Meaningful Encounters with Further and Higher Education
1. What good looks like?
Students should understand the full range of progression opportunities available to them, including both local and overseas academic and vocational pathways, in higher education, Vocational and Professional Education and Training (VPET2) institutions, and further education opportunities.
- Students should be informed and facilitated to access multiple opportunities to learn from the latest information on various further and higher education institutions about the further studies options.
- Student3 experiences at least two meaningful visits or tours each year in the senior forms to further and higher education institutions (e.g. tertiary or VPET institution), including information day, talks or trial classes offered by institutions, based on their own needs.
- Students should have multiple opportunities to learn from various further and higher education institutions about the variety of study options.
- Students have direct meeting/ interactions with educators, teaching staff members to learn about post-secondary education options, how learning is organised and delivered in their institution and what it is like to study at this level.
- Senior form students should have direct encounters with people studying or working at one level above their stage. At a personal level this will give students an insight into what it is like to be a student (e.g. understanding students’ learning experiences, school life, personal struggles and ways of handling difficulties and career development opportunities).
- By Secondary 6, all students4 will have at least two interaction opportunities with staff members or current students/ alumni of the further and higher education institutions.
- The key takeaway of meaningful meetings will be linked with the students’ reflection on their personal career and life development (usually in conjunction with BM8). We recognise that students may need to have multiple encounters to get to the meaningful ones.
2. Why this matters?
- Schools offer multiple perspectives to deepen students’ personal reflection for individualized goal setting and action planning, in order to raise students’ aspirational capabilities to attain personal goals. Schools can also stay connected with higher education institutes and latest options, so as to maintain an active database and be well informed before they can provide guidance to students.
- Through more meaningful visits or tours, students have a wider scope of understandings towards the diversities of further and higher education, their potential pathways in the world of work after graduation, job prospects of higher education graduates, and its connection to job satisfaction.
- The opportunities can be started from Secondary three onward so that students and their parents have enough time and meaningful opportunities to encounter with the resource persons such as tutors, mentors, students or graduates from different further and higher education institutions, including those of VPET.
- Having direct interactions and exchanges with tertiary institution stakeholders including students, teachers and their alumni enable students to explore educational options from insiders’ points of view.
- Students are able to make more informed decision about their future and likely to make better choices that they sustain.
3. Top tips for schools*
- Make sure that at final year’s end-of-term evaluation meeting, the career team discusses the strategies, timeline and proposed plan supporting students to access encounters in further and higher education, in alignment with school’s major concerns.
- Before setting objectives for each meaningful visit or activity, collect students’ preferences and understand their interests and priorities beforehand.
- Prepare and update documents such as invitation letters, emails, contact list or resource bank of keeping connections with partners, schedule of activities, evaluative questionnaires for students, and debriefing guidelines.
- Be aware of making any judgement or criticisms about the prestige and status of different pathways and institutions.
- Publish your careers programme on your school website / distribute copies to students and parents at the beginning of each year- highlighting planned visits and experiences.
- Conduct student briefing or preparatory meeting to allow students to understand the objectives, significance and expectations of the activities. Consider the division of groups among students with appropriate tasks and follow-up sharing to maximize students’ learning.
- Clarify teacher manpower allocation to enable teachers to understand the logistics, duties and further actions involved. Coordinate and inform teachers through channels, to enhance transparency of activities and avoid time crash. Inform parents (e.g., through notices) the details of the event.
- Systematically record the encounters centrally and ensure that every student has had encounters. Ensure that you have appropriate documentation of the details of encounters, such as school notices, itineraries, activity booklets, worksheets, reflective journals, evaluation records, reports, and other artefacts. Record students’ attendance in different meaningful visits or tours. Take photos and/or video clips of the visits, tours, and direct interactions.
- Make use of alumni networks to understand their higher education experiences and arrange sharing opportunities for alumni to interact with students.
- Put in place a mechanism to collect students’ feedback/ evaluation (e.g., through questionnaires or online forms) of the meaningful encounters immediately after or within one week of the event.
- Review reflections, journal notes, follow-up tasks, and other documentations related to the visits and tours, to understand students’ learning experiences and thoughts.
- Debrief guidelines to teachers and students. Teachers guide students to integrate these experiences into the Other Experiences and Achievements (OEA) essays (e.g., through formbased debriefing by career team), and facilitate students to decide on their possible pathways.
- Collect stakeholders’ feedback including alumni, partners, and collaborators and review the implementation of the meaningful encounters at the end of the school year.
4. Working with partners
- Higher and Tertiary Institutions: Review the school network of higher and tertiary institutions; explore new courses, trends as well as local and overseas higher education opportunities; and contact potential institutions to enrich the varieties of students’ meaningful visits and exchanges. Align the mutual expectations of the school and the higher and tertiary institutions, and communicate with them on how each meaningful encounter can be organised.
- Alumni: Invite alumni from higher and tertiary institutions to share their own experiences to the students. Keep regular tracking of their career and life paths.
- Other Schools: Learn from other school practices on how meaningful encounters can be arranged to update school-based programmes.
5. Insights gained from the pilot schools
- Coordinate and inform teachers through available channels such as e-Calendar, emails, and/ or staff meetings to enhance transparency, allow teachers to reserve timeslots and avoid crashes of activities.
- Have systematic records of the encounters through the school e-recording system for planning and monitoring students’ exposures.
- Organise joint-school career and university fair to share resources among sister schools.
1 ‘Meaningful’ encounter with further and higher education: is one in which the student has an opportunity to learn and reflect through
teacher (adult) facilitation about what further and higher education options are really like or what it takes to be successful in the options.
2 VPET: Refers to “Vocational and Professional Education and Training”.
More information on VPET is available at the latest Review Report:
Task Force on Promotion of Vocational and Professional Education and Training (2020). Task Force on Promotion of Vocational and
Professional Education and Training Review Report. Retrieved from
3 In terms of school self-improvement process, schools are encouraged to set their own interim target (%) if appropriate and predict the
timeframe to achieve the BM standards.
4 In terms of school self-improvement process, schools are encouraged to set their own interim target (%) if appropriate and predict the
timeframe to achieve the BM standards.
Online Tools and Resources:
(i) A course searching tool: e-Navigator (with Web Version and APP Version)
(ii) Joint University Programmes Admissions System (JUPAS)
(iii) Electronic Advance Application System for Post-secondary Programmes (E-APP)
(iv) CONCOURSE for Self-financing Post-secondary Education
(v) Information Portal for Accredited Post-secondary Programmes (iPASS)
(vi) Diploma Yi Jin Webpage
(vii) Qualification Frameworks (QF)
(viii) VPET Website
(ix) Vocational Training Council
(x) Construction Industry Council
(xi) Clothing Industry Training Authority
(xii) Education Bureau Multiple Pathways Webpage
(xiii) Education Bureau Non-local Higher & Professional Education Courses Webpage
(xiv) Hok Yau Club
(xv) The Hongkong Federation of Youth Groups DSE Webpage
(xvi) Scheme for Admission of Hong Kong Students to Mainland Higher Education Institutions 2020/21
(xvii) Beijing-Hong Kong Academic Exchange Centre
(xviii) University Entrance Committee for Overseas Chinese Studies
(xix) British Council – Study in UK Webpage
(xx) Education USA (U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau)
(xxi) Study in Australia (Australian Government’s official resource for international students)
(xxii) EduCanada (Official Government of Canada website for study in Canada)
(xxiii) Japan Student Services Organization
(xxiv) Study in Korea (Run by Korean Government)