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UK/Aust/US Universities in HK?

  1. #1

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    UK/Aust/US Universities in HK?

    First, I would like to say Thank you to all the people contributing to this forum with formative information.


    Now back my question; currently I’ve been exploring the possibilities of earning degree via UK/Australia/US Universities that established branches here in HK. I’ve been told that those branches offer degree programs from accredited non-local Universities (ie U of Wale, U of Greenwich) and it can be completed online or face-to-face with the University’s instructors. They said this degree is the same as you can earn by studying at their main campus.
    Before are 2 good examples:

    ABRS
    Hong Kong Management Association


    I know they will not same as places like HKU, HKUST. but at least they are still accredited? Anyway, anyone have their feedbacks on this?

    Last edited by Dimsumyumyum; 02-03-2009 at 11:55 AM.

  2. #2

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    Another one is VTC. Look at www.vtc.edu.hk/shape

    Depends what you mean by accredited. Yes they are the same degrees as a student studying in the home country but HK has some strange requirements that prevent most overseas courses at undergraduate level being "accredited". They are officially approved and registered by the Education Bureau on the other hand and accepted by 99.999% of employers here.

    Note that most of the courses offered here by overseas providers are what are called 'top-ups' so you will need a higher diploma or equivalent before you can enrol.


  3. #3

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    I talked to one of them and they said they will accept my 2 years Canada University diploma as a "Higher diploma" only if I take 3-4 additional courses from them before entering in to their final year of their degree program. Not sure if this is norm..


  4. #4

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    It would be on a case by case basis and would depend on the subjects you have already passed as against the subjects you would be exempt from so might not apply to all. It would be worth trying a few others. What degree subject are you looking at?


  5. #5

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    I'm looking at a business or IT related degree or both combined.


  6. #6

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    I would be very careful about which UK university you choose to attach yourself to. I am from the UK and know a lot about this.

    Some years ago the UK Governement changed the criteria for university status so that it became a lot easier for many ordinary higher education institutes to call themseves "universities". Hence the traditional elitism of the original UK universities was lost-meaning it was no longer a status symbol just to go to a UK university-and instead it was which particular UK university. For example maybe about 2% of the UK population went to university before the rules were relaxed, and now it is maybe 30-40%.

    To make matters worse, the UK governement policy was to reduce the number of young unemployed and increase training, but to afford that would cost huge amounts of public spending. The solution-to make UK students pay part of their fees (fair enough) and to encourage more overseas students as they pay much higher fees which in turn support the increased costs of higher eduation for everyone else. Apart from the obvious lowering of admission standards and quality of teaching for some (but not all) UK universities, the result of this is heavy marketing to overseas students by the lesser well known, newer universities-which is what you are seeing in HK for example.

    All this means you may affiliate yourself to a UK university, but you need to make sure it is one of good long term reputation, and not simply beause of what it advertises. Reputation is critical-and there are plenty of surveys around to discover who is best. Otherwsie you may find yourself wasting time and money on a duff course or at a duff university and not much respect from prospective employers.


  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbabanker
    I would be very careful about which UK university you choose to attach yourself to. I am from the UK and know a lot about this.

    Some years ago the UK Governement changed the criteria for university status so that it became a lot easier for many ordinary higher education institutes to call themseves "universities". Hence the traditional elitism of the original UK universities was lost-meaning it was no longer a status symbol just to go to a UK university-and instead it was which particular UK university. For example maybe about 2% of the UK population went to university before the rules were relaxed, and now it is maybe 30-40%.

    To make matters worse, the UK governement policy was to reduce the number of young unemployed and increase training, but to afford that would cost huge amounts of public spending. The solution-to make UK students pay part of their fees (fair enough) and to encourage more overseas students as they pay much higher fees which in turn support the increased costs of higher eduation for everyone else. Apart from the obvious lowering of admission standards and quality of teaching for some (but not all) UK universities, the result of this is heavy marketing to overseas students by the lesser well known, newer universities-which is what you are seeing in HK for example.

    All this means you may affiliate yourself to a UK university, but you need to make sure it is one of good long term reputation, and not simply beause of what it advertises. Reputation is critical-and there are plenty of surveys around to discover who is best. Otherwsie you may find yourself wasting time and money on a duff course or at a duff university and not much respect from prospective employers.
    Far be it from me to challenge your opinion - but it is just that, an opinion. Firstly it depends on the subject area, even "duff" universities can have world ranking departments. Secondly the ranking of universities has little to do with the quality of the teaching, almost none in fact. Thirdly the vast majority of employers are more enlightened than to just see if you come from the old school - they consider people on their merits - hence the employment rates of the "new" universities (how many decades before they lose that tag?) are often as good as or higher than for the "old" universities. Fourthly, there is a strong quality assurance system in place in all UK universities that ensures equality of standards. I know there is a common view that the standard in UK universities has dropped; that plagiarism is widespread and ignored; that we give away Firsts; it is impossible to fail etc., but all I can say is that WE act on plagiarism frequently (I often have students crying in my office), that we give firsts to about 1% of our students and we do fail the bad ones.

