Britannia-StudyLink & Service ▼| School Ranking ▼|  Contact Us
3184 0362
Britannia StudyLink

Hong Kong Brand Development Council & British Council recognised awards winning UK school placement Company. Annual partner of South China Morning Post and SingTao News Group in providing Hong Kong's largest UK school recruitment events. Britannia help over 1000 students to study in the UK in the past four years.

For Customers

If you have any questions, send us an email via this link, and we will reply within 24 hours.

Call Us
3184 0362
Clear All Advance Search
| EN
Thursday 08-Dec-2016
【SCMP Education Post:Study in the UK】Time to stand up and take notice

It should be common knowledge that English proficiency generates opportunities, strengthens employability and creates a business-friendly environment. According to the recently published English First English Proficiency Index (EF EPI), all round proficiency levels in Hong Kong have been classed as “moderate” with 29 other countries faring better in the rankings. Is it time for our Government and business leaders to stand up and take notice? 

The latest edition of the EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) has just been released. English proficiency levels were determined in 72 countries based on an analysis of online tests taken by around 950,000 adult participants. While the test-taking population can never be representative of a country as a whole, the EF EPI is very thorough and only countries with a minimum of 400 test takers were included in the index.

Highlights of the EF EPI report include the advancement of Singapore to the highest proficiency band; Malaysia and the Philippines ranking in the top 15 countries worldwide; and a decline in proficiency in Japan. Women, meanwhile, have stronger English skills than men in all but a few countries and age groups. Hong Kong lies behind France and in front of Vietnam in the Index.

The figures for Hong Kong are not all doom and gloom as progress has been made and several Asian countries, such as Taiwan and Vietnam, have been overtaken in the rankings. However, I wonder for a territory as prosperous as Hong Kong’s, where a little over 20% of total government expenditure is dedicated to education and the mean number of years of schooling is significantly above average, are we doing enough for our children, university students and, most relevantly, employees?

EF can be credited for doing great work in raising awareness of English language issues in business and, possibly, in schools, even though “language proficiency” is quite a loose term and has certain cultural and situation-specific connotations. For instance, in all our efforts to speak “correctly” with the right tenses and intonation, which I think is inherent in language teaching in Hong Kong, communicative competence tends to go out of the window. Furthermore, it may also be the case that more people in Hong Kong speak English now so of course their linguistic deficiencies will come under the spotlight, though not necessarily in these reports.

Over the past few years, I have followed, with some amazement, the extent to which countries and companies seeking to attract foreign investment and trade, as well as generate entrepreneurial growth, have turned to English as a means for creating a business-friendly environment. One only needs to look at the increasing number of companies headquartered outside of English-speaking countries, such as Rakuten (Japan) and Samsung (South Korea), which have adopted English as their corporate language. Indeed, Rakuten CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani, has talked openly about the advantages of “Englishnization”.

Of course, EF has been hot on the heels on the subject of global workforce English with its very own EF English Proficiency Index for Companies (EF EPI-c). EF’s findings are certainly revealing. For instance, executives tend to have lower English levels than the managers they oversee while even the most junior-level staff outscored executives.

I think these EF English skills reports do raise some pertinent issues and should stop entrepreneurs and Managing Directors such as myself from being too complacent. My level of English is possibly above that of the majority of my employees but I do believe that there is always room for improvement and that developing my consultants’ English skills could make the company even more competitive. Generally speaking, I agree with the reports that workforce English scores “correlate positively with indicators of global innovation … and ease of doing business”.

In this cutthroat business world, there is no time for business leaders to take things for granted by believing that their employees’ sound education, certificates and even time spent at boarding school in the US or UK should automatically propel them to the dizzy heights of English proficiency. I have faith in my team’s English proficiency but it is nevertheless an issue I should keep tabs on.

Instead of jumping aboard the “declining or stagnating standards of English in Hong Kong” bandwagon and blaming the Government, business leaders need to scrutinise the issues at hand and seek out ways to improve the English skills of their workforce. For instance, the advantages of English proficiency for specific job functions could be highlighted to workers. What about investing in resources and materials which seek to improve employees’ communicative competency?

Overall, I am glad that we have the EF English Proficiency Index as a reference point as it contributes to the continuous global conversation about English language education. As for Hong Kong, there is a lot of work ahead of us and the EF EPI serves to confirm this state.

