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  • Aug 20, 2014
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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a sovereign state in northern Europe which includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is governed under a constitutional monarchy and a democratic parliamentary system made up of two houses; an elected House of Commons and an appointed House of Lords. It has a population of more than 62 million and has the world's seventh-largest economy by nominal GDP. It is predominantly a Christian country, although successive waves of migration have contributed to the growth of other faiths. It is a member of the European Union as well as the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, G7, G8, G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Trade Organization.


PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 January, 2010, 12:00am

Reading comprehension

Answer the following questions:

1 Which country has recently recognised the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination as qualifications for its university admissions?

a. China

b. Australia

c. Britain

d. The United States

2 Students who achieve ____________ or higher will be eligible for a ____________ programme at the country's universities.

a. Level 1; three-year

b. Level 5; four-year

c. Level 4; four-year

d. Level 4; three-year

3 A Level 3 in the diploma will be equal to ____________ in Britain's GCE and a Level 5 will be equal to ____________.

a. a Grade A; a Grade E

b. a Grade E; a Grade A

c. 120 points; 40 points

d. 40 points; 120 points

4 Why is it that the new recognition might encourage Hong Kong parents to send their children to Britain?

a. The new system has lowered the admission benchmark.

b. Their children can get an extra year of university in Britain.

c. It will be quicker for them to complete a degree.

d. none of the above

Think about

1 Why do education authorities seek recognition for the academic grades they award from overseas? How does this recognition help?

2 How is university different from secondary school? When a year of secondary schooling is replaced with one at university, how do the students benefit? What possible difficulties might they face?

3 How should universities make use of an additional year when the curriculum is extended from three years to four?

4 What do you expect from university life?

5 Do you think finishing school one year early is good?

6 What changes have you seen in your school with the switch to a three-year senior secondary school curriculum?

Follow-up activities

1 Pick three countries of interest to you and find out about their secondary and university education structures. Compare their systems with Hong Kong's new system.

2 Discuss the benefits the Education Bureau thinks the 3+3+4 system will bring, and the concerns of educators and teachers over its implementation.


January 21

Reading comprehension: 1.c, 2. b, 3. a, 4. b


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