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星期二 2015年8月04號

Don't lose hope

The results for the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education have been released and disappointment is still, inevitably, the overriding emotion for thousands of students who have missed out on their first-choice courses and universities - or any course at all.

Perhaps it is some comfort that many successful people do not have degrees. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg fall into that category.

Closer to home, the message is be strong - there is still a chance for you to study abroad.

What is the reality for students striving to study in the UK? Very few achieve the required HKDSE grades to automatically gain a place at their first- choice university. A significant majority fall short of level 4-5** and the average percentage of students reaching even level 3 has also been relatively low in recent years.

For entry into bachelor degree programs - such as those at the University of Sheffield, most offers will range from 555 to 544 in core or elective subjects.

At the University of Nottingham, the range may be bumped up to 5*55 to 554.

It must also be remembered that for competitive fields, such as medicine, Hong Kong students may be expected to score a majority of 5* grades. Considering the demanding nature of the HKDSE, these levels are often a step too far for even the brightest students.

Fast-track A levels and foundation options

Hong Kong students who have not met the requirements of their chosen UK university can still study abroad and work to ward fulfilling their dreams.

One option is to take a one-year A-level fast-track program, which is offered by institutions such as the Cambridge Centre for Sixth Form Studies, CATS College and Lansdowne College.

The extremely intensive nature of the course together with the sheer volume of information students have to digest means that it is suitable for the highly academic who are aiming for places at renowned universities that overlook foundation qualifications.

One-year A-level programs do come with benefits.

For instance, small group sizes (often fewer than five students) ensure that students are given almost bespoke provision and the utmost attention from teachers.

Following on from my recent article about foundation programs, I would like to develop my case for this study path for Hong Kong students. Again, students should not be disheartened if they have failed to gain a place outright at their desired institution.

International foundation programs, which are intensive pre-university courses designed to provide students with a thorough grounding of their desired degree subject, act as a stepping stone for enrollment into undergraduate programs.

Hong Kong students need to be realistic about their abilities - if they think they can handle a broad curriculum and are aiming for a top-10 university, then A levels may be the best choice.

If they are convinced about what they would like to study in the future, foundation programs narrow down the focus to one stream, which may contain different related subjects. For example, the science and engineering foundation year at the University of Sheffield contains modules named elements of chemistry, chemistry, engineering and lab practice.

International Year One: a viable option

Some universities now offer a course called International Year One. This course essentially acts as the first year of university, although only international students are placed together.

Students benefit from developing their academic knowledge, academic writing skills and English language skills. It is different to the regular foundation programs because, upon successful completion, students progress to the second year of their chosen undergraduate degree at the same university.

The University of Sussex offers the course with subject routes as diverse as business and management to media and film studies. To qualify, students need to gain minimum grades of 334 in three relevant subjects. Those who have completed the HKALE can also study International Year One.

The University of Leicester is another excellent institution that offers the course.

All in all, many Hong Kong students have more options available to them than they may imagine. It is not all about top marks, prestige and Oxbridge.

To quote former US president George W Bush: "To those of you who are graduating this afternoon with high honors, awards and distinctions, I say: 'Well done.' And as I like to tell the C students: 'You, too, can be president.'"


Samuel Chan 

For more informational about British Boarding School. Email Samuel@britannia-study.com or call 3184 0152.

Source: The Standard 


1 寄宿百科 2 英國大學
3 談英國 4 赴英須知
5 赴英遊學 6 選校攻略
7 留英所得 8 親子關係
9 英名校大比拼 10 留英專家分享

陳思銘(Samuel Chan) 並非如一般外界人所認為的「富二代留學生」,家人數代都在流浮山經營海鮮買賣,父母學歷程度雖然不高,但努力工作賺錢把Samuel從小(9歲)就供養到英國寄宿學校格雷舍姆學院 (Gresham College)讀書,才能讓他早早就體會到英式教育優越全世界的原因。
Samuel Chan在留英之前亦都曾苦於在香港的教育體系中掙扎求存,但是香港朝令夕改的教育制度卻令他的成續止步不前,甚至感到老師也對自己失去興趣。直到接受英式教育後,他深深感受到兩地學制的差異:在英國,永遠是先發掘學生的興趣,再透過「興趣」作為推動其學習的原動力,釋放潛能。在英國,他獲得了使自己能夠表達自己並嘗試新事物的信心,最終以優秀的成續升讀英國頂尖的學府。
Samuel Chan留英長達15年,在諾定咸大學(University of Nottingham)獲得經濟學學士後,在華威大學(The University of Warwick)攻讀完政治經濟系碩士後回流香港。回流香港的Samuel鑑有感於香港教育制度無法充分釋放學生潛力,於是回流英國的他創辦了英識教育,以幫助更多有志留學英國的同學提供各類支援及顧問服務。
白手興手固然辛苦,但奮鬥數年英識教育終獲香港品牌發展局頒發「香港服務名牌」的升學教育中心,亦是同業首間獲此認證的品牌。後來,Samuel於2017年奪得「英國傑出校友獎」,該獎是英國文化協會及多家英國高等院校的共同構思,並由英國文化協舉辦,評選活動獲不少名人及王室人員支持及參與。可見,讓身為香港人的「陳思銘」的名字深深烙印在英國學術界傑出人仕的陳列櫃中。雖然事業受到肯定,但Samuel並不安於現狀,後來在2020年更創立Britannia Gateway 的學術培訓平台,提供更多元化的課程以幫助客戶適應英國課程。

論名氣,Oundle 未追得上 Eton、Wycombe Abbey 等頂級名校,但學校的學術成績在英國依然名列前茅。作為傳統名校,Oundle 非常重視全人發展,為學生提供多元課餘活動選擇。學校奉行英國碩果僅存的 House Dining System,或是令香港家長趨之若鶩的一大原因。
Bromsgrove 的師生比例是一比八,比一般的寄宿學校低。此外,綜合我曾到訪的學校,此校硬件設施之完善,可入選全英設備最佳的三大校園。校方不惜工本為學生提供舒適環境,甚至收購附近的酒店改建成宿舍,令宿生有名符其實的「五星級享受」。此校極具前瞻性,是國際化的英國宿校。
Brighton College 是英國首屈一指的私校,是香港家長最愛的寄宿學校之一。 看一間學校,除了教育宗旨、多元化活動、成績之外,更要看校長的魄力。十年前,校長 Mr. Richard Cairns 成為 Brighton College 校長後,把學校由全英國接近 150 名推至首 20 名。除了在教育方針上大力推動改革之外,也為了保持學生的求知慾而非常努力,是難得的好校長。
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英識教育陳思銘Samuel Chan X 滙豐銀行:海外理財貼士

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