The Overseas Education Fair, held on May 26 at InnoCentre, gave prospective university students a look at tertiary education choices in the UK, the US, Australia, and Canada.
Pursuing higher education abroad has become increasingly popular for Hong Kong students in recent years. That’s partly because competition for a university place in Hong Kong is fierce, with an average of 1.4 students trying to take advantage of a publicly funded degree every year.
George Warshaw, senior recruitment manager for China and Asia at Study Group, notes there are three main reasons that students want to study overseas: the desire to experience a different culture; a better quality of education; and a superior graduate outcome.
The Overseas Education Fair, organised by Hong Kong Education Web, is a one-stop-shop for students and parents who are looking for information about tertiary education in the UK, the US, Australia, and Canada. The fair features information sessions, a panel discussion, and exhibitions by reputable institutions. Representatives from institutions give advice and evaluate individual profiles to help prospective students make informed choices. The fair was held at InnoCentre, Kowloon Tong on May 26.
The highlight of the fair was a panel discussion focusing on higher education in the UK, in which panelists from Brunel University, Newcastle University, the University of Surrey, and the University of East Anglia discussed tertiary education in the country. Panelists spoke of an increasing demand for degrees relating to the healthcare professions among Hong Kong students, noting that a growing number of students are seeking to study subjects like occupational therapy, medicine, and veterinary science. This marks a shift away from the usual business-oriented subjects that were popular choices in previous years.
May Ye Yanping, Regional Manager of Brunel University, encouraged students to take a proactive approach while thinking about studying abroad. “Planning ahead is really important,” said Ye. “Seek professional advice, do your research, and make sure you involve your parents. Take the time to ask yourselves if it’s something that you really want to do,” she said.
Recent HKDSE exam candidates Chloe Cheung and Carla Ho visited the fair to see what foreign colleges could offer them, as they are worried about securing a place at a Hong Kong university. Ho, who is interested in a degree in engineering, is considering a study path in Australia or Japan. “I have a keen interest in artificial intelligence and robotics, and I would like my university degree to be related to those subjects,” she said.
Mr Lai came to learn about university admissions for his son, who is studying in Canada. Lai said that events like the Overseas Education Fair give parents and students a comprehensive understanding of the educational choices available.
William Leitch, Senior Education Liaison Officer at University of St Andrews in the UK, said that Hong Kong students understand the challenges of studying abroad, but lack knowledge of the courses on offer. Events like the Overseas Education Fair are an important source of information, he said. “Nearly everything is online, of course, but so much can be gained in a short time by asking questions, and by having a face-to-face conversation between individual university admissions officers and representatives, and students and parents,” Leitch said.
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