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Almost 11,800 university students participate in CEPAS


The University Grants Committee (UGC) announced today (November 21) that almost 11,800 final year students of UGC-funded undergraduate degree programmes have registered for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) under the seventh round of the Common English Proficiency Assessment Scheme (CEPAS). This represents an increase of about 5%, in terms of number of participants, as compared with the figure last year.

A UGC spokesman said, "With the assistance of our institutions, the seventh round of registration for the scheme in 2008/09 has been successfully completed. 11,788 final year students have submitted their applications this time. We are pleased to see that the scheme has continued to attract a considerable number of students. Given the voluntary nature of the CEPAS, the encouraging participation rate demonstrates that the students attach great importance to their English proficiency."

CEPAS was first launched in 2002/03. The participation number has been increasing steadily over the last few rounds of CEPAS, from around 7,300 final year students in 2002/03 to over 11,000 in 2007/08 round.

"We are glad to see the Scheme is continuing to gain popularity and acceptance amongst students. The increasing participation over the past few years reflected students' recognition of the value of CEPAS," the spokesman said.

In order to facilitate participants, the UGC has been improving the registration and testing arrangements over the years. Starting from 2006/07, students can register online. In this round, over 98% of students have chosen to register online. In addition, summer testing sessions from July to October have been offered since 2005/06. A total of 41 testing sessions will be organized in 2008/09, including 15 summer testing sessions. Some 4,000 students have registered to take part in summer testing sessions.

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

End/ Friday, November 21, 2008


Number of Participants in
Common English Proficiency Assessment Scheme in 2008/09


Institution 2008/09
No. of Participants Percentage of Projected Graduates
City University of Hong Kong 2,009 75%
Hong Kong Baptist University 999 63%
Lingnan University 538 68%
The Chinese University of Hong Kong 1,986 58%
The Hong Kong Institute of Education* 345 67%*
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2,179 88%
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology 1,547 80%
The University of Hong Kong 2,185 69%
Total : 11,788 71%

* 343 of the 345 candidates from HKIEd are full-time students, accounting for 67% of projected graduates from full-time programmes in 2008/09. The 345 candidates account for 46% of projected graduates of all programmes in 2008/09.