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SED visits Singapore to enhance education exchange and collaboration (with photos)

     The Secretary for Education (SED), Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, today (October 14) attended an international conference on higher education jointly organised by the Ministry of Education (MOE) of Singapore and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), during which he also held a bilateral meeting on education with Singapore's Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills), Mr Ong Ye Kung.
     At the invitation of the MOE of Singapore, Mr Ng this morning attended the OECD-Singapore Conference on Higher Education Futures which brought together some 500 participants from over 40 countries and regions, including senior government officials, higher education administrators and academics, for exchanges of ideas and best practices with a view to mapping and meeting future demand for higher education.
     During the bilateral meeting, Mr Ng and Mr Ong, who was newly appointed as Acting Minister for Education on October 1, 2015, exchanged views on a wide range of education issues of mutual concern. Mr Ng introduced the latest developments in education in Hong Kong, particularly in the areas of vocational education and higher education.
     Mr Ng said, "Both Hong Kong and Singapore attach great importance and invest heavily in education. Through the parallel development of the publicly funded and self-financing post-secondary education sectors in Hong Kong, over 46% of our students in the relevant cohort now have access to degree-level education, and about 70% of young people have access to sub-degree level or above."
     The two sides also maintain close collaboration in higher education, with 18 exchange arrangements and 101 research projects between publicly funded institutions in Hong Kong and institutions in Singapore. In the 2014/15 academic year, Hong Kong's institutions received about 180 incoming exchange students from Singapore and sent out about 200 students for exchange activities in the country.
     Mr Ng said he looked forward to closer partnership in education between Hong Kong and other economies, including Singapore, especially after the introduction of the "Belt and Road" initiative which could promote the roles of Hong Kong as a regional education hub and a "super-connector" for over 60 related countries across Asia, Africa and Europe.
     Mr Ng then called on Singapore's Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat, who was the former Minister for Education.
     In the afternoon, Mr Ng received a very informative briefing by Singapore's Director-General of Education, Mr Wong Siew Hoong, and visited a kindergarten operated by the MOE to learn more about the latest developments in education in the country.
     Officials accompanying Mr Ng include the Deputy Secretary for Education, Dr Catherine KK Chan; the Principal Assistant Secretary for Education (Higher Education), Ms Sharon Ko; and the Political Assistant to the SED, Mr Jeff Sze.
     They will continue their duty visit to Singapore tomorrow (October 15), with visits to the National University of Singapore (NUS) and NUS High School of Mathematics and Science as well as a gathering with Hong Kong academics and students in the country, before returning to Hong Kong at night.

Ends/Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:23


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