CHINA: Hong Kong gears up for four-year degree

Universities in Hong Kong are counting down towards one of the most significant transformations ever attempted in the territory's higher education sector, and the logistics are daunting: thousands of extra students, hundreds of new lecturers, realms of new curricula to write and hours of additional courses to fill, writes Liz Gooch for The New York Times.

At a time when universities in many Western countries are pinching budgets, Hong Kong's are gearing up for a massive expansion of the undergraduate population: starting in the 2012 academic year, all Hong Kong undergraduate degrees will be extended from three years to four.

Universities say the extra year will give them the opportunity to provide students with a more rounded, liberal education, akin to the US approach. Education experts, who have widely welcomed the changes, say the move reflects Hong Kong's ambitions to produce innovative graduates who are well-equipped to secure the city's place in the global economy.
Full report on the New York Times site