It may be extremely hard to get into top schools such as the University of Hong Kong or Chinese University. But don't forget you have 20 programme options when you apply through Jupas, and some of them might be a great fit for you.
In his 2014 Policy Address, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying introduced the Study Subsidy Scheme for Designated Professions/Sectors (SSSDP), which offers a total of 1,030 subsidised places in 15 programmes at six postsecondary institutions for the 2016-17 academic year. The subsidies range from HK$40,000 to HK$70,000 per academic year, depending on whether the programme is laboratory-based.
Ng Po-shing, director of Hok Yau Club Student Guidance Centre, said all the SSSDP programmes are full-time, locally accredited, self-financing undergraduate programmes. The government agreed to subsidise programmes in specific sectors, such as engineering, creative industry and tourism, which are urgently looking for professionals.
Although the Education Bureau encourages students from these subsidised programmes to pursue careers in those related sectors after graduation, there are no rules or restrictions to enforce this.
Young Post talked to Professors Leslie Chen Hung-chi and Amazon Lee Kin-man from the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi); and Stephen Ng Chi-hung, programme director at Hang Seng Management College (HSMC), to find out about the SSSDP and its career prospects.
THEi has seven SSSDP programmes in the areas of creative industry, tourism and hospitality, architecture, and engineering. For the 2015-16 academic year, the average DSE scores of students in the subsidised programmes ranged from 16 to 20.
HSMC offers an SSSDP programme called Bachelor of Business Administration in Supply Chain Management (Honours) (BBA-SCM). It trains students in supply chain management and logistics, skills that are in great demand.
Should students put the SSSDP programmes in Band A - i.e. as a top choice - on their Jupas application?
Chen and Lee, THEi: Most of the students accepted in the 2015-16 academic year were those who put these programmes in Band A. You will have a higher chance of being invited for an interview this way.
Ng, HSMC: Students who put this programme in Band A will have a higher chance of getting being accepted into it.
Why do these SSSDP programmes stand out?
Chen: They prepare students to be work-ready. Not only do these programmes equip students with the specific skills and qualifications needed for the designated sectors, but they also provide real work experience and practical training.
Lee: SSSDP students at THEi are required to complete a 12-week work-integrated learning module, which provides some great learning experiences for students in the workplace.
Some students in the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Civil Engineering took part in a desalination project - removing salt and making fresh water from seawater - at Singapore's Hyflux Innovation Centre, one of our industry partners. It was a valuable opportunity for students to learn about engineering technology, work with oversea engineers, and interact with international students in Singapore.
Chen: The programme also offers summer classes which enable students to enrich their work experience, too. For example, in 2014 and 2015, some students visited Spain's Elisava Barcelona Design and Engineering Institute, where they worked with international designers and students. The internship familiarised them with the global design trends, concepts, and technology behind some of the world's most iconic architecture.
Ng: We have close ties to the logistics industry, which helps students become familiar with the industry, and with what the industry is actually looking for. We focus on equipping students with professional logistics skills and knowledge, which prepares them for the workplace.
The programme also offers an internship as a core module. Internships at organisations like China South City (Shenzhen) and Kerry Logistics provide students with real-life experience to better understand the industry and apply their knowledge.
Are the SSSDP programmes accredited?
Lee: Our Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Civil Engineering and Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Environmental Engineering and Management are provisionally accredited by the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers.
Ng: Graduates of the BBA-SCM Programme can apply for membership of the Hong Kong Logistics Association. They can also join other professional bodies - such as the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Hong Kong, Institute of Purchase and Supply Hong Kong, and others - as student members.