Consensus reached on entry of associate degree graduates

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 April, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 April, 2010, 12:00am

Publicly funded universities have agreed that graduates of associate degrees can be admitted as third-year students under the new university structure to begin in 2012, a Baptist University dean said yesterday.

Simon Wong Chi-hon, dean of the continuing education school at Baptist University, said the heads of continuing education at the publicly funded universities reached a concensus after a meeting.

Previously there had been disagreement over the year at which associate degree graduates could be admitted into universities' mainstream degree programmes. From the 2009-2010 academic year, education reforms brought in the 3+3+4 system - three years of junior secondary, three years of senior secondary and four years at university.

'You need 128 credits to get a degree at Baptist University. An associate degree graduate can get up to 64 credits upon completing our programme,' Wong said. This means the credits accrued by associate degree graduates would count towards their degree and they would be admitted as third year students, he said.

Associate degree graduates can now enter as second year students under the present three-year degree programme.

Of the 20,000 associate degree graduates each year, only 1,900 gain admission to universities.

Professor Chan Tsang-sing, chairman of the Joint Quality Review Committee, a watchdog set up by the eight publicly-funded universities to oversee the provision of self-financed associate degree courses, said there would be an increase in degree places for such graduates.

'The role played by community colleges or providers of assoicate degree programmes will be bigger in future after the switching of the university structure from three to four years,' Chan said.

With less than one-tenth of graduates given the chance to undertake university degrees, Wong Wai-sum, executive director of the committee, said the development of private universities would meet demand.

'It's also increasingly common for overseas universities to offer degree programmes in Hong Kong [in collaboration with local universities' continuing education arms]. Such programmes can absorb quite a lot of associate degree graduates,' she said.

Lack of places

Some 20,000 people complete associate degrees every year

This is the number of such graduates who are admitted to universities each year: 1,900