Form Five graduates more willing to pursue alternative study routes

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 August, 2008, 12:00am

More Form Five graduates have moved early to seek alternative study paths amid tougher competition for Form Six places this year.

Some institutions offering alternative courses said that applications were up 20 to 30 per cent on the same period last year. The Vocational Training Council, several universities and other professional training institutions offer a range of subsidised and self-financed subdegree programmes for Form Five graduates.

Education adviser Leung Yam-shing said 22,000 Form Five students had enrolled in courses under the council's umbrella in the past two days - a rise of about 5,000. And the rush began two hours earlier than usual.

'Last year, the peak hour for student admissions was around noon, while crowds of students gathered at our schools around 10am this year,' he said. 'The increase can be explained by the higher competition for Form Six places this year as more students met the minimum requirements for studying in Forms Six and Seven.'

Cheng Kin-fai, principal of the University of Hong Kong's Space Community College, said there had been no immediate surge in applications for pre-associate degree courses but he expected more enrolments later as competition for Form Six places toughened.

Hong Kong Central College, which offers three-year associate degree courses for Form Five students, said it had received about 100 enrolments, 20 to 30 per cent more than the same period last year.

Terence Pang Shing-sau, an associate director of programme consultation at the college, said there were about 40 students at the school last year and he expected to enrol about 180 this year.