VTC to increase places for new diploma graduates

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 February, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 February, 2010, 12:00am

The Vocational Training Council says it will increase the number of available places in 2012 in order to help accommodate about 70,000 new diploma candidates graduating alongside 39,000 A-level students.

From the 2009-10 academic year, government-run and funded secondary schools will switch to a '3+3+4' system. The old system involved five years of schooling (leading to the HKCEE examination), two years of A-levels and three years at university. The HKCEE and A-level examinations will be replaced by the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education. In 2012, candidates of the last A-levels and those of the inaugural diploma exam will fight for places.

Leung Yam-shing, education adviser with the council, said there would be a big increase in the number of places for the so-called double cohort year.

The council offers about 12,000 places for Form Five graduates and about 3,000 places for Form Seven graduates every year.

Leung said the council would increase the number of available places, perhaps by more than 50 per cent. He also said the council would implement measures to accommodate the wider discrepancy in graduates' standards following the launch of the new diploma.

'Now we have two public exams, the Form Five and Seven exams, to screen candidates. In future, there will just be one exam, which means the standards of graduates applying for our courses could vary a lot.

'We are considering whether to conduct admission interviews as further screening. Those who get admitted with lower language proficiency will be made to complete extra hours on weekends or at night to help them catch up. The future curriculum for new diploma graduates will be devised according to the different abilities and needs of students.'

The Education Bureau said last month five Level 2 passes would be the minimum entrance requirement for sub-degree programmes, including associate degrees and higher diplomas offered by the council. Leung said priority would be given to those who had taken relevant courses as applied learning subjects at secondary schools.

As schools will not take in any Form Five repeaters this year following the launch of the new senior academic structure, Leung expected a rise in the number of applicants for the council's courses this year.

He said that the council would increase the number of places by up to 10 per cent for this year's Form Five graduates who will take the swansong Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination. 'We expect 55,000 applicants this year, compared with 50,000 last year. With the opening of the Hong Kong Design Institute in Tiu Keng Leng, there will be more room for an increase in the number of places.'

He also expected that the rising number of applicants will push up their entrance requirements this year.

Swelling ranks

Universities and colleges are bracing for a huge increase in intake in 2012 because of the new diploma system

The rise in school-leavers that year will be: 180%