FIG Peer Review Journal


Future Directions of Construction Education to Meet the Challenges and Opportunities (3413)

S. Thomas Ng, Kelwin K. W. Wong and James M. W. Wong (Hong Kong SAR, China)
Dr. S. Thomas Ng
Department of Civil Engineering
The University of Hong Kong
Department of Civil Engineering
The University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong SAR, China
Corresponding author Dr. S. Thomas Ng (email: tstng[at], tel.: + 852 2857 8556)

[ abstract ] [ handouts ] [ handouts ]

Published on the web 2009-02-16
Received 2008-12-01 / Accepted 2009-02-16
This paper is one of selection of papers published for the FIG Working Week 2009 in Eilat, Israel and has undergone the FIG Peer Review Process.

FIG Working Week 2009
ISBN 978-87-90907-73-0 ISSN 2307-4086


The financial tsunami has certainly posted lots of challenges to the construction industry as the outlook of a country’s economy could become more unpredictable. In order to survive in a volatile market, construction stakeholders must improve their competitive edge over their competitors. This is particularly the case if one would like to explore the opportunities in a more lucrative market like Mainland China, India, or Middle East. Unfortunately, construction has always been regarded as a traditional industry, leaving very little rooms for innovation or improvement. This mindset should be rectified especially through our next generation who is more ready to accept new ideas and concepts. The purpose of this paper is to examine the future direction of construction education so as to nurture the next generation of construction expertise. The findings are based on a recent study conducted in Hong Kong with students in the tertiary education institutions who are studying construction related programs. The paper begins by examining the condition of construction market around the world. The potential factors which can improve the competitive edge of students are identified. The results of the questionnaire survey are then presented. It is found that the soft skills of students doing construction related programs are lacking. Besides, it is beneficial for students to be exposed to the practices, legal framework and cultures of some emerging economies like Mainland China and Middle East during their study. In view of that, different strategies are put forwarded in the paper to improve construction education at tertiary level.
Keywords: Education; construction education; competitive edge; tertiary education institutions