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Secondary school leavers to get more information on further studies

    The Education Bureau is introducing a variety of services, including an enhanced website on self-financing sub-degree programmes (first launched in 2007), to provide comprehensive information on further studies for secondary school leavers.  The new service dovetails with the release of the results of the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination and the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination this year.

    The bureau reminds students that from the 2008-09 academic year, those pursuing eligible self-financing sub-degree or degree programmes can apply for financial assistance under the widened scope of the newly improved Financial Assistance Schemes for Post-Secondary Students (FASP).

    An Education Bureau spokesman said today (June 26): ¡§ The bureau strives to provide all the necessary information to help secondary school leavers choose suitable institutions and programmes for further studies. It has also provided financial support to those in need through student financial assistance schemes.¡¨

    On the provision of information on further studies, the bureau has updated and enhanced the dedicated website on self-financing sub-degree programmes to include information on degree programmes starting from this year. Called the Information Portal for Accredited Self-financing Post-secondary Programmes or ¡§iPASS¡¨ (, the website contains information on self-financing higher diploma, associate degree and degree programmes offered by various institutions (list attached) in the 2008-09 academic year, including the programmes' duration, tuition fees and entry requirements. Based on information provided by the institutions, the iPASS also provides details on accreditation and recognition by relevant professional bodies.  This will enable students to find out whether individual courses have been accredited by the professional bodies concerned.

    The spokesman said: ¡§We believe that such information will serve as a good reference to secondary school leavers who aspire to enroll in these programmes and obtain professional qualifications after graduation.¡¨

    The Education Bureau has also enhanced information on the institutions and their programmes in iPASS by setting out, for the first time, the number and percentage of sub-degree and higher diploma graduates enrolling in publicly funded or self-financing degree programmes as well as  those studying overseas.  Such information is in addition to the number of students, qualifications of teaching staff, and teaching and non-teaching facilities provided last year. The average annual salaries of higher diploma and associate degree graduates are also set out in the iPASS so as to reflect more clearly the employment situation of graduates.

    The spokesman said : ¡§The iPASS is also linked to the webpages of various institutions, the Careers Guidance Handbook for Secondary 7 Graduates and other relevant webpages. Students and members of the public can also use a search function to browse for information on the study programmes.¡¨

  In addition, the Education Bureau will organise an annual Information Expo for Secondary School Leavers, at the Hong Kong Exhibition Centre in China Resources Building, Wan Chai, from August 2 to 5. Secondary students will get information on multiple pathways, including locally accredited post-secondary programmes, vocational training courses, the iPASS website, Project Yi Jin, the Qualifications Register, the Youth Pre-employment Training Programme and the Youth Work Experience and Training Scheme. There will also be information for non-Chinese speaking students. Students can submit applications on-site for suitable accredited post-secondary programmes.

    The bureau continues to produce careers guidance handbooks for Secondary 5 and 7 students in conjunction with the Hong Kong Association of Careers Masters and Guidance Masters. The ¡§Careers Guidance Handbook for Secondary 7 Graduates¡¨ is being distributed free to S7 graduates via schools, the Bureau¡¦s Regional Education Offices, ¡§Youth Employment Start¡¨ and job centres of the Labour Department, and public enquiry service centres of various district offices. The electronic version is available on the bureau website ( The ¡§Careers Guidance Handbook for Secondary 5 Graduates¡¨ will be distributed in late July.

    As regards the FASP, the bureau reminds students that from the 2008-09 academic year, those who meet the eligibility criteria under the scheme and have enrolled in an accredited self-financing sub-degree programme may apply for the newly introduced means-tested loan at a lower interest rate to meet their living expenses.  Meanwhile, students may continue to apply for a grant to pay for tuition fees under the FASP.

    Those who have enrolled in accredited self-financing degree or top-up degree programmes may apply for the grant and means-tested loan under FASP from the 2008-09 academic year onwards. For details, please visit the Student Financial Assistance Agency¡¦s website through the hyperlink in iPASS.

Ends/Thursday, June 26, 2008
Issued at HKT 19:03


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