A well-educated workforce is one of the underlying factors necessary for sustainable development in Hong Kong. Along with the eight government-funded universities, an array of self-financed institutions offer post-secondary education programmes aimed to help people improve their qualifications in the demanding marketplace.
One such institution is the Hong Kong Institute of Continuing Education (HKICE). Under the registration of Education Bureau, the institute has provided higher education programmes and professional training courses since 2001. Its affiliated school Hong Kong Central College was also accredited by Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation and Vocational Qualification (HKCAAVQ) last year.
"HKICE is currently positioned as a quality and professional institution where students can learn at any point in their life. Our allure is linked to the affordable tuition fees, convenient campus locations and comprehensive programmes on offer," says Stephanie Leung, director, operations (CEF programmes), HKICE.
A curriculum provider that designs its own courses, HKICE also collaborates with overseas universities and qualification awarding bodies to offer diplomas, degrees and postgraduate programmes. One of its partnering institutions is Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC), one of the largest awarding bodies for academic, vocational and general qualifications in the UK. BTEC programmes are run in more than 130 countries. Due to the uncompromising standards regarding the academic achievement of students, BTEC qualifications are recognised by universities both in the UK and worldwide.
For example, a BTEC higher national diploma (HND) in business programme is currently being offered via HKICE. "This specific programme was handpicked by HKICE for Hong Kong students due to its comprehensiveness and practicality. It is recognised by universities around the world for advanced entry onto first degree programmes. In fact, it is a degree level qualification that gives students direct entry into the second or third year of a degree programme at a number of US, European and Australian universities," says Ms Leung.
People who possess a Form Seven education or equivalent can join the programme while Form Five graduates have the option to complete preparatory classes provided by HKICE prior to enrolment. Students with qualifications in accounting and business subjects may apply for subject exemptions.
The HND programme covers the full spectrum of business knowledge, which includes business operations, marketing, human capital management, economics, business law, e-business and information systems management. Students need to complete 16 subjects to be awarded the qualification.
Quality assurance is a core commitment of HKICE. All teaching staff involved in the HND programme possess at least a master's degree. Interactive and situated teaching methods are adopted and students are engaged in case studies, discussions and presentations. Their learning process is also assisted by technology so they can exchange views among themselves and with lecturers via a web-based teaching and learning platform, resulting in the best learning outcome.