Origianl Article:

原文作者為英識教育Britannia StudyLink創辦人陳思銘 Samuel Chan。

Free Subscription
We will provide you with the latest information about seminars and expert analysis via email. We will also conduct survey occasionally to enhance our quality of service. If you would like to receive information of UK education, please leave your email address and click “subscribe” to confirm your subscription. You may cancel your subscription anytime via email.

For more information on our privacy policy, please click here.
#Hot Topic
1 Boarding Know-It-All 2 UK Universities/ UK Higher Education
3 UK Chitchat 4 Helpful tips when study abroad
5 UK Study Tour 6 UK School Guide
7 Benefits of Study Abroad 8 How to maintain a good relationship with your child
9 UK Schools Comparisons 10 Experts Advice on Studying Abroad
Education Experts
With an entrepreneurial spirit spreading across online, print and broadcast media, Samuel is an award-winning educational consultant and celebrated columnist. As a leader in the field of education, he was honoured with the British Council’s Study UK Alumni Award and his most prestigious achievement to date includes the founding of Hong Kong’s premier educational brands - Britannia StudyLink, Anglo Belgravia and Ascent Prep. 

Mabel Chan is the Principal Consultant of Britannia. Having studied in both the UK and the US, she is an expert in school matching for overseas education. She writes education columns for Sing Tao Daily and The Standard, and answers questions arising from parents and students patiently.


MB Cheung, our senior consultant, has been writing education columns for major local newspapers for more than 25 years. With his experience and unique insights, he shares a variety of tips and advice on overseas education for the readers (and DSE students)

#School Analysis
Considering its reputation, Oundle School may not catch up to Eton, Wycombe Abbey and else top elite schools. However, Oundle’s academic performance is among the best in the United Kingdom. As a traditional top boarding school, Oundle pays huge attentions to student’s holistic development, by providing them diversified extra-curricular activities. In addition, Oundle still implements the House Dining System, which is rarely remaining among uk boarding schools. It is also one of the reasons why Hong Kong parents making a beeline for.
The ratio of teachers and students in Bromsgrove School is 1:8, which is lower than the average among uk boarding schools. In addition, according to my school visit experience, Bromsgrove has the best facilities, that it is undoubtedly one of the best three campuses in the UK. Besides, Bromsgrove spares no expense to provide students comfortable environment, it even invests on the nearby hotel and transfers it into dormitories. As a result, students can possess the “5-star enjoyment” on campus. To conclude, Bromsgrove is definitely a prospective and globalised uk boarding school.
Brighton College is Britain’s premier private school and one of the Hong Kong parents’ favourites. To understand a boarding school, despite of looking at its educational tenet, diversified extra-curricular activities and academics results, it is essential to observe the boldness of the principal. 10 years ago, after Mr. Richard Cairns taking up the duty of the Brighton College’s principal, the school ranking raises from the 150th to the top 20th. In addition to promoting educational reformation, Mr Cairns is such a good principal, that he still strives for maintaining students’ curiosity at the same time.
Education Channel
星級同學會 Bromsgrove 學生 Marcus
英語教室之英國最難讀校名 你識幾多?
A-Level、IB 和 Pre-U 有何分別?
【英識同學會】馬天佑Mayao篇 -親赴英國見校長
【英識同學會】馬天佑Mayao篇 - 半個銅鑼灣大的優美校園
【英識同學會】馬天佑Mayao篇 - 朋友,我當你一世朋友
【英識同學會】馬天佑Mayao篇 - 寄宿留學要趁早
【英識同學會】馬天佑Mayao篇 - 求學不只求分數
【英識同學會】林柏希William篇 - 流利英文是怎樣練成的?
【英識同學會】林柏希William篇 - 成績不再是私隱
【英識同學會】林柏希William篇 - 寄宿學校大蝦細?
【英識同學會】林柏希William篇 - 魔鬼訓練
【英識同學會】孫曉慧Kendy篇 - 為了融入,你可以去到幾盡?
【英識同學會】孫曉慧Kendy篇 - 港、英女校大比拼
【英識同學會】孫曉慧Kendy篇 - 文化差異尷尬事
【英識同學會】孫曉慧Kendy篇 - 英式課堂
【英識同學會】孫曉慧Kendy篇 - 鄉郊學校 vs 城市學校
【英識同學會】孫曉慧Kendy篇 - 學校食物難入口?
Founder of Britannia Studylink Samuel Chan X HSBC: International Banking Advice

@2017 Britannia Study Link All Rights Reserved