Volume 15, Issue No. 1 (Serial No. 29) The Impact of the New Senior Secondary Academic Structure on Youth

Journal of Youth Studies

January 2012

Volume 15 . Issue No. 1

Serial No. 29

Feature : The Impact of the New Senior Secondary Academic Structure on Youth

The New Senior Secondary Academic Structure in Hong Kong: Dilemmas and Challenges - Kin-yuen IP
Kin-yuen IP
Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union

[Abstract] The reform of senior-secondary education in Hong Kong is unprecedented, in the sense that it involves not just a revamp of the academic structure, but also significant changes to the orientation and content of the curriculum. This article highlights 3 major challenges faced by the reform: (1) the senior-secondary curriculum remains mono-routed and academically oriented, and so cannot effectively accommodate the diverse abilities and needs of young people; (2) the system is being overloaded by the various new measures embedded in the reform; and (3) the secondary school to college transition remains a bottleneck that will certainly intensify the already keen competition for university places. The author argues that the success of the reform will depend on whether these 3 key challenges can be overcome.
[Keywords] senior secondary education; examination; diversity; education reform
Impact of New Academic Structure on the Competitiveness of Hong Kong Youngsters - David Y. K. WONG
David Y. K. WONG
Permanent Honorary President, The Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong

[Abstract] As a main part of Hong Kong’s education reform, the “334” new academic structure makes significant changes to the old education system. This article starts by discussing the challenges confronted by Hong Kong youngsters in the era of the knowledge economy, and tries to analyze how the new academic structure will influence their competitiveness. Suggestions for further reform are also discussed.
[Keywords] new academic structure; Hong Kong youngsters; competitiveness
The Positioning and Prospects of the Associate Degree - Avin TONG Elvis W.K. LUK Pak-sing YEUNG
Researcher, Hong Kong Ideas Centre
Elvis W.K. LUK
Principal Researcher, Hong Kong Ideas Centre
Pak-sing YEUNG
Director, Hong Kong Ideas Centre

[Abstract] This study attempts to summarize the 10-year development of the associate degree in Hong Kong, and to explore its future role under the new senior secondary academic structure. Taking into account the growing demand for tertiary education in recent years, we argue that the associate degree functions as an alternative learning path for graduates of the new senior secondary education. It fosters greater competitiveness and equips students to meet the challenges of rapid social, economic, and technological development.
[Keywords] associate degree; new senior secondary academic structure; policy suggestions
The Future Development of Tertiary Education in the Context of Globalization and the New Academic Structure in Hong Kong - Hong Sheung CHUI
Hong Sheung CHUI
President, Hang Seng Management College

[Abstract] The government of Hong Kong implemented education reform (the new academic structure) in 2009 in the context of globalization and the international trend of education reforms. The reform has led to changes in the structure and curriculum of secondary schools, which, together with the effect of globalization, will also affect the development of tertiary education in Hong Kong. This paper examines the future development of tertiary education in the above situation. From a review of related literature and education developments in the past, it is envisaged that there may be a substantial increase in private universities in the near future that will lead to a significant increase in the provision of degree courses. Issues such as education quality, government support, and measures to improve the quality of higher education related to the future development are discussed.
[Keywords] privatization; higher education; quality; education reform; globalization
The Reform of the Vocational Education and Training System under the New Academic Structure in Hong Kong - Carrie WILLIS
Executive Director, Vocational Training Council

[Abstract] This paper highlights the importance of vocational education and training (VET) in the successful implementation of the 334 Education Reform through the provision of multiple progression pathways. It also presents how the Vocational Training Council (VTC) has reformed the VET system to attune to changing economic and global trends and new developments, especially those brought about by education policies. It reveals the new face of the VET programmes driven by the VTC which provides value-added multiple progression pathways for the graduates from the new secondary education system, as well as in-service personnel.
[Keywords] new academic structure; vocational education and training; education development; education reform; Vocational Training Council
The New Senior Secondary Education Reform: The Problem of Learning Differences - Jacqueline K. S. CHAN
Jacqueline K. S. CHAN
Associate Professor and Head of Department, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, The Hong Kong Institute of Education

