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Almost 10,000 university students participate in Common English Proficiency Assessment Scheme

The University Grants Committee (UGC) announced today (October 31) that almost 10,000 final year students of UGC-funded undergraduate degree programmes had registered for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) under the fifth round of the Common English Proficiency Assessment Scheme (CEPAS). This represents an increase of about 3%, in terms of number of participants, as compared with the same cohort last year.

"With the assistance of our institutions, the fifth round of registration for the scheme in 2006-07 has just been successfully completed. Despite its voluntary nature, the scheme has continued to attract a large number of students. Almost 10,000 final year students have submitted their applications for this round," a UGC spokesman said. "We are pleased to see that the Scheme has gained increasing popularity and acceptance amongst students and employers."

The successful launch of CEPAS in 2002/03 was marked by the participation of over 7,300 final year students. In 2003/04 and 2004/05, about 8,700 students joined the scheme each year, and the number increased to over 9,500 in the 2005/06 round.

"The increasing participation reflected students' confidence in their English abilities, and their recognition of the value of CEPAS," the spokesman said.

Starting with this round of the Scheme, online registration service is also offered as an option to students. The system has operated smoothly since April 2006 and has shown to be popular. Over 90% of students have chosen to register online.

In 2005/06, the UGC began to offer summer testing sessions from July to October to facilitate students and employers and provide more options to them. Due to their popularity, the UGC has continued to offer summer testing sessions in 2006/07, and some 1,100 students have registered in the summer testing sessions of this round. A total of 44 testing sessions will be organized in 2006/07, including seven summer testing sessions.

A breakdown of the number of participants by institution is at the Annex for reference.

End/Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Number of Participants in
Common English Proficiency Assessment Scheme in 2006/07

Institution 2006/07
No. of Participants % of Projected Graduates
City University of Hong Kong 1,502 57%
Hong Kong Baptist University 958 61%
Lingnan University 520 70%
The Chinese University of Hong Kong 1,888 69%
The Hong Kong Institute of Education* 326* 64%*
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 1,586 70%
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology 1,219 67%
The University of Hong Kong 1,851 68%
Total: 9,850 66%

* 322 of the 326 candidates from HKIEd are full-time students, accounting for 64% of projected graduates from full-time programmes in 2006/07. The 326 candidates account for 36% of projected graduates of all programmes in 2006/07.