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Friday, February 21, 2014, 10:20
Focus HK: The brain drain
By Hazel Knowles

Focus HK: The brain drain

UK exchange students Arvind Norris (University of Warwick), Zahara Aziz (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Leon Man (University of Nottingham) were on hand at the Education UK Exhibition to give advice to Hong Kong students thinking about studying in the UK.

New exam tops student concerns

The new Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) is one of the main concerns of Hong Kong parents and students, according to one participant at the UK Education exhibition.

Tim Gutsell said this was usually the starting point of conversations with parents and students at the two-day exhibition.

“There is more concern about whether they will get in now after the introduction of DSE because local people and UK universities are less familiar with how it works,” said Gutsell, director of the International Office of the University of Essex, one of the 100 exhibitors at the British Council’s exhibition last month.

“People maybe not so confident about whether DSE grades will be recognized.”

Gutsell stressed that such worries were unfounded and that UCAS — the clearing house for university admissions in the UK — had very quickly established what DSE grades were equivalent to A-level grades, after the new exam was created.

“So there is clear structure and framework there for recognition of the DSE,” he said.

“Every university has different entry requirement but typically they will ask for 2 As and one B in A levels and two fives and a four in the DSE.”

There is also concern about whether it is more difficult to get good grades in the DSE than it was under the old Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE) system, said Gutsell.

As a result, he said, people were asking about the foundation program in case their grades were not so good.

The DSE replaced the old HKALE which was phased out with students sitting them for the last time in 2013.

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