Hong Kong Metropolitan University (HKMU) will offer the new Bachelor of Science with Honours in Medical Laboratory Science programme from September this year, which has received an enthusiastic response from applicants. To support the development of the programme, a 7,000-square-foot Medical Science Laboratory, equipped with cutting-edge professional equipment, will be officially opened at the same time.
The Laboratory is located on HKMU’s main campus and is divided into five dedicated areas that support teaching and research in the five core disciplines of the programme: clinical haematology and transfusion science, clinical chemistry and immunology, medical microbiology, cellular pathology, and molecular diagnostics. Equipped with state-of-the-art instruments commonly used in hospitals, the Laboratory is set to enhance the students’ pre-employment training.
The HKSAR Government forecasts up to 300 full-time vacancies for medical laboratory technologists in Hong Kong each year by 2030. HKMU Provost Prof. Reggie Kwan Ching-ping said, “The University has responded to strong demand from the community by launching this new programme and allocating resources to set up the Medical Science Laboratory. By combining our expertise in healthcare, life sciences, and testing and certification, HKMU will continue to nurture talented medical laboratory professionals for Hong Kong with the use of advanced technology and through inter-disciplinary collaboration.”
Prof. Kwan added, “The University also plans to make the Laboratory a fully intelligent one, with advanced equipment, such as a digital laboratory monitoring system, a robotic system and smart glasses, with the aim of developing it into the first smart teaching medical science laboratory in Hong Kong.”
The Bachelor of Science with Honours in Medical Laboratory Science programme will train qualified medical laboratory technologists and prepare graduates for medical laboratory work. It is designed in accordance with the requirements of the Medical Laboratory Technologists Board, which has formally commenced the accreditation of the programme. Upon completion of the accreditation, the students will be eligible to obtain the qualification of registered medical laboratory technologist.
HKMU School of Science and Technology Dean Prof. Philips Wang Fu-lee said, “With scientific advances, the application of big data analysis has become a new trend in the development of healthcare. To keep abreast of the times, HKMU has incorporated bioinformatics, and laboratory management and accreditation in the programme and has also strengthened training in molecular diagnostics to equip students with professional knowledge, and with the opening of the brand-new Medical Science Laboratory, to provide them with ample opportunities for application and practice, thereby helping them build a solid foundation for their future career in the industry.”
The programme’s teaching staff are accredited medical laboratory technologists with extensive experience in the field, some with 20 to 30 years of work experience, and two scientific officers have been recruited to strengthen laboratory training.
In 2021, HKMU received a grant of HK$40 million from the Education Bureau’s Enhancement and Start-up Grant Scheme for Self-financing Post-secondary Education as start-up funding for the Bachelor of Science with Honours in Medical Laboratory Science programme. In addition, a Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Science programme was offered last year to cater for the continuing education needs of the industry. The Master’s programme will send forth its first cohort of students at the end of this year, with the majority of them engaging in medical laboratory-related work.