[Abstract] Since 2009, the Hong Kong senior secondary school curriculum has entered into a new stage as all secondary 4, 5, and 6 students will receive free education provided by the government. There will be no public examinations for secondary school students until they fully complete their secondary school education. With regard to curriculum design, it is necessary for the new senior secondary school curriculum to be designed in such a way that it is orientated towards general education. But how can this be done so that the new curriculum will be responsive to students’ diverse needs? This paper explores how the new senior secondary school curriculum has been designed to cater for students’ individual differences. Its limitations are discussed and suggestions are made in light of the problems faced.
[Keywords] new senior secondary school curriculum; learning differences; curriculum design
New Secondary School Structure: Exploring Perceptions of Academic Achievement of South Asian Students - Alka SHARMA
PhD Candidate, Division of Policy, Administration and Social Science Education, The University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] The Education Bureau (EDB) of Hong Kong introduced a New Senior Secondary (NSS) structure and curriculum from the school year beginning in September 2009. While introducing six years of secondary education, education planners suggested that the new structure will prove more suitable for the knowledge–based economy. Similarly, the new curriculum is thought to be more diversified, permitting students of different abilities and needs to reach their maximum potential. Further, cancelling the HKCEE ensures that almost all students will enjoy six years of secondary school. While ethnic minority numbers in Hong Kong are not large, their existence is significant. This article explores the future impact of NSS on ethnic minority academic attainment. This is significant because the current success rate of ethnic minorities in secondary school is almost negligible. For this study the South Asian ethnic minority group was selected. The data was collected and analyzed in the grounded theory fashion. Results show that the South Asian ethnic minority group does not perceive many positive consequences for themselves under NSS.
[Keywords] South Asians; new senior secondary structure; ethnic minorities; qualitative research; ethnic minority perceptions
Why does One Act Differently from What One Pledges?──Multiple Perspectives and Independent Enquiry Study in Liberal Studies - Po-keung HUI
Po-keung HUI
Associate Professor, Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University

[Abstract] Cynicism is a dominant cultural phenomenon in contemporary Hong Kong. It manifests itself as “one acts differently from what one pledges.” It is not difficult to see this cynical culture in government policies and NGO projects. Even in education where honesty is much valued, one also witnesses the widespread cynical culture. This paper, drawing on the concept “cynicism” and focusing on two major objectives of the new senior secondary Liberal Studies curriculum, analyses why we act differently from what we pledge, in order to find ways to overcome the cynical mentality.
[Keywords] Liberal Studies; multiple perspectives; independent enquiry study; cynicism
The Role of Hong Kong Schools in Promoting Students’ Civic Engagement: A Qualitative Study of Focus Group Interviews with Hong Kong Secondary Students - Cherry W. C. AU Joseph K. F. CHOW
Cherry W. C. AU
Joseph K. F. CHOW
The Hong Kong Institute of Education

[Abstract] This study aims at assessing the existing effort in civic education in Hong Kong secondary schools after the implementation of the 3-3-4 educational reforms from 2009 onwards. The assessment framework is based on the IEA civic education model (Torney-purta et al., 2001). Qualitative data were collected from focus group interviews from 18 Form 3 students of four schools. The findings support the previous research that adolescents engaged actively in the process of political socialization. Rather than political activities, the majority of interviewees preferred to engage in social activities. Moreover, interviewees held positive beliefs in civic efficacy in changing school policies though they might not be confident to change government policies when they became adults. Interviewees suggested having more “space” in the present civic curriculum by allowing more discussion / activities on current issues or news. Finally, students had positive comments about existing efforts in civic education during Liberal Studies lessons.
[Keywords] civic engagement; classroom climate; school participation; civic curriculum; focus group interview
The Challenges faced by Students of the New Academic Structure and their Counselling Service Needs - Anita S. F. LAM
Anita S. F. LAM
Coordinator (Student Counselling), The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups

[Abstract] The new senior secondary academic structure has been operating for over two years since its launch in September 2009. Various reforms in academic structure, curriculum and academic assessment have been carried out under the new structure. These bring difficulties and challenges to senior secondary students. Based on the observations and experience of our frontline school social workers, this article gives an account of the frustration and muddle the students are facing. Further to this, a three-tier intervention service model is proposed to meet the needs of these students.
[Keywords] education reform; new senior secondary academic structure; Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSE)
Options and Pathways for Students under the New Academic Structure - Flora S. Y. YAU  Joe Y. C. TSUI
Flora S. Y. YAU
Joe Y. C. TSUI
Hong Kong Association of Careers Masters and Guidance Masters

