Dear fellow students, colleagues and alumni,
I joined HKU SPACE and the Community College more than 4 years ago which seems just yesterday. I am truly grateful each year to see students who have withstood the challenges of public examinations join our big family and who are then able to progress either to articulate to universities for further studies or to pursue a career.
This year is a special one with HKALE candidates and HKDSE candidates enrolling and studying together, bringing an increase in student size and filling our campuses with more energy and liveliness. I recall the beginning of the year when the massive influx of application forms were as innumerable as falling snow, and calls from parents, teachers, and students never ceased during that period. Every application and every phone call spoke of their worries, anxieties and hopes for their children’s future and how much they would wish for their children to receive tertiary education.
On the day the results were released, the indoor sports ground, the lobby, and even the car park at the Kowloon East Campus were packed with people. There were some applicants who had obtained the minimum entry requirement for UGC-funded degrees, but their faces showed no hint of happiness, rather, they looked worried and lost. As a response, our colleagues tried their best to ease the anxieties of those parents and students, racing against the clock to handle more than 4,000 applications in one day while lunchboxes sitting in our offices remained untouched.
In fact, our team and I had been discussing since the start of 2012 what we, as a leading organization in providing sub-degree programmes, could do to ease the worries of both parents and students under the special circumstances arising from the double-cohort. We pondered over whether to maintain the usual admission target, which meant rejecting many students who would want to pursue further studies; or to raise the quota and try our best to allow more students to receive quality education. In the end we chose the latter option, as a non-profit-making organization, we truly understand our vision and our social responsibility i.e. to provide quality education to nurture our youth.
With this vision, our team carefully examined ways to increase the possibility of providing more school places, including recruiting more high quality teachers, renting extra learning centres, and adding additional teaching equipment etc. At that time, everyone in the team had to meet up almost every 2 days to discuss the implementation details of such preparation and development. Even though I could not join all of their meetings, I could already feel their passion and devotion towards the spirit of education.
The capacity of one college is limited, and faced with tidal waves of applications, we had no choice but to announce the closure of some programme applications before the last stage of the admission period. At that moment, we had accumulated over 20,000 applications and could only admit around 5,000 students at last, most of them had achieved the minimum requirement or better of getting into UGC-Funded bachelor degree programmes. This was the most we could accommodate. We could only apologize to the students who were not accepted to our college.
Throughout the extraordinary summer, our team showed exceptional team spirit in trying their best to create the most comfortable and effective learning environment for students. Although there may be media reports that do not reflect such hard work and dedication, we see them as a motivating force for us to do even better. At the same time, we are thankful for all the care and support generated from the general public. Summer has gone, Autumn is here. The new academic plan has now kicked-off, and we will continue to strive to provide quality education to students for their future articulation. I take this opportunity to wish every student an enjoyable life at our College in this academic year, and I encourage them to keep learning in their perseverance for self-betterment so to establish a solid foundation for a bright future ahead.