Candidates want four-year tertiary studies scheme
Candidates for the new Legislative Council are wooing voters from the Higher Education Sub-sector of the Election Committee.
Most of the 22 candidates' platforms focus on extending the length of tertiary education and improving its quality.
They rallied last week for support from the 20 higher education representatives in the 800-strong Election Committee.
The Legislative Council Election Committee Forum, held by the Higher Education Sub-sector at City University, gave candidates three minutes each to present their platforms.
This was followed by a question-and-answer session.
Yeung Yiu-chung, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB), said if he was elected he would bring the four-year tertiary education plan up for further discussion.
Four-year tertiary education would benefit students, giving them more time to develop knowledge and personal development, he said.
'As the two-year matriculation in secondary education is too examination-oriented, it restricts students' personal development,' Mr Yeung said.
'In this respect, the length of university education should be extended to enable students to polish their social skills and broaden their knowledge.' Thomas Pang Cheung-wai, of the DAB, said four- year tertiary education should be a matter of concern in higher education.
He believed three-year tertiary education would create difficulties for students in academic exchanges with overseas universities.
'Tertiary education in overseas countries probably lasts for four years, so the three-year system will be a problem,' he said.
David Chu Yu-lin, of the Hong Kong Progressive Alliance, said four-year university education could help the SAR's universities reach international standards.
Extending by one year would help students improve their social skills, he said.
Stephen Yam Chi-ming, an independent candidate, suggested that teachers, like other professions, should form a professional body to consolidate their status.
The recognition of their profession would help in the recruitment of better teachers.
Candidates also suggested universities should work closely with industrial and commercial sectors to bolster the SAR's industrial and technological development and ease the unemployment problem among graduates.
Chan Kam-lam, of the DAB, suggested the SAR's universities contribute academic research for practical and commercial use to bolster technological and industrial development and benefit the career market.
The 60 Legislative Councillors will be chosen through three systems: 10 by the Election Committee; one-third via the functional constituency; and the rest from the geographical constituency.
The higher education sub-sector is one of 38 sub- sectors that form the committee.