Careers and Higher Education
It is important that students develop the knowledge and skills to make informed choices about the next stages of their life after secondary school. Lauren Sharman, the Head of Careers and Higher Education, Berina Chan and Adam Cowling, our two Higher Education Counsellors, counsel students in a wide range of higher education and careers options.
In the lower years, careers education is delivered mostly through the Pastoral Programme as well as some bespoke workshops intending to investigate the world of work. The team coordinate work experience for Year 11 students, and are always looking to expand the opportunities available. If you are able to support us in this work please contact the Lauren Sharman on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Higher education guidance happens through individual and group provision in Years 11-13. The team take an active part in advising students on programme and subject options, particularly in Year 11. In Years 12 and 13 they advise students on a group and individual basis and manage applications for all the major H.E. destinations: UK, USA, Hong Kong, Canada and Australia. They are also able to help students research and apply to other tertiary systems. They advise on overseas tests such as TOEFL/IELTS and SAT/ACT. Evening meetings that focus on Higher Education are organised for the parents of students in Years 11 and 12. Lauren, Berina and Adam are supported in their work by an Administrative Assistant.
The Careers Centre is located in the Diploma Centre on the Sixth Floor and is stocked with a comprehensive range of reference materials and prospectuses. The Careers Section of the VLE acts as a medium through which students can access aspects of the Careers Curriculum, search Higher Education options worldwide and receive news of upcoming events external to the school. We are lucky enough to receive a wealth of visitors representing universities and colleges from around the world. These opportunities are advertise through the VLE and the team encourages all students to attend.
We would love to welcome you onto our campus! If you are interested in scheduling a visit you can either contact Lauren Sharman on email@example.com or book in via the RepVisits website. The best times to visit us to potentially meet with students are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 10:05-10:35am or 12:35-1:15pm,Tuesdays 12:35-1:15pm, or Fridays 10:05-10:35am.
Higher Education Destinations
2017’s Higher Education statistics show the UK retaining the top destination with a slight increase to 42%, while Hong Kong has only just kept the second spot with a significant decrease to 16% of all confirmed destinations. America-bound students have decreased significantly from last year, dropping to 15% with Canada chasing behind it at 10%. One has to wonder if the current political climate has been involved in this drop from last year. We had six students take up places in Europe, four of which were in the Netherlands. Others have taken up places in Korea, Japan and China, with 11 students currently preparing applications to Australia and New Zealand. We had seven students choose to take a Gap year to explore work and travel, before embarking on their university studies in 2018.
In terms of institutions, Warwick and Exeter (6 at each) and UCL (5) clinched the first three places in the UK, with three students at four other universities, including Cambridge, Bristol and Leeds. Though the University of British Columbia is still the most popular destination in Canada with eight of our students going there, five students are heading to the University of Toronto. The University of California remains popular with SIS students heading to the USA, with six students at its various campuses. At the highly selective end, one student is heading to Brown, one to Northwestern, two to UC Berkeley and one to UCLA. In addition to the three students securing places at Cambridge, one student is headed to Oxford. On a more local level, 18 students will matriculate at HKU this September, two of which have elected to attend HKU Space, their community college.
In terms of choice of degree or major, Economics, Business and Management are very popular, as is the field of Art and Design. Sciences have captured the attention of this cohort, understanding the transferable nature of the skills developed on this kind of course. Engineering remains consistently popular, but a firm favourite of previous years, Psychology, has dropped in popularity.
Our Advanced Diploma students, most of whom head for the UK, have once again surpassed their IB counterparts by securing 100% of their ‘Firm’ offers in UCAS and are pursuing a mix of Business Management, Sports and Art/ Design courses, mirroring the ‘major’ subject they chose to pursue in their BTEC.
Below are some notable examples of individual 2017 graduates and their HE destinations:
Liana Chaplain – Undeclared – Brown
Liana was delightful to work with because she had invested a significant amount of time into really exploring the idea of ‘fit’; understanding what type of learning environment and course might suit her best. As such, Liana’s application to Brown, which has an admit rate of 8.3% met a warm reception. They look for students who demonstrate ‘informed activism’ and Liana’s roles in and out of school allowed her to demonstrate this fit.
Henry Callaghan and Raphaelle Le Febvre de Saint Germain – HKU Space
Both Henry and Raphaelle demonstrated the foresight to consider alternative paths to success when looking at the competitive arena of Hong Kong Higher Education. By undertaking a course at the University of Hong Kong’s community college, HKU Space, they are able to secure a place to continue their education which will allow them to progress on to the last two years of a degree either at HKU or anywhere else they choose.
