High-level delegations will be sent to Britain and Australia to promote Hong Kong's new school-leaving diploma among their universities, following last week's trip to Canada. The examinations authority and Education Bureau are jointly making the visits to discuss university admission requirements for the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education. The authority is also conducting a survey of more than 190 universities in five English-speaking countries on their admission requirements for the diploma, which the first group of students will receive in 2012. The survey will include top-ranking universities such as Yale and Oxford, as well as middle-range and less well-known institutions in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Britain. Magdalene Li Yee-ching, the authority's communications manager, said: 'We are making visits to overseas universities because we think it's very important to communicate to people so that they understand this new qualification.' The survey is an open-ended exercise that could take more than a year to complete, but the authority aims to ensure that information about the admission criteria of many overseas universities will be available by September next year. Deputy secretary for education Catherine Chan Ka-ki and the authority's secretary general, Dr Francis Cheung Wing-ming, will lead the trip to Britain, which is being organised jointly with the British Council, in the last week of this month. They will hold briefing sessions on the diploma in London and Manchester for admissions tutors from at least 50 universities, and give a presentation at an international higher education conference in London. The trip to Australia is due to take place next month, but the details have yet to be worked out. Dr George Pook, the authority's deputy secretary general, said the delegations would discuss the standard of the new diploma and admission requirements using benchmarks released in January by the British university admissions service, UCAS. 'There is also a plan to go to the United States, but we haven't fixed a date yet,' he said. 'We expect universities abroad to take some time to make their minds up.' Under the UCAS qualifications 'tariff', a Level 5 in one subject of the diploma is equivalent to an A in the British A-level subject; a Level 4 is equal to a C and a Level 3 is equal to an E.