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Dear Parents and Students

Wishing you all a very happy New Year and hoping that you all had a wonderful and restful Christmas break, feeling refreshed and energized for a busy 2016.  

We have a lot happening this term kicking off with the ESF Fair for Year 12 in a few weeks coinciding with Trial exams for Year 13, an information coffee morning for parents, a visit from a group of Australian universities and a Humanities lecture from the University of Bristol.

In this newsletter:

Year 13 - University Offers

With all UK university applications submitted we are excited to see offers already rolling in from Durham, Newcastle, Bristol, Warwick, UCL, Kent, York, Exeter, Kings College, Queen Mary and Royal Holloway.  

Applications to the US, Canada and Hong Kong have also been submitted and we are expecting decisions on offers from February to May.  Students will be given detailed instructions on how to respond to their offers and book university accommodation in our next HEO session.  For a copy of the power point please click HERE.

Students are also being invited for interviews and the HEO is organizing regular mock interviews both individually and in group sessions.

Year 12 - Time to Get Seriously Busy

Students are now approaching a critically important point in their university research.  During their last HEO session at the end of last term, a group of Year 13 students shared their experiences of the whole HE process which inspired students to seriously start focusing on fields of interest and to consider the wide range of options available.

ESF University Fair at Island School for Year 12 Students

Wednesday 20 January 2016

An E-notice has been sent to all Year 12 parents. Parents, kindly make sure you submit the form as soon as possible.

For a copy of the programme, please click HERE.

ESF Applied Learning Fair - 20 January 2016

ESF will be holding an additional fair in the morning of Wednesday 20 January, before the Higher Education Fair in the afternoon.

This fair will focus on specialized career fields such as Hospitality & Tourism, Business, Film and Television, Sports Management, and Art & Design.

There will be workshops at various locations throughout Hong Kong including Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Raffles, Hong Kong Sports Institute, Hong Kong Poly U Faculty of Business, Hong Kong Poly U Faculty of Hospitality, Hong Kong International Academy of Film and Television.

For a copy of the programme, please click HERE.

Year 12 Parents – Don’t Forget to Brag!

The HEO sees the university guidance and admissions process as very much a partnership, between the students, the parents and the school. In this respect, we actively seek input from families by ways of Parent Brag Sheet.

Please consider this as your opportunity to tell us everything about your son or daughter! We use the information you give us to more effectively counsel your child, to get a stronger feel for family priorities concerns and aspirations; and to advocate for them through our university references and Letters of Recommendation.

Some of the information you provide will help us in an "off the record" capacity, where as other information will help us brag about your child. The Letter of Recommendation is a crucial element of the university application and our goal is to write a strong and compelling reference for each and every student and therefore your input is of great importance and relevance.

Please click HERE for a copy of the brag sheet and email back to by the end of February 2016.

Year 12 Parents – Coffee Morning and Information Session

As it is a crucial time for Year 12 students in the whole HE process, the HEO is running an information session for parents on Tuesday 26 January from 8.30 to 10am in the Diploma Centre. The session will offer valuable information on time lines, test dates, references, predicted grades, deadlines, fees/scholarships and aims to provide parents with a clear over-view of how the HEO works closely with students to ensure good offers from well matched institutions.  

If would like to register for this important session, please click HERE.

Year 11 – Subject Selection is Important

The subjects that students choose for the IB Diploma can play a crucial role in university admissions.  They can determine an offer or a rejection and the subjects studied at Higher Level can be particularly important.  However, course requirements can vary between country, programme and university.  Some courses do not require particular combinations, but some do so it’s important you do your research early.

We look forward to seeing you at the subject selection evening on Thursday 4 February 2016 at 6:30pm.

For more information on subject selection, please look at

Year 10 – Keep up the Great Work!

We have been particularly impressed with the great turnout from Year 10 students to university visits and workshops and urge you to keep up the great work.  This will definitely pay dividends by the time you reach Year 12 and you will give you a serious head start in the whole process.

Summer Programmes – Important for Everyone

Now is the time to think about making your summer productive and one of the key ways of achieving this is to enroll on a summer programme. The HEO will be arranging several presentations and workshops on summer options over the coming months including:

PSAT Results due Soon

The results for the PSAT will be available within the next 2 weeks. The HEO will run a lunch time session to explain how to interpret these scores once they are released.
Students will also be invited to access their results online. Please look out for an email directly sent from the CollegeBoard explaining how to do this.

British Council Fair - Education UK Exhibition 2016

Will take place on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 January 2016.

Please click HERE for more information.

The HKTDC Education and Careers Expo

The HKTDC Education and Careers Expo will have 770 exhibitors from 16 countries. The Expo will take place between 28-31 January 2016 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

List of Participating German Universities and Institutions:

- Association for Learning German (FaDaF e.V.)
- DAAD German Academic Exchange Service
- EBS Business School
- ESB Business School Reutlingen University
- Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
- German Consulate General
- Goethe-Institut Hong Kong
- International School of Management (ISM)
- Jacobs University Bremen

Please click HERE for a full list of exhibitors.

Exciting Programme of University Visits to DC

We have an exciting stream of university visits coming up – with Temple University in Japan, Loughborough and Durham and of course THE BIG FOUR!

The Return of the BIG FOUR!

One of our annual highlights is an entertaining presentation from UCL, King's College London, Imperial College and SOAS, UK, which always attracts a large turnout.

They will be visiting DC on Friday 15 January 2016 at 1.30pm and will be talking to students and parents in the Diploma Centre.  Please make sure you turn up to this exciting event.  


Students and in particular Year 12, are strongly encouraged to attend.  Parents as always, are warmly welcome!

For an updated calendar of events, please click HERE.

HEO Focus – Studying in Scotland

Scotland has been a popular student destination for hundreds of years. The country's oldest universities – St Andrews, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen – are truly ancient, dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries.  Low fees for EU passport holders combined with a low cost of living and the beautiful countryside are not the only attractions that are drawing both international and domestic students.  

The flexibility in degree structure is becoming increasingly important to students.  Undergraduate degrees gained at Scottish universities differ quite significantly from those offered at institutions in other parts of the UK, both in terms of structure and teaching. The degree takes four years to complete and the format is more relaxed, giving students more time to explore different academic areas. And if students attend one of the four ancient institutions, they will end up with a Masters degree under their belt, rather than the Bachelors qualification offered by most UK universities.

The main advantage of the four-year degree, however, lies in its flexibility and breadth. It allows room for two years of generalised education followed by two years of specialised study: this format is the one favoured in continental Europe, and also in the United States, where students try out a variety of different areas loosely connected to their own before finally deciding on a "major". These first two years do not contribute to the overall degree result either, so students are encouraged to try subjects outside their comfort zone without the worry that a bad choice might affect their final grade. The hope is that this approach will give them knowledge of different disciplines and a more rounded education.

Take a look at the following links for more information:
Kind regards,
Ms Blomfield and Ms Yan
Higher Education Counsellors
DC Website
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