There's more than one way to qualify
At the Queen's College Old Boys' Association Secondary School yesterday, leaflets were handed out and both teachers and alumni were on hand to advise students on planning their futures.
Hong Kong Community College under Polytechnic University, Institute of Vocational Education and Chinese University - Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Community College also set up booths at the school, to promote their associate degree (AD) courses.
There are many options for students who do not do well in the A-level examinations.
This year 20 secondary institutes will offer 158 full-time accredited AD programmes, including nursing, accounting, teaching and human resources.
Form Seven graduates may enrol in AD courses, which take only two years to complete. Some universities admit AD graduates into government-funded degree programmes. And there are many top-up degree courses specially for AD graduates. However, AD fees range from HK$25,800 to HK$67,200 a year, and you have to pay them yourself. Also, the quality of the courses varies.
For those who hope to obtain pre-employment skills, the Vocational Training Council (VTC) offers a variety of diploma and higher diploma courses in translation, communications, accounting and other subjects.
Another option is to study elsewhere. Most mainland universities require students to sit for the Joint Entrance Examination for Universities, but some recruit Hongkongers directly.