Thomas Yoon Sung Kim – Mechanical Engineering – Northwestern
Thomas had the advantage of being both very well qualified, an excellent record of service work, and was also a star baseball player. Subsequently he was able to secure a place at the sought after Northwestern via Early Decision, which can be an extra competitive pool.
Angela Koo – Food Business Management – The Culinary Institute of America
Angela’s love of food was compelling in her application to her list of schools, and her essay about her love of making dumplings with her mother made her counsellor hungry every time they read it! Her BTEC allowed her to pursue her passion, so it was no surprise she was offered a number of places, and finally chose to take up her spot at this dynamic institution.
Sam Stuart – Hospitality and Hotel Management – Hotelschool the Hague
With Sam’s huge personality it made a lot of sense for him to use his wonderfully developed soft skills to secure a place at this highly reputable and cost effective option in the Netherlands. Here he will get a rigorous Business education and an impressive amount of work experience, guaranteeing him employment in the future.
2016’s Higher Education statistics show UK numbers dipping to 40%, while Hong Kong has regained second spot with a significant increase to 24% of all confirmed destinations. Though N. America-bound students have stayed steady at 28%, a greater proportion of these are now heading for Canada rather than the USA than was previously the case. Others have taken up places in Korea, Switzerland, the Netherlands and India while a small number are currently preparing applications to Australia and New Zealand.
In terms of institutions, Bath (6), Exeter (5) and York (4) clinched the first three places in the UK, with 3 apiece at 6 other universities, including Oxford, Imperial and Durham. Though UBC is still the most popular destination in Canada, 6 students are heading to Waterloo: a favourite recruiting ground for Bill Gates and many others in the IT industry. Northeastern (3) remains popular with SIS students heading to the USA, as does the University of California with 5 students at its various campuses. At the highly selective end, one student is heading to Yale, two to U Penn, one to Cornell and two to UC Berkeley. On a more local level, no less than 20 students will matriculate at HKU this September.
In terms of choice of degree or major, Psychology has rebounded as a popular choice, as has the field of Art and Design. Put together, Science, Engineering and Medicine/Health account for 25% of the whole cohort, as do Business and Economics combined. A healthy number are pursuing Politics and/or International Relations reflecting the breadth of their school and IB experience.
Our Advanced Diploma students, most of whom head for the UK, have once again surpassed their IB counterparts by securing 100% of their ‘Firm’ offers in UCAS and are pursuing a mix of Business Management, Sports and Hotel/Hospitality courses.
2015’s Higher Education destinations show UK numbers holding up at just below 50%, while N. America has rebounded to represent 28% of confirmed places overall. Hong Kong numbers have reduced somewhat to 15% of the cohort. Others have taken up places in Singapore, Korea, the Netherlands and India while a small number are currently preparing applications to Australia and New Zealand. Unlike 2014, the UK stole the show in terms of highly selective universities with 5 students going on to Cambridge or Oxford, although we also sent students to U Penn (2), Williams and Johns Hopkins.
In terms of institutions, King’s and UCL clinched joint first place in the UK with 6 of our graduates each; followed by Nottingham and Exeter at 4 apiece. Strengthening trends from last year, 5 USA-bound graduates will enroll at NYU and 8 students will attend varied campuses of the University of California. In Canada, UBC rebounded from last year’s low of 2 and they will receive 7 SIS graduates this time around.
In terms of choice of degree or major, Science in general and Biomedical Sciences in particular have shown up strongly in the class of 2015’s preferences. While one can recognise areas such as Accounting, Psychology and Sports where numbers have decreased, it is unwise to try to read anything into comparisons of cohorts of students that are each, after all, unique collections of individuals. What is gratifying, in our opinion, is the wide range and variety of options pursued: from Speech Therapy to Yatch Design and Production, to Landscape Architecture, to the Undeclared option for the USA.
Our Advanced Diploma students have, once again, shown up strongly amongst the significant numbers pursuing Art, Fashion, Film and Business but have also secured places to study majors in Nutrition, Education and Music Events Management. While most are headed to the UK, others are bound for the USA, Canada and Hong Kong.
2014’s Higher Education destinations show UK numbers not only holding up but increasing to 50% for the first time since 2009. While Hong Kong once again took up just over 20% of final places, the USA fell back to third place at under 15%, though it stole the show in terms of highly selective universities with our graduates now embarking upon their studies at Harvard, Stanford, U Penn, Cornell and Northwestern. Canada also fell to around 7%, Australia at 5% with the remainder of confirmed places in Korea, Japan, and the Netherlands.
Though the UK continues to present challenges to our IB candidates in the form of tough and specific entrance requirements, 85% or our UK-bound students are attending their ‘Firm’ choice and, most interestingly this year, a third of these candidates did not meet the full conditions of their offer but were still accepted (this often involves a stressful wait until the ‘A’ level results come out in August). In contrast, all Advanced Diploma candidates achieved their ‘Firm’ choice and met the full conditions of their offer.
