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ERIC Number: EJ1169929
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0309-877X
Making the Transition to Higher Education in Hong Kong: A Tale of Two Cohorts
Evans, Stephen
Journal of Further and Higher Education, v42 n2 p177-192 2018
The academic year 2012/13 marked a major milestone in the history of Hong Kong higher education as it witnessed the admission of two markedly different cohorts of Cantonese-speaking freshmen to the city's English-medium universities: those embarking for the last time upon the traditional 3-year programme modelled on the British system of initial disciplinary specialisation and those commencing the new 4-year programme featuring an American-influenced first year of general education. This article presents the findings of a study which sought to compare the perceptions and experiences of the two cohorts on the challenging process of adjusting to the demands of university study. It was hypothesised that students in the 3-year cohort (3YC) would experience fewer difficulties adjusting to university learning and teaching than the 4-year cohort (4YC) as it was assumed that their A-level programme (years 12-13) placed greater emphasis on university-related skills, practices and habits of mind than the new senior-secondary curriculum (years 10-12). This hypothesis was tested by means of a survey completed by 1480 students at Hong Kong Polytechnic University towards the end of the academic year. The results largely support this hypothesis, although the evidence suggests that both cohorts had adjusted moderately well to university study by the end of the year. The results indicate that the principal difference between the two cohorts and the key to the 3YC's smoother transition was their greater confidence and competence in English, which presumably stemmed from their extra year at school and the greater depth of the traditional sixth-form curriculum.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A