I refer to the article, 'Course fees deductible to upgrade skill levels' (South China Morning Post, March 7), in which reference was made to the course fees of the Open Learning Institute (OLI).
I wish to point out that the notion of a lump sum annual course fee as reflected by the statement 'a student would have to pay $25,000 a year' is incorrect.
OLI course fees are calculated on the basis of credit weighting. Courses are usually assigned a credit weighting of five, 10 or 20 credits. For the April 1996 semester, a credit costs about $775 - so a 10-credit course will cost $7,750. Thus a student's course fee per year will depend on the total number of credits taken by him or her during that year.
Most of our current enrolment of 20,000 students are in full employment and follow their course of study on a part-time basis. The average loading is 20 credits per year. This works out as $15,500 in 1996.
An ordinary degree requires the completion of 120 credits. Students can complete this requirement at their own pace of study.
We welcome the proposed salaries tax concession for training-course expenses. It is a step in the right direction for continued upgrading of the Hong Kong labour force to maintain its competitive edge. We are glad that our 20,000 working students, as well as prospective students, will benefit from this development.
ALEX WONG Head, Public Affairs Unit Open Learning Institute