[Abstract] The New Academic Structure (NAS) in Hong Kong heralds a new era in education. Having benefited from one more year of free secondary schooling, each graduate is now expected to know more about his or her own interests, abilities, and aptitudes, and to choose a path accordingly. This article explores the various options available to this new generation of school leavers, and provides those advising them with suggestions for how best to guide pupils through this critical transition.
[Keywords] individual student planning; career guidance; youth transition; student pathways; new academic structure

Pan-Chinese Societies Exchange : Youth Housing Needs and Its Policy Analysis

Youth Housing Demand and Policy in Taiwan - Ching-Chun HUA
Ching-Chun HUA
Associate Professor, Department of Finance and Banking, Hsuan Chung University, Taiwan

[Abstract] In the face of high housing prices in Taiwan, the youth housing problem is getting more serious. This has constrained young people’s intentions to marry and have children. While it seems that Taiwan’s housing policy has a lot of youth assistance programmes, most housing subsidy resources are assigned to military families or former home buyers. The long-term solution is to reform property taxes and to construct social housing, but the implementation of these institutional innovations will be influenced by the result of the 2012 presidential election.
[Keywords] youth; housing demand; housing policy; Taiwan
Housing Demand and Housing Policy of the Young Sandwich Group in Mainland China—A Survey of Young White-Collar Employees in Shanghai - Jie CHEN Xingrui ZHANG
Xingrui ZHANG
School of Management, Fudan University, Shanghai

[Abstract] In China, the “sandwich group” refers to those people who can neither afford private housing nor are covered by the public housing system. This group plays an important role in economic development and social stability, so the society as a whole will suffer if their housing demand is not met. This paper examines the real housing demand of the sandwich group based on a survey of 600 young white-collar employees in Shanghai conducted in July 2008. The hedonic price method is employed to measure the impact of the key characteristics of housing on housing prices. The distribution of the real housing demand of the Shanghai young sandwich group is then evaluated. This study analyses the gap between their housing demand and affordability. It also discusses policies for solving the housing problem of young people.
[Keywords] housing price; hedonic price model; sandwich group; empirical estimates
Young People and Housing in Hong Kong - Ngai Ming YIP
Ngai Ming YIP
Department of Public and Social Administration, City University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] This paper examines the housing issues faced by young people against the backdrop of a robust rebound in the market which has made accommodation increasingly unaffordable. Young people have been particularly affected by this given the slowing of social mobility and the resulting turbulence of the early stages of their careers. Whilst most cannot afford a flat in an urban area, moving to the suburbs is apparently not their preferred choice. At the same time, the public housing allocation system has put young people who cannot afford to purchase a home in a disadvantageous position. Hence the housing prospects of the younger generation are depressing, at least until there is a substantial restructure of the market. In this respect, new policy initiatives are desperately needed to counteract the effects on the transition of young people to adulthood and to restore the confidence of Hong Kong’s younger generation.
[Keywords] Hong Kong; youth; housing; affordability; post-80s generation
The Myth or the Fact of Housing for Young People in Macao - Yang ZHANG Rose N. LAI
Assistant Professor in Economics, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Macau
Rose N. LAI
Associate Professor in Finance, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Macau

[Abstract] This paper aims to identify housing challenges young people in Macao are facing, and how government policies can help to overcome them. It does so by investigating young people’s housing choices, options and aspirations as well as the gaps between such aspirations and the reality of the housing system in Macao. The particular implications of government housing policies for young people in both the private and public housing markets are discussed. Finally, we provide a discussion on whether the housing problem for young people is as serious and urgent as perceived by the public in Macao.
[Keywords] young people; housing; Macao

Professional Exchange

The Attitudes of English Adolescents to Protest Activities: Reflections from the International Civic and Citizenship Study on 2011 England Riots - Joseph K. F. CHOW
Joseph K. F. CHOW
The Hong Kong Institute of Education

[Abstract] The riots witnessed in cities in England attracted the attention of the media, politicians, and educators worldwide. Despite criticism of the misbehaviours of some English adolescents, the phenomenon has provided an excellent context in which to study the protest activities of adolescents. The International Civic and Citizenship Study (ICCS) reflects on three questions: 1) In general, how do young adolescents in England view protest? 2) How do they differentiate between legal and illegal protest? and 3) What are the characteristics of young adolescents who open up their options to include illegal protest activities? Through a secondary analysis of the ICCS data, this study offers a way to better understand the political participation of English adolescents as a form of active civic engagement. Finally, I also comment on the link between this study and the 2011 England riots and discuss future research on Hong Kong adolescents.
[Keywords] protest; ICCS; youth; 2011 England riots; citizenship education