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Hong Kong schools

Medical degree proves popular choice for Hong Kong ESF students who aced International Baccalaureate exams

Foundation announces 15 students scored full marks on IB programme this year

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 July, 2018, 7:35pm
UPDATED : Monday, 09 July, 2018, 1:13pm

A degree in medicine was the most popular study choice for the English Schools Foundation pupils who scored top marks in the International Baccalaureate (IB) exams this year, but some have opted for niche subjects such as English literature and information science.

The English Schools Foundation, which runs 22 private schools from kindergarten to secondary level and is the largest provider of international education in Hong Kong, announced on Sunday that 15 students got full marks in their IB exams this year.

Sha Tin College had the most, with six pupils earning full marks, followed by five from Island School and two each from King George V School and South Island School.

It was announced earlier that 23 pupils from local schools also bagged the maximum 45 points.

The Geneva-based IB is a two-year programme aimed at 16- to 19-year-olds. It offers an internationally recognised qualification for entry to higher education and has been available in Hong Kong since 1988. The exam was taken by more than 165,000 pupils around the world this year, including 2,291 from Hong Kong.

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Meeting the media on Sunday, six of the 15 pupils said they were heading for medical programmes offered by the University of Hong Kong and Chinese University.

Vivien Lam Hei-man from Island School said she was inspired by a stay in hospital, to repair torn knee ligaments, about three years ago. She said she hoped to be a doctor who is able to think from the patient’s perspective as she “understands the pain of being a patient”.

South Island School’s Leo Kim Kyu-jung said he was a “numbers person” and will attend Cornell University in the United States to study information science.

“What I want to focus on is using proficiency in numbers to affect life decisions and society,” he said.

Kim, a soccer fan, said sports statistics was one of the fields he was interested in.

“If I had all the choices of career options in the world, I think I would be doing something with statistics and football,” he said.

Samanwita Sen from King George V School will go to Oxford University to study English literature.

“The idea of having the power to create your own world … enthralled me,” Sen said of her love for creative writing.

Sen, whose family hails from Bangladesh, said Hong Kong students are often pressured into picking financially stable careers, and discouraged from pursuing arts degrees.

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She said she was fortunate to go to an international school, and that there should be more support in Hong Kong’s education system for ethnic minorities.

Last year, of the 157,488 pupils globally who took the IB exams, just 278, or 0.18 per cent, earned full marks.