Hong Kong diploma recognised in Canada
Hong Kong's new diploma for secondary school leavers has won the recognition of universities in Ontario after a promotional trip to the Canadian province by education officials.
Canadian recognition for the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination, which comes into effect in 2012, followed approval by the United States, Britain and Australia.
After academic reform, schools switched to six years of secondary education - three at junior level and three at senior level - last September, and universities will launch the four-year degree programmes in 2012. The new diploma exam will replace the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination and A-levels.
With the launch of the new exam only two years away, officials from the Education Bureau and the exam authority are busy promoting overseas. Exam authority chief Dr Francis Cheung Wing-ming said all the universities and accreditation agencies in Ontario they had visited recognised the academic qualifications of the new diploma exam for Canadian university admission.
'Using the UCAS [Universities & Colleges Admissions Service] benchmark results as reference, they will set up their own admission requirements after discussion,' he said.
The delegation, led by officials from the bureau and exam authority, also visited one of the influential International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) centres in Vancouver.
Cheung said the support by ICES was pivotal to gaining nationwide recognition for the diploma.
'People seeking university admission in Canada will go to ICES, which makes recommendations to universities after considering applicants.'