Close this search box.

【The Standard:Study in the UK】Winds of change

Boarding 101


ONE’S FIRST ASSOCIATION with Loughborough University might be high-level competitive sports.


But Charlotte Davison, an international officer at the university, says Hong Kong students can find their feet at Loughborough – and not necessarily on the playing fields.


Figures from the British Council show that fewer Hong Kong students are going to the UK to study.


Last year, there was a 4 percent decrease in Tier Four visa issuances for Hong Kong students, with a 4-5 percent decline expected this year.


This trend is expected to continue until 2020 owing to smaller cohorts of HKDSE students.


Davison describes this trend as a huge “challenge” for universities, which are bound by targets to increase the number of students.


Despite the fact that universities are competing for fewer Hong Kong students, Davison confirms that demand for Loughborough’s courses has remained consistent among Hong Kong students.


Loughborough’s appeal may be due to its high-quality provision of subjects that are traditionally less popular but have struck a chord with Hong Kong students who are becoming more savvy subject-wise. Plenty of inquiries for engineering courses reach Loughborough and it appears that Hong Kong students are beginning to focus on undertaking “courses with jobs at the end of them,” Davison says.


Overall, around 60 students from Hong Kong take up courses at Loughborough each year, the majority starting undergraduate programs. There was a strong demand for civil engineering last year, with art courses, social sciences, international relations and business-related subjects also prominent among Hong Kong’s cohort.


What we have is a new generation of independent students who deserve to create their own destinies. Indeed, the most pleasing point to surface from my interview with Davison is the notion that Hong Kong students are beginning to think for themselves with regard to subject choices rather than bowing to their parents’ demands.


Davison tells a story about a HKDSE student who started a personal statement explaining how he had no idea who he was two years before and that his parents had urged him to study medicine. But he went against their wishes to enroll in an international business course – his deepest passion.


The moral of this story? Let us get behind our students and give them space to breathe and explore what they want to do.


Samuel Chan is a director at Britannia StudyLink

Original Article: