Although Hong Kong is a great place to seek a university education, it is not necessarily the only way to further your studies.
Depending on the course of study you wish to follow, and your future career plans, university might not even be the best option for you. Today we look at some other higher education options in Hong Kong.
The Caritas Institute of Higher Education - formerly, Caritas Francis Hsu College - offers diplomas, higher diplomas, bachelor degrees, top-up degrees and master degrees. Subjects include various forms of management, marketing, accounting, translation and interpreting, and several types of design degrees. More information can be found at www.cihe.edu.hk/eng/index.php.
The Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education offers a similar range of programs but in different subjects, often focused on more "practical" areas of study. Programs here include applied sciences (for example, beauty, biotechnology, biomedical sciences and food technology), languages, child education & community services, and information technology. More information about the various courses on offer can be found at www.ive.edu.hk/ ivesite/html/en/index.html.
Tung Wah College also offers degree programs and although the institution understandably leans toward health and life sciences, it also offers short courses, including certificates in retail management, health and safety management or medical laboratory safety courses that could enhance your CV or open up new career paths.
Prospective students should consult the college's website at www.twc.edu.hk/sitecore/content/ Spell.aspx.
Some students might desire specialist training, for example, that offered by the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
Although the school does offer degree programs, many of which are eligible for scholarships, students can also study for master courses, as well as certificate or diploma courses, which are often far shorter.
These include a certificate in performing arts (Cantonese Opera) and a fast track vocational certificate in theatre and entertainment arts. The institution's website can be found at www.hkapa.edu.
Further specialist instruction, although of an entirely different kind, is available at the Hang Seng Management College (http:/ /www.hsmc.edu.hk/en/).
Aside from the obvious range of business courses on offer, many people don't know that the college also offers courses in journalism and communication, translation and English, so it might be a smart option for anyone wanting to enter the corporate world in a linguistic capacity.
Finally there is also the Chu Hai College of Higher Education, whose website can be viewed at www.chuhai.edu.hk/be. Although the college offers degree programs in subjects including computer science, architecture and administration in finance, there are also sub-degree courses available for students who are not quite at the stage where they can begin a degree.
There are also dozens of other opportunities. Many of the universities, including City University and Lingnan University, have an attached community college, where students can either study separate courses or gain the qualifications required to start a degree.
Next week this column will be looking at vocational training in Hong Kong.
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