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Joint statement by UGC and HUCOM on academic structure reform

The following is issued on behalf of the University Grants Committee:

Members of the University Grants Committee (UGC) and of the Heads of Universities Committee (HUCOM) met recently, to discuss the Government consultation paper on reforming senior secondary and higher education. All Members found the exchange of opinions very useful and were pleased with the unanimity of view on the significant benefits the move to "3+3+4" will bring about.

Both the UGC and HUCOM warmly endorse and support the move to six years of secondary schooling and four years of university education as it will provide a much more rounded and fulfilling educational experience for all students. The quality of education that the school and university sectors will be able to give will also be greatly enhanced, for the benefit not only of all students but also of Hong Kong in the long term. The UGC and HUCOM thus hope that the new structure can be implemented as soon as possible.

The UGC and HUCOM acknowledge that student admission is a matter within the autonomy of each Institution. Nevertheless, the UGC and HUCOM agree with the Administration that the four core subjects in the secondary school curriculum - Chinese, English, Mathematics and Liberal Studies - are necessary to provide the foundation to suit the wishes, needs and abilities of all students. For university entrance, the UGC and HUCOM concur that all four core subjects will be considered as mandatory requirements for entry. The institutions are now considering what level(s) of attainment will be required in the four subjects, and if other elective subjects will be required for university entrance and for different specific programmes. They will be announced at a later date by individual institutions. However, the aim will be to broaden the entrance requirements, to go hand-in-hand with providing a wider educational experience and the development of the whole person.

Individual institutions will submit their views on specific matters relating to the curriculum reform as part of the ongoing consultation process.

End/Monday, January 17, 2005