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Samuel Chan Tue Apr 16, 2019
In the last article, I looked at how schools can help combat the problem of school hopping by Chinese students in the UK...

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Study Article

【The Standard】How we are working to reduce school hopping in the UK


In the last article, I looked at how schools can help combat the problem of school hopping by Chinese students in the UK. Now, I will look at some of the solutions we are pioneering at Britannia StudyLink.

Providing clear information

We try to operate in a completely different manner to many of our fellow Hong Kong agents. We strive to saturate the market with a wide range of information on UK independent schools through our educational columns and guest slots on local radio stations.

We've even brought FAMA, Hong Kong's version of Ant and Dec, to the UK to study at an HMC school for 10 days. This was aired on prime-time Hong Kong television. This is our unique way of providing clear information to parents and students so that they understand what particular schools offer and don't have to school hop further down the line.

Looking beyond academia

We also strive to promote those aspects of UK boarding school education that go beyond academia.

These make up a huge part of the experience of actually living at a school and being happy there. Not fully understanding these in advance is one of the causes of unhappiness in students and subsequent school hopping.

These aspects include the culture of a school and its extra-curricular activities: speech days, sports fixtures, house activities, theatrical productions, The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, art clubs, music and, perhaps most importantly of all, the sort of friendships made at school that can last a lifetime.

This qualitative aspect of education simply cannot be measured through statistics and league tables.

We've always understood this and ensured that all the information we provide is truly comprehensive.

Parents are beginning to appreciate this as well - October 2018 marked our fourth anniversary and, today, more than a third of students studying in the UK came through Britannia.

This is not an attempt to convince prospective parents of our success as a business, but also a call to UK independent schools to let them know that parents in Asia are no longer looking merely at academia.

They are assessing the potential for a school to develop their child into a fully-rounded individual who is not only capable of passing exams with flying colors and submitting assignments on time, but also able to interact effectively with others and contribute meaningfully to the 21st-century workforce.

Consulting with schools on managing budgets

A crucial part of our work is exactly this sort of communication with the schools themselves. In particular, we are constantly consulting with schools on how they can best invest their resources.

Spending the budget on incentivizing agents with high rates is becoming common practice that, unfortunately, inadvertently encourages school hopping. Instead, we recommend tuning into the world of modern marketing.

In the last 10 years, marketing has changed drastically. Print magazines and billboards have been replaced by content marketing.

The most effective forms of communication are now news advertorials, share-able articles and social media posts. Not only do these help to build a personal relationship with parents but they also allow for a more nuanced approach.

Of course, every school wants to say it offers the best all-round education, but far more effective than pushing a generic image is to convey a school's USP.

If you're good at getting students into American universities because you're an SAT center, say it.

The world is changing fast. Both schools and parents have to keep up.

Finally, it is important to remember that, really, there's no such thing as a good independent school or a bad independent school - this is too simplistic.

Every school offers something different, from the international style of CATS College to the traditional experience of Radley College.

It's the responsibility of the agency to guide families through the differences and make sure that they are properly informed before they make important choices about the future.

That's really the key to reducing school hopping.

I was distinctly average, academically, when I was a boy, but the study experience I had in the UK was truly phenomenal and exactly the reason why I am doing what I do now.

【頭條日報】副學位銜接海外大學

大部份副學位畢業生皆希望能銜接本地八大資助學位課程,同時也會有考慮負笈海外繼續升學。

  每年有萬餘名副學位畢業生,八大則提供了四、五千個銜接學額,GPA能「過三爆四」的應很大機會考上八大,不過能夠選擇入心儀課程的如鳳毛鱗角;故此,為了入讀心儀學科負笈海外的學生也不少。去或留,會因應經濟能力為主要因素,其他如對大學的興趣、志在拓闊視野、爭取在多元文化學習機會、體驗不同生活習性、啟發思維等因素也不能輕視。

  香港副學位畢業生選擇英國和澳洲的大學升學較為便捷,因為他們的大學較熟知香港副學位畢業生的水平,而且認可副學士的學歷。

  英國排名前列的大學一般不提供所謂Top-up學位課程,只沿用豁免副學位學分的方法,所以或需要修讀兩個學年或更長才能畢業,明顯不是一年制Top-up的模式;Top-up是大學認可全部或大部份副學位課程的學分,然後度身訂造第三年級課程予香港副學位畢業生,所以只修讀一年就可以畢業,取得學士學位,現時提供top-up的英國大學多是新的大學。

  以插班身份或Top-up形式修畢英國大學學士學位回港的認受性大致沒問題,惟其學習歷程對於僱主或機構的人力資源管理人在聘任方面或有疑慮,但長遠而言,相信機構更重視考量個人能力、語文運用、溝通技巧及解難能力吧。

  一言以蔽之,負笈海外更重要的目的為提升個人能力,裝備未來發展所需,而非單為一紙文憑吧。

  英國大學學費加上其他開支一學年大約需三十萬港幣,留港銜接八大,綜計學費,生活費開支等也需十萬。

  讀友傳來的電郵和在章文彬《升學零距離》fb專頁內留言的查詢可在本報專欄作家的blogcity.me找到答案。

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Successful Cases

Kandace Ying

2018/03/29 - 00:00

Ruthin School, located in a small town of Ruthin, far away from the city distraction, leading me to concentrate in academic. Frankly, I spend most of the time in studying, and prepare myself in every Saturday test. It is demanding especially not being the smartest student at school, meaning that I need to spend more of my leisure time I used to have to study. On the other hand, I have met a lot of friends and schoolmates and they are mostly come from the Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, and most of them from China, which is also the largest proportion of students in the school community. During the weekends, I habitually go to Tesco after Saturday test and then eat dinner with friends in common room or in town. Most of the time, I visit the Chinese restaurants either getting takeaway or dine in. On Sundays, school usually organises school trips to Manchester, Liverpool and Chester. During half term, in the order of safety, we are not allowed to stay outside school unless we are staying in with our parents or guardians. Furthermore, we are not allowed to have relationships with opposite sex in the matter of negative influence in academic. Drinking alcohol in school is prohibited and student who is being caught in disobeying school rules will be expelled unless the principal is being generous and suspend student for week(s). Indeed, trying to break the school rules bring a huge consequences and at the mean time to ensure students obeying the school rules. To sum up, my overall experience in Ruthin School is pleasant and hope striving my best in A levels.

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