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Wide recognition for Applied Learning pilot courses

    Students who had successfully completed quality-assured Applied Learning pilot courses (Career-oriented Curriculum, COC) would benefit from recognition arrangements for the third cohort of the pilot (2005-07 school years), under which their attainments would be widely recognised for further studies and employment, a spokesman for the Education Bureau said today (August 2).

     First introduced in September, 2003, as a pilot scheme, the COC is an initiative to diversify the curriculum at senior secondary level and to provide students with multiple pathways to further studies and employment.  It also aims to develop the potential and interests of students who learn better through experiencing or doing by placing greater emphasis on applied learning.

     More than 1,300 students in the third cohort of COC have successfully completed their studies, with some having completed more than one course.

     "To ensure the standard and quality of pilot COC courses, the bureau, in collaboration with the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation (HKCAA), has conducted a pilot quality assurance exercise covering the 32 COC courses offered in the third cohort.  It is concluded that the standard of these COC courses is deemed comparable to a subject pass in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE)," the spokesman said.

     For admission to academic programmes beginning in the 2007/08 school year, successful completion of one quality-assured COC course will be recognised as comparable to:

* One HKCEE subject pass, up to a maximum of two subjects, for admission to further studies in the respective institutions of the course providers;

* One HKCEE subject pass, each counted as one point and up to a maximum of two points, for admission to Secondary Six and for entry to the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination;

* One HKCEE subject pass, excluding Chinese Language and English Language, each counted as one point and up to a maximum of two subjects, for entry to Pre-Associate Degree Programmes; and

* Successful completion of two electives under Project Yi Jin (PYJ) if the students who enrol in PYJ have successfully completed one or two quality-assured COC course(s) in a related study area.  In other words, students will be required to study seven core modules plus one elective (instead of three electives) under PYJ.

     The spokesman said the Civil Service Bureau (CSB), on the recommendation of the Education Bureau and HKCAA, would also accept successful completion of a quality-assured COC course as comparable to a pass in HKCEE (excluding Chinese Language and English Language) for civil service appointment purpose, subject to the counting of a maximum of two courses.

     "Like all other applicants for civil service posts at non-graduate level, applicants who have successfully completed a COC course(s) have to meet other entry qualification and language proficiency requirements specified for the posts," he said.

     Starting from the fourth cohort (2006-08 school years) of piloting, COC has been renamed as Applied Learning (ApL) courses.  On the understanding that the quality assurance mechanism will be consistently applied to the remaining three cohorts (i.e. 2006-08 to 2008-10 school years), the spokesman was also pleased to announce that both the CSB and the Federation for Continuing Education in Tertiary Institutions have agreed in principle to extend the acceptance arrangement to ApL courses in the remaining cohorts subject to their passing the quality assurance test in due course.

     ApL courses are designed for full-time Secondary Four students who are in general following a curriculum recommended by the Curriculum Development Council leading to the HKCEE.  The duration of each course is 180 contact hours within a two-year period, similar to the contact hours of an HKCEE subject.  

     Under the current fourth cohort of piloting (2006-08 school years), around 4,500 students are enrolled in 32 courses offered by Caritas Adult and Higher Education Service, City University of Hong Kong (School of Continuing and Professional Education), the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, the Hong Kong Institute of Accredited Accounting Technicians Limited, the Hong Kong Institute of Education (School of Continuing and Professional Education), the Open University of Hong Kong (Li Ka Shing Institute of Professional and Continuing Education), the University of Hong Kong (HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education) and the Vocational Training Council.

     The Education Bureau will continue the piloting of ApL courses.  For the fifth cohort beginning in September, a total of 13 course providers will offer courses in six areas of studies.  Details are available at .

     (Note: Starting from the 2006-08 cohort of piloting, Applied Learning is used as a general term for all Career-oriented Studies programmes, including Career-oriented Curriculum courses.)

Ends/Thursday, August 2, 2007
Issued at HKT 17:10


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