, which usually cannot be acquired in a classroom setting. In other words, the motivations for the WIE are essentially the same as that for the Department to institute the mandatory Industrial Placement Program in our programs many years ago.

2. How does the new WIE requirement affect my curriculum?

The new WIE requirement applies to ALL year-one students in the academic year 2005/06 and thereafter. Note that the year-one students include the advanced students as well.

         All the students are required to accumulate at least 4 WIE credits (i.e., at least 312 hours of work in total) before their graduation which are outside the 90 academic credit requirement.

         Each WIE credit can be obtained by completing 78 hours of the approved activities (that means each job should last at least 39 hours of work equivalent to half a WIE credit).

3. What kinds of activities can be counted towards the WIE requirement?

The kinds of activities that can be counted towards the WIE requirement must be related to Computing/IT/EIS/FinTech (related to your study) discipline. In general, they must satisfy all of the followings:

a.      They must contain some elements that are relevant to the Computing/IT/EIS/FinTech (involving software) discipline.

b.     They must be structured in the sense that the WIE activity should be well defined beforehand (in contrast to ad hoc tasks).

c.      They must be conducted in a recognized organization outside the Department, and the outcome can be effectively and accurately assessed by the Department.

The WIE activities, however, do not have to be remunerated.

Example job titles include:

a.      programmer

b.     software engineer

c.      computer network engineer

d.     web developer/programmer

e.      big data analytics intern

f.       application development and support

g.     software team member

h.     bioinformatics engineer

i.       VR software developer

j.       algorithm engineer intern

k.     Android developer

l.       IT consultant

m.   data centre operator

n.     computer technician

o.     mobile app developer

p.     IT quality assurance assistance

q.     software developer

r.       research assistant (related to computing, e.g., design of algorithms, check correctness of algorithms, implement the algorithms in computer programs)

Example job titles that failed because of little relation with your study or all-roundedness include:

a.      freelance worker

b.     technician

c.      laboratory officer

d.     IT sales

e.      assistant

You need to show to have enough components for learning the professional skill and knowledge (related to your study), and you need to show to have enough components of attributes for all-roundedness in the WIE request form and the WIE report.

4. What kinds of approved WIE activities are available?

The students may participate either one of the following two broad categories of approved WIE activities.

         The 32-week internship program which usually take place after the second-year study. After completing the internship program, the student will be able to accumulate 16 WIE credits.

         Other shorter-term activities. 

While it is impossible to give an exhaustive list of activities in the second category, the followings are some examples of suitable WIE activities (subject to satisfying the WIE requirements and to approval).

         Work in a local/overseas company/organization on IT assignments as a summer job and usually not part-time job (through the SAO's PGDP program, IASTE exchange, the Department's announcements, or other channels).

         Work in the PolyU administrative departments and the Industrial Center on IT assignments as a student helper.

         Volunteered work with recognized organizations on IT assignments.

         Participate in high-level consultancy or collaborative research projects that require the student to work with external companies / organizations.

         Work for jobs in PolyU Jobboard (https://www.polyu.edu.hk/caps/jobboard).

         Work for Campus jobs in PolyU (https://www.polyu.edu.hk/caps/find-jobs/work-on-campus-scheme).

5. What kinds of activities are definitely NOT WIE activities?

Once again the following list of nonWIE activities is not an exhaustive list.

         Private tutoring

         Freelance activities (indicated by part-time jobs serving your client)

         Student helpers in COMP's technical team

         Non-IT work of any kind, such as clerical, marketing, sales, data entry, etc

         IT sales (with little software development [team] work)

         Technician (with little software development [team] work which is unrelated to your study)

6. Do I need to find those WIE activities myself?

For the first category of WIE activities (the 32-week internship), the Department will work with the companies to provide the internship positions. For the second category, the students are encouraged to find the suitable positions from various channels, such as CAPS or summer jobs occasionally announced by the Department.

7. Can I satisfy the WIE requirement from more than 1 activity?

Yes, you can. There are different ways to accumulate the 4 WIE credits (4 x 78 =  312 hours). For example,

         one can work on a single summer job to fulfill the requirement (recommended). Or,

         one can work on a single part-time job (but need to show it is not a free-lance job and need team working experience).

         Another may work on 2 part-time jobs (but need to show it is not a free-lance job and need team working experience) to fulfill the requirement, etc.

However, the students are discouraged from engaging in "many" small activities (e.g., less than 39 hours) to fulfill the WIE requirement, because such small activity may not meet the requirements under item 3. Note that you have to seek approval, and to fill in the WIE request form and the WIE report for each activity that you have done for WIE. Note that each activity should last at least 39 hours.

For nonlocal students, please consult the immigration department website (https://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/faq/imm-policy-study.html) about regulations or rules for (part time) employment (in the past refer to Q20).

8. Can my past job experience be counted towards the WIE requirement?

Yes, only if your experience was gained during your HD or Associate Degree studies (limited to at most 156 hours). In this case, you can submit the necessary documentation to us (see this chart) first (i.e., to the general office). After your documentation submission is complete and you obtain an initial approval, submit a WIE request using our portal. After your WIE request is approved, you may proceed to complete the WIE report. In this case, since you have completed your job for some time and your industrial supervisor is unlikely to be able to provide feedback for us, you can put our general office staff's email address (i.e., paulin@comp.polyu.edu.hk) instead of the email address of the industrial supervisor to fill in the WIE report designed for the industrial supervisor.

9. What are the procedures for the WIE management?

For the shorter-term activities, there are 2 cases to consider:

a. For the WIE activities that have already been performed (see item 7), you may send the following information to your program leader for the Dept's approval.

         A certification from the organizations concerned with the position title, the number of hours performed, and the specific duties (use the form for employer certification in the report).

b. For the WIE activities that are yet to be performed,

         You need to obtain the approval from your program leader, or his designate, that the activity qualifies for the WIE credits, before its commencement. The information submitted is essentially the same as for the last case.

         After completing the activity, you are required to submit a report to the Department for claiming the WIE credits. See here for the report format and requirement.

10.What are the rules about external and internal units?

If your WIE is done with an internal unit, then at most you earn 2 WIE credits (or 156 hours). The remaining WIE credits must be earned from an external unit.

Internal units include all academic departments of recognized institutions in Hong Kong (e.g., COMP, EIE, etc.) but excluding non-academic departments of recognized institutions in Hong Kong. These academic departments should offer jobs such that the outcome can be effectively and accurately assessed by the Department of Computing, HKPU.

External units include academic departments in recognized institutions outside Hong Kong and companies. These academic departments should offer jobs such that the outcome can be effectively and accurately assessed by the Department of Computing, HKPU.

11. What would happen if I cannot accumulate enough WIE credits before graduation?

The WIE credits are required for graduation. A failure of accumulating the required number of credits will delay the student's graduation.