THE two new technical colleges set up by the Vocational Training Council (VTC) have received an overwhelming response, with more than double the anticipated number of applicants showing interest in the part-time and full-time courses.
The technical colleges in Tsing Yi and Chai Wan, to be opened in October, have been approached by almost 10,000 applicants, all of whom are certificate holders, for the part-time courses.
Over 8,000 are competing for the 2,640 part-time evening higher-certificate places, while 2,000 have applied for the 834 part-time day release places.
Competition for the evening courses is so keen that three applicants have to compete for one place.
Mr Leung Kam-fong, principal of Chai Wan Technical College, said the response was very encouraging, particularly in courses for Accountancy, Business and Computing, Hotel and Catering, Design, Pharmacy and Electrical Engineering.
''The exceptional response proves the public has great confidence in us, even though this is only our first year,'' Mr Leung said.
''It also shows that the demand for practical subjects is still very great. Although many students would like to enter university to further their studies, there are still a great many who opt for technical schools to study practical subjects, a trainingthat ensures them a place in the working world.'' The courses were originally offered in the Hong Kong Polytechnic and the City Polytechnic of Hong Kong, but were this year transferred to the VTC. Many of the courses have been revamped to suit Hong Kong's specific needs.
For instance, the computing course has been supplemented with more software knowledge and information technology, Mr Leung said.
Besides the higher-certificate courses, the two technical colleges will offer full-time higher-diploma courses for diploma holders this October. The response for these courses, too, has been good. Over 9,700 have applied, as first choice, for the 1,440 places.
The Chai Wan Technical College had 6,040 applications for the 680 places available for 16 courses.
The college, which opens in October, has recruited a local and overseas staff of 80. Computers and other advanced hi-tech learning facilities will be installed by the end of next month.
''We aim at giving students a good study environment with the most up-to-date facilities,'' Mr Leung said.
The list of successful applicants for the full-time courses at both technical colleges will be announced next month under the JASPIC (Joint Admissions Scheme for Polytechnics, Technical Institutes and Colleges).
The scheme also includes the VTC's technical institutes, the Hong Kong Polytechnic and the City Polytechnic of Hong Kong.
The seven technical institutes offer a total of 4,760 places, attracting 10,700 applicants choosing them as first choice.