Five UK secondary-school students won an opportunity to study at Hong Kong university summer schools this year, to experience the city’s world-class university life and its unique lifestyle and culture.
Three of the five winners of the “Hong Kong: A Dream Destination for University Study” competition, organised by the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office in London earlier this year, told news.gov.hk what they discovered during their learning adventure on their first-ever visit to Asia’s world city.
Ian Headley graduated from Brighton College with splendid academic results in English, French, Latin, Spanish and Ancient Greek, but he is also a self-proclaimed sinophile who relishes Chinese food, particularly dim sum.
His prize was a chance to study Chinese painting and calligraphy at Hong Kong Polytechnic University for about three weeks.
Ian was excited to learn how to write his Chinese name, and appreciated the teaching mode that encouraged active participation rather than just note-taking.
“Compared to England, the teaching method in Hong Kong is much more practical. We have to do a lot of presenting which will obviously help later on in life. The teaching is faster and is more in-depth. There is a bigger expectation for students to do independent work which is different from the seminar-learning basis in the UK. The education gives you a better start for the future in terms of presenting ability, in terms of confidence in front of people,” Ian said.
Ian took in the sights in Hong Kong, also, visiting the Big Buddha in Nong Ping and Tai O village on Lantau Island. He sampled tasty Chinese cuisine at every chance and gained weight on this memorable trip.
Value for money
Christopher Simpson, a Glasgow Academy student, was awarded the chance to study physics at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology for two weeks. Living in a hostel with a sea view, sports facilities, free Internet and Wi-Fi access campus-wide, and a massive library, he found the facilities to be on par with those of UK universities, if not better.
His physics course was quite intensive, he said, adding he learned a lot within a short period. Noting there are several excellent universities in Hong Kong providing a wide variety of programmes, he reeled off several reasons why Hong Kong is an ideal place to study.
“Most people can speak English, so you can easily communicate. The degree needs to be value-for-money, and it is not expensive to study in Hong Kong. It also has easy transport. If you are in the campus, it is only three quarters’ of an hour maximum to enter the city. Also, Hong Kong is incredibly safe. Everything students are looking for is here in Hong Kong.”
Summaya Mughal, a Nottingham Girls’ High School student, was awarded a summer economics course at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her home town of Nottingham has a population of 700,000 – one-tenth of Hong Kong’s. So she took every opportunity to explore this cosmopolitan city after school.
“Here you have French, Ukrainian, Canadian, American, Hong Kong Chinese, and Mainland Chinese, as well. I haven’t seen as many different cultures in one place,” she said.
Summaya believes studying in Hong Kong would boost her career path, especially since universities here offer internships and doctorates for graduates to pursue.
“Being here, studying here, you will be able to get into the culture,” she said. “You would be exposed to a booming economy next door in the Mainland, and a strong economy here. It is a very good educational hub.”
With all the advantages Hong Kong has to offer, its universities are attracting rising numbers foreign students, the Education Bureau says. The bureau will continue to co-operate with local universities to provide better services to non-local students.
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