To meet the increasing demand for associate degree and higher diploma courses, the School of Professional Education and Executive Development (SPEED) of Hong Kong Polytechnic University will launch three new Bachelor of Arts (BA) programmes in September. Each of the three courses - Applied Sociology, Bilingual Communication and Business - will last one and a half years. Students will have to earn at least 45 credits to graduate, and with each credit costing $1,900, the total tuition fee is around $85,500. Individual subjects in the latter two programmes are included in the list of 'reimbursable courses' under the Continuing Education Fund (CEF). The three programmes are designed for associate degree and higher diploma graduates in related disciplines. SPEED acting director Dennis Chan said: 'As more and more students deem associate degrees an ideal option for further study, SPEED has taken the lead in introducing specialised top-up programmes in various disciplines.' The existing top-up programmes offered by SPEED are BAs in Applied and Media Arts, Housing Management, Marketing and Public Relations, and Travel Industry Management. Founded in 1999, SPEED aims to spearhead life-long learning by offering more than 20 full-time and part-time programmes and 200 short-term courses. For more information, visit www.speed.poly.edu.hk or call 3400 2828.