Teenagers and their parents in search of study options have more destinations to choose from this year. At the Hong Kong International Education Expo, which opened yesterday, South Africa's University of Johannesburg, seven universities from the Czech Republic and Kazakhstan's Ministry of Education and Science are taking part for the first time. All are hoping to recruit students from Hong Kong or launch co-operation programmes with counterparts in the city. Tang Chan-chu, whose daughter is waiting for the results of her Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) examination, attended a joint introductory session by the universities in the Czech Republic. "She prefers to stay in Hong Kong, but there should always be a plan B for her in case she doesn't get good scores," Tang said. Edward Wong Ip-kit, whose 17-year-old son will face the DSE exam next year, said he would consider the Czech Republic as a less expensive choice for his son's further education. Annual tuition fees at the seven universities range from €1,500 to €12,000 (HK$15,000 to HK$120,000), depending on programmes and degrees. Wong was critical of the DSE exam, which was introduced last year, calling it difficult, confusing and lacking international recognition. Many other parents and their children voiced similar opinions, and said they visited the exhibition to look for other options because they are not confident about the DSE exams. "I want to see if there are any other ways out," said Grace Yu Tin-yan, a Form Three student at True Light Middle School on Tai Hang Road. "I don't know if I can go to good universities here." Rather than recruiting students, Kazakhstan is seeking partners for a scholarship programme to send its own students to study abroad, said Kaiyrzhan Yermanov, chief representative of the programme. The expo, at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, ends today.