[First published on 08 July, 2015] Hong Kong is the global leader in the 2015 International Baccalaureate, with almost a fifth of all perfect scores worldwide achieved by students from local schools. About 1,990 city students took part in the IB programme this year and 27 achieved a perfect score of 45, which was only accomplished by 158 students across the world. Last year students gained 22 perfect scores in Hong Kong, about 10 per cent of the 208 achieved worldwide. Lai Cheuk-yin, a St Paul's Co-educational College pupil who obtained a perfect IB score, said he declined an offer from Cambridge University, and might study at the faculty of medicine in Chinese University instead, because tuition fees were too expensive at Cambridge. "I want to be a doctor because it is a combination between science and humanity," Lai said, adding that consultants said studying medicine at CUHK is as good as Cambridge. St Paul's obtained an average score of 41 and three students in its 32-pupil IB class achieved the perfect score. This is the third year the college has held the IB programme. Last year, 23 pupils at the college took part in the programme and the number is expected to reach 66 by 2017, the school said. Lim Shu Fei, a 20-year-old Malaysian student who joined the programme at St Paul's two years ago, scored 44. She plans to enter Oxford University to study law. "Hong Kong is more competitive than Malaysia and that is why I wanted to come here," said Lim. "If I stayed in Malaysia I would not have had the same motivation." Meanwhile, the English Schools Foundation achieved its highest average yet, scoring 35.5 points among its 909 students, 14 of whom received a perfect score. ESF student Jane Wright said she would use her perfect score towards studying engineering at Cambridge University. About 40 per cent of French International School's 25 IB students scored at least 40 with one getting a perfect score. The school got an average score of 37. Diocesan Boys' School had four pupils obtaining 44 with an average score of 39 among its 59 IB pupils. Canadian International School had three pupils achieve the perfect score and 31 scoring at least 40. The school's average score among its 109 IB pupils was 36. Jovian Ma, 18, from the French International School said he could be heading to university in the United Kingdom after he achieved a perfect score of 45, something less than 0.01 per cent of all International Baccalaureate students achieved. “I didn’t really expect it, but it’s good,” Ma said, “[When my parents heard] there was a lot of hugging involved. “They were really happy because they’d seen me work so hard over the years… a lot of time and sacrifice went into the IB program.” Ma said he will use his score to help achieve his dream of being a doctor, and thanked his school and his parents for their support.