  8. #8

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    i would b careful with these courses...

    as MBAbanker says, they use certains way to trick you into taking their courses. check who the certificate would be from? does it mention it is from an overseas campus? or online learning? this can affect the perception of employers as i know alot of local students who do these may not be hired as they did not get the whole uni "experience". another reason is that some may say the course is from Uni of London or Uni of Wales. but these are jus groups of all the unis there... and would include high ranking ones like Imperial or LSE but also lower ranking ones...


  9. #9

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    We do pre-employment checks and education - degrees and certifications are part of what we do. I am not commenting on any of the examples you raise as to good or bad or whatever, but let me say that my short experience in Hong Kong suggests that there is a pecking order of institutions when you apply for good jobs that is even more prevalent than in Canada.

    If you get a degree from any of the 9 or so HK universities, you will find them acceptable I'd think pretty much here or anywhere. They pass the smell test which is not always true for non-traditional programs where it is online or some combo. But you can see on this site the IB boys love them higher rated MBA schools over the locals.

    Be careful of accreditation. It is not about that as much as it is about public or employer perception of the value of the degree or the worth of the specific program. For example, HK's universities are self-accrediting while particular programs are accredited by other organizations in the specific disciplines. Most students can never tell you the accreditation of their program or if their university is accredited. That is not the primary issue.

    Here in HKSAR a short time ago they rejected a bid by the Institute of Education to become a university. This says that right or wrong HKSAR has standards.

    I have come across websites where the HK course provider says the program is fully accredited as does the parent university. Only when we checked the website of the accrediting organization it is at the top of the list of revoked accreditation with no appeal and has been that way since August of 2008.

    If the goal is a quicky bachelors degree it can much like quicky sex where you haven't checked out the sex partner and later find out the quicky had STDs and she's now pregnant, everyone knows about it including your partner/wife and now your reputation is shot and it's going to cost you a lot of money.

    There are lots of very good private educational bodies doing great work for folks here and elsewhere. You just have to be very, very careful when you enrol and pay a lot of money for a university degree program if it is not offered on a traditional class room basis. All those you note may be terrific but ask around.

    Remember beauty is in the eye of the beholder and if it doesn't pass the smell test save your money.

    I know many knock the Associate program as it is not a full out university in academic situations, but if that is all I could afford I'd rather take my chances with that and have a transcript that shows top marks than risk a non-traditional program that employers disavow. I'd find some other way to build my qualifications and experience than risk money if no one thinks it has value.

    Most of the bad stuff we get here are fakers who say they have degrees and transcripts from the best universities in North America and Australia but bought them from some guy in a parking lot in Toronto.

    The funny thing is that every time we get a non-traditional or "degree mill" sort of program, out of interest I Google it and bingo you will find someone out there in this town or region showing it in their credentials on the internet. But when the SCMP or Singapore's Straits Times get on these cases, it becomes embarrassing to their organizations and to the degree holders. HK has many stories like that.

    Last edited by Football16; 20-03-2009 at 03:28 PM.

  10. #10

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    Yes when it comes to MBAs I think the pecking order is very strong. As for accreditation, very few overseas institutions are accredited on the register due to a technical requirement concerning the percentage of exemptions. UK universities offer two year exemptions on top-up degrees. This fails the HKCAAVQ rules and so even Oxford or Cambridge could not get accreditation for their top-ups if they offered them. If you are vetting on whether the course is accredited you are unnecessarily vetting out a lot of good students. All the courses offered here are registered with the Education Bureau and initially approved and subject to annual review by the HKCAAVQ.

    All I can say is that our students have found work (over 2000 of them in Hong Kong) with top organisations and with Government departments. They also go onto study at Masters level with all the local universities. They seem to find them acceptable.

    Most degrees offered here by overseas providers are not distance but are classroom based.

    When people talk about being tricked into courses please be careful not to lump all overseas providers as the same. A quick look at the partner organisation here (City U, VTC, HKU, etc) should allay fears that they are somehow dubious. These organisations would not be associated with any tricks I think, too much to lose.


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