An unsound foundation
Although the Government has put in a great deal of effort to promote foundation courses and associate degrees, it seems that students are sceptical over the programmes.
The Government has spent huge sum of money in advertising these courses. Yet it seems that, although officials are excellent at giving them great 'window-dressing', beyond this they cannot compare with the vocational training schools in terms of cost-effectiveness and practicality. Form Five repeaters can be divided into two groups: those who do not wish to proceed to higher education and those who work hard in their studies but just fail to pass their exams. I wholly understand why the latter group is so unwilling to risk undertaking foundation courses which demand high fees while offering unrecognised certificates in return.
The Chief Executive, in his Policy Address last year, specifically aimed at ensuring that 60 per cent of secondary school leavers would receive tertiary education within 10 years. With this in mind, it would be more pragmatic for the Government to allocate resources to more school and tertiary places rather than impractical foundation courses.