With more tertiary education options than ever before, the decision-making process of selecting an undergraduate or postgraduate programme or education institution can be complex and confusing.
Joanna D'Ettorre Leung, director at the Academic and Continuing Education (ACE HK), says that by directing students to the appropriate university and programme choices, education consultancies aim to provide them with an individualised plan that meets study needs and career goals.
Importantly, says D'Ettorre Leung, students should endeavour to maximise the opportunities of their overseas experience. 'There is more involved in studying overseas than absorbing academic knowledge. People should use the opportunity to learn to think independently and fend for themselves in a different cultural environment,' says D'Ettorre Leung, adding that it is the ability to think creatively and problem-solve that employers increasingly look for.
With interaction with admissions offices and information-gathering about education institutions in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US and the UK, D'Ettorre Leung says there is a wide choice of where and how people can study. 'We match according to study ability, aptitude and budget. But in addition, we help process increasingly complex enrolment requirements, visa, living and health requirements,' says D'Ettorre Leung.
As the world's largest independent provider of UK university distance learning qualifications, RDI Management Learning partners with top UK universities to deliver MBA, master, bachelor and diploma programmes both in Hong Kong and across Asia.
'RDI offers a flexible, affordable alternative to traditional methods, giving students control of when and what they learn, making it a much more manageable way to achieve a degree,' says Linda de-Lay, regional director at RDI Management Learning, adding that programmes are offered through full time, part-time or online study.
'We look to steer students towards the right programme in terms of the subject focus, the style of teaching and the financial budget,' says de-Lay.
Based on experience, de-Lay says Hong Kong employers like the added value of a programme from an international university giving more exposure to global issues, a wider range of international case studies and the assurance that a UK degree gives about language abilities. 'Studying with UK universities in Hong Kong exposes students to the UK approach to analysis and presentation. Employers value this for its transferability to the business context,' she says.
At The Edge Learning Center, emphasis is put on helping students identify suitable undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, mainly in the US. CEO Duc Luu says one of the key issues for acceptance is writing a convincing application.
'At undergraduate level, the application usually takes a holistic approach by focusing on who you are as a person, your potential and what you can contribute to the university and the world at large. At postgraduate level, it is more about the quality of work you expect to achieve, previous experience and the level of interest you show in developing your knowledge and abilities,' says Luu. 'It is getting the application right where we are able to help people.'