The British Post-graduate and Distance Learning Fair, organised by the British Council, expects to draw 6,000 visitors. Representatives of 34 British tertiary institutions will take part in the two-day fair, which starts on Sunday at China Resources Building in Wan Chai. Jenny Scott, council assistant director for education promotion, said the fair was a prime marketing opportunity for British institutions to promote their courses. The representatives were briefed on the local market situation at a conference titled Student Recruitment from Asia - Markets in Turmoil, in London last month. 'A clear message ensuing from the conference is Hong Kong is not a market in turmoil,' Ms Scott said. 'Interest in British education remains strong after the handover and has not changed because of the current economic problems. 'The stability of the Hong Kong dollar and the strong fundamentals of its economy, despite certain setbacks, have maintained Hong Kong's ability to afford overseas studies. 'Hong Kong people also attach high priority to quality education, especially English-medium education. We have reasons to believe the long-term prospect for British education providers here is good,' Ms Scott said. Post-graduate and distance learning continue to be the highest growth areas. In 1996/97, more than 45 per cent of Hong Kong students studying in higher education institutions in Britain were in postgraduate studies. More than half of all distance learning courses registered under the new ordinance are offered by British institutions. Growing in popularity are 'split centre' courses which enable students to combine British-based and distance-learning study in one course. Of the 34 universities, 23 will offer courses by distance learning. To further assist prospective students, 10 one-hour seminars (no pre-booking needed) on general topics and key subjects such as MBA, education and engineering will be held throughout the fair. Education officers from the council's Study in Britain and distance learning centres, will also be on hand to provide advice and information.