In terms of institutions, Edinburgh clinched first place in the UK (barring a ‘yes’ vote in the referendum) with 6 of our graduates; Loughborough is second at 5 and Kent, York and Warwick share third place with 4 apiece. Globally, HKU is way ahead with 15 SIS graduates, taking back first place from UBC who have dropped from 10 to 2 since last year. Three USA-bound graduates will meanwhile enroll at NYU.
In terms of choice of choice of degree course, fields such as Business (23), Law (13) and Psychology (13) have held strong. Growth has appeared in the numbers pursuing Architecture or Building Surveying (8) and Accounting (5); while in the medical field, Osteopathy, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Veterinary Science and Medical Sciences added to those pursuing Medicine bring numbers well into double figures. With growth of those pursuing creative options in the BTEC Diploma, half of those pursuing Art/Design/Film/Media at tertiary level are Advanced Diploma students including two heading to the USA.
This year’s Higher Education destinations show some interesting trends with, on the one hand, a remarkable level of consistency for the UK and, on the other, a surprising reversal of the recent surge in numbers staying in Hong Kong. Our UK numbers (62) and percentage (37%) are exactly the same as the Class of 2012, while the USA has regained 2nd place with 27 students heading in that direction and, if we add an increased number for Canada (19), the overall percentage for North America is 28%. The reduction in numbers heading to Hong Kong universities from over 20% in 2012 to 14% this year, may be partly accounted for by the fact that the universities had only one cohort to fill, this year (2012 saw the double cohort transition). Australasia has stayed steady at around 8% and our other destinations include Switzerland, Korea, Japan, India, Taiwan and the Netherlands.
Though the UK continues to present challenges to our IB candidates in the form of tough and specific entrance requirements and though our IB results were less strong than the extraordinary Class of 2012, 46 or our 62 UK-bound students are attending their ‘Firm’ Choice (or higher through Adjustment): that percentage being the same for both IB and AD candidates.
In terms of institutions, the UK shows a fairly even spread with no clear favourite: Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol and Oxford Brookes claiming 4 of our graduates apiece. The clear global favourite is UBC in Canada with 10 SIS graduates heading there: it has taken over first place from HKU who with 8 students is even trailing behind HKUST with 9. USA-destined applicants have made a distinct shift towards the ‘Public Ivies’ with 3 attending the University of Wisconsin (Madison) including our golf scholar, Michelle Cheung, 3 to UCLA, 1 to UC Berkeley and 2 to UC San Diego. Indeed, there is a strong California bias with 11 out of 27 students overall. Having said that we also have 3 students who will attend what is generally regarded as the top Art school in the USA, Rhode Island Institute of Design.
There haven’t been any striking changes in choice of degree course or major with this year group. Psychology (14) continues to grow in popularity, while Business (20), Economics (11), Science (19), Engineering (10), Law (11) and Art /Design (10) retain their traditional levels of interest. The Advanced Diploma programme has made Sport (8) a growth area and 4 students are going into the field of Hotel and Hospitality Management.
Overall, the Higher Education destinations of our students in 2012 reflects the pattern of recent years, though with a slight drop in the proportion heading to the UK to 37%, with numbers for the USA and Hong Kong staying strong at around 19/20% each. Canada and Australasia account for around 7% each, while the remaining 10% include students heading to Japan, Korea and the PRC, as well as those pursuing gap years or national service.
In terms of institutions, HKU led the way once again with 19 SIS students matriculating next month but there is a fairly even spread elsewhere. In the UK, Nottingham (5), King’s College, London (4) and UCL (4) proved popular and LSE, Edinburgh and Bournemouth picked up 3 SIS graduates apiece; as did UCLA and Northeastern in the USA. At the very selective end of the spectrum, our high IB achievers are pursuing the likes of Natural Sciences at Cambridge, Mathematics at Yale, Social Sciences at Brown and Medicine at HKU. Once again, all applicants for Medicine were successful in gaining a place and in terms of UCAS applications overall, 85% applicants achieved their ‘Firm’ (first choice) offer. Our Advanced Diploma graduates are set to pursue degrees in area such as Sports Management, Business, Fashion, Early Childhood Studies, Events Management and Hotel Management, mainly in the UK but also in the USA and Australia.
While traditional favourites such as Business, Psychology and Law remain popular as degree choices, it is pleasing to see that over 20% of our graduates have opted for degrees in some field of Science or Engineering. Seven of our graduates are going on to pursue Architecture and Environmental Science/Studies seems to be gaining a strong interest too.