There's more than one way to achieve your goals
Shum Lai-lim will soon enrol in an associate degree programme at Lingnan University but can still remember his disappointment when he learned his HKCEE results last year.
'Having failed Chinese, I couldn't do Form Six,' he said.
But Mr Shum, 19, a member of the Hong Kong taekwondo team, soon picked himself up and started looking for options that would pave the way to a university education.
He had several choices: repeat a year, join the Yi-jin work experience scheme or apply for pre-associate degree programmes and various diplomas and high diplomas.
'I didn't want to repeat a year because I wouldn't want to spend an extra year studying,' he said. The work experience scheme and diploma courses were even further away from the door to a university. After careful consideration, Mr Shum decided to try his luck with the one-year pre-associate degree programme at Lingnan University.
'The timetable was flexible, which fitted well with my taekwondo practice. Also, enrolling in the programme did not cost me extra time in pursuing a university education.'
Having completed the year, he will enrol in a two-year associate degree programme at Lingnan starting next month, majoring in business management.
After two years he is hoping to secure a second-year undergraduate place at university. This would mean he will have spent the same amount of time reaching that stage as students sitting A-levels.
City University senior lecturer in social studies Fung Wai-way said the government provided 840 second-year subsidised undergraduate places for more than 20,000 associate degree students.
But Mr Shum is confident he will get one and hopes students with unsatisfactory HKCEE results this year will not lose heart.
'There are many paths to one goal. The most important thing is not to regret your choice,' he said.