More foreign competition at local universities will raise the quality of Hong Kong graduates

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 January, 2016, 5:01pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 January, 2016, 5:01pm

In his latest policy address, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying proposed to recruit students from the “belt and road” region for local undergraduate courses by offering scholarships to them (“Hong Kong chief executive faces grilling from lawmakers after riding on China’s One Belt, One Road economic strategy in policy address”, January 14). This initiative sparked controversy since critics were worried that it might deprive some local young people of the opportunity of a university education.

I am disappointed with such comment as I think protectionism will do nothing good for our young people.

In the old days, university graduates enjoyed an elite status in society. But, nowadays, when we talk about university students, they are linked to protesters or social activists. The respect for university graduates seems to have gone. What is the reason behind such change?

Many employers complain that the quality of local university graduates is deteriorating, particularly in terms of language proficiency and critical thinking ability. I share the same view. When checking the reports prepared by my young colleagues, I was often shocked by the grammatical mistakes I found. Also, it appears to me that many of them are easily provoked by media reports on socio-political issues. I must point out that I was considered to be only mediocre during my university life, but I am still disappointed with what I observe.

I believe that the best way to improve the quality of local university students is to allow them to compete with foreign students. If you don’t treasure the opportunity to have a university education, you don’t deserve to be respected by other people.

I support the initiative and call on the government to take the lead by tightening the language requirements of civil servant posts, in particular those posts which require professional qualifications.

Stanley Ip, Tseung Kwan O