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PSEd visits New York (with photos)

     The Permanent Secretary for Education, Mr Raymond Wong, began his visit to the United States today (April 29, New York time) to promote Hong Kong's newly implemented New Academic Structure (NAS) and to showcase Hong Kong's stepped-up efforts to enhance its status as a regional education hub.

     On the first leg of his visit to New York, Mr Wong visited the Bronx High School of Science and the City University of New York.  Noting that the US is one of the popular destinations for Hong Kong students to pursue their studies, Mr Wong met senior management personnel and briefed them on how the NAS can facilitate a smoother articulation with overseas education systems, including the US system.

     While the Bronx High School of Science, a specialised New York public high school, attracts an intellectually gifted mix of culturally, ethnically and economically diverse students from New York City, the City University of New York has a large, diverse student population representing all 50 states and more than 130 countries.
     Mr Wong took the chance to learn more about the admission and enrolment of these institutions.  He also met local high school and university students and welcomed them to study in Hong Kong, a metropolitan city where East meets West and the gateway to the Mainland.

     Mr Wong then called on the President of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), Ms Laura Anglin. The Commission represents 11 independent private, non-profit colleges and universities, with a mission to advance higher education public policy.  Mr Wong briefed Ms Anglin on the various measures to further diversify the higher education sector in Hong Kong. These include earmarking six plots of land for the development of self-financing tertiary institutions and the provision of financial initiatives such as the Land Grant Scheme, Start-up Loan Scheme and Quality Enhancement Grant Scheme.

     Mr Wong also met a group of Hong Kong students studying at New York University and Columbia University at a reception hosted by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York. Mr Wong discussed with the students their experiences and the challenges of academic exchanges and Hong Kong's efforts to encourage more overseas students to study in Hong Kong, which included doubling the non-local student quotas of publicly-funded programmes to 20%, establishing an $1 billion HKSAR Government Scholarship Fund, allowing non-local students to stay to take on summer jobs and on-campus part-time jobs, and enabling non-local students to stay in Hong Kong without restrictions for 12 months after graduation.

     On the second day of his visit to New York tomorrow (April 30, New York time), Mr Wong will meet senior management at the Admission Office of New York University, which has processed a record 38,000 applications.  Mr Wong will also call on the senior management of the College Board, which has developed a common entrance examination for students, the Programme on Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT).  He will brief them on the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) which serves a similar purpose.

     Mr Wong will also meet Ms Mariam Assefa, the President of World Education Services, which has 30 years of experience in evaluating international credentials. The delegation will focus their discussion on how to streamline the admission procedures and strengthen assessment of international credentials as well as details of the five-level standards referenced reporting system adopted by the HKDSE.

     Mr Wong will depart New York for Washington on May 2.

Ends/Friday, April 30, 2010
Issued at HKT 17:58


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