Plan B to Oz universities

There are always paths to university, even Australian ones, even if you didn’t do well in your public exams. Hong Kong students hoping to study down under can connect to a university through diploma studies.

Lisa Kao

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

There are always paths to university, even Australian ones, even if you didn’t do well in your public exams. Hong Kong students hoping to study down under can connect to a university through diploma studies.

The Global Business College of Australia is providing diploma courses that allow students to have direct connections to the University of Canberra.

The college has partnered with the Australian university to jointly deliver bachelor degrees in Melbourne. After students have finished their diploma program in GBCA, they can directly enter University of Canberra in Melbourne or Canberra to continue studies with a bachelor degree.

As business is a discipline that is commonly sought after, the diploma of business is the most popular program in the college, which consists of more than 700 students in a one-year course.

With teaching staff with more than 10 years’ experience from famous universities like the University of Melbourne and the Melbourne Institute of Technology, students are learning both language and basic business theory during their year of study.

“Most of the courses will be focusing on language,” said Seny Jiang, the marketing director of the school. “Other courses are management and business.”

The aim of the year is to build a solid foundation to prepare students for bachelor studies.

“Compared to year one at the University of Canberra, the diploma courses are relatively easy. It enables students with a lower English level or learning ability to build a better base for further studies.”

The diploma program entrance requirement is also lower than the University of Canberra. “Hong Kong students have to obtain at least Level Two in five subjects in DSE, and get IELTS 5.5 in general, no less than 5.0 in each section to qualify for the diploma program,” said Jiang.

Direct entrance to first year at the University of Canberra requires a minimum of 6.0 in their IELTS results.

Students should take this time to improve their abilites, not slack off, she pointed out. “It is about self-control. Some students had to quit the program mid-study.”

Some go absent as their English is not good enough to understand what’s being taught or finish their assignments. “If they are absent for three consecutive lessons, the school will send warning letters recommending they quit,” Jiang warned.

But she added that as long as students attend the lessons and finish all assignments, it is not a struggle to complete the diploma program.

And as long as they complete the diploma, a position at the University of Canberra in Melbourne is assured. “They can be directly admitted to second year of a bachelor of commerce or business,” Jiang said.

“Bachelor of commerce is recognized by the Austalian professional accounting body CPA and Chartered Accountants. After graduation, students will automatically become a member of the bodies.”

Another popular diploma program is the diploma of early childhood education and care. The two-year program has 100 students. “Australia lacks talent in childhood education so the opportunity is great.”

Unlike those who study the diploma of business who wish to connect to a bachelor degree, Jiang said most of the students in the diploma of childcare do not do so. “After completing the diploma, students are able to obtain Certificate III in Early Childhood and Care, which makes them qualified to apply for a visa to work in local kindergartens.”

Those who want to obtain further knowledge can move to a bachelor degree in the University of Canberra. “They have to spend three more years to finish the degree, which will also touch on primary education, called the bachelor of early childhood and primary education.”

Teaching staff of the childcare diploma also come from famous universities in Melbourne, which have the same entrance requirements as the business diploma. Unlike the business diploma, the teaching diploma students have to finish an internship.

“They must complete the 480 hour internship requirement,” said Jiang.

“Since we have two of our own kindergartens and we partner with other local kindergartens, students do not have to worry about internship places.”

Those who perform well will be recommended to work in their kindergartens upon graduation.