Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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For new graduates in Hong Kong, there is at last good news. After the constraints of the pandemic, the economy is lifting with more jobs and better pay on offer for those with the education and skills to take advantage of the opportunities on offer.

More than 30,000 full-time job vacancies for graduates were advertised in the first quarter of 2023, the highest in five years, according to Joint Institution Job Information System data, and unemployment has fallen to just 3.3%.

But for students considering study and work experience at universities across the UK, Hong Kong’s demand for graduates in key areas of the economy were especially noteworthy. Entry level roles in architecture and healthcare ranging from doctors and pharmacists to graduate technicians and nurses offered an average of 12 per cent higher salaries this year alone. For those with the right mix of study and international experience, Hong Kong is again a place of significant opportunity.

A wave of emigration in recent years has also left the great global city of Hong Kong eager for talent. The exit of some professionals has left gaps for others keen to make their own contribution to the next chapter in Hong Kong’s story. Employers are looking to fill gaps, rebuild society and drive growth in the economy.

But what are the skills the city will need to once again fulfil its unique position as a trading bridge between East and West, and a city known for its mix of energy and global talent?

As a meeting place for the world, graduates with global experience are at a particular advantage. This applies not only to those with traditionally respected qualifications from high-ranked universities in subjects like medicine and engineering, business and law. Degrees at institutions such as Aberdeen, Durham, Cardiff, Leeds, Sussex and Sheffield are rightly highly-prized as a passport to successful careers, with tens of thousands of highly successful graduates around the world a living legacy to the unarguable quality of a British education.

But Hong Kong students are also making the most of study options in the UK’s more modern university sector, focused on professional training and often with the closest of links with multinationals. Institutions such as Surrey, Strathclyde and Royal Holloway University of London are also global names for successful graduates across the globe, with world-leading expertise in communications, semiconductors, optics, computer science and law. Liverpool John Moores, Kingston, Teesside and Huddersfield also offer a superb mix of affordability – these institutions often charge less than their older counterparts – with tremendous teaching and preparation for the world of work in high-tech engineering, business and allied health professions. All students are different & have different needs. Those who value integrating work experience with a hands on approach to studying will really enjoy these institutions as well as the like minded peer group who study there.

On a recent visit to the proud manufacturing north of England, for example, I learned from the inspirational Vice-Chancellor of The University of Huddersfield Professor Bob Cryan how international students directly benefit from collaboration with partners such as IBM, Siemens, Jaguar Land Rover, PWC and Santander, then taking a mix of degree and work experience into their careers as graduates. An engineer who was himself from a modest background, Professor Cryan is determined that every one of his students who come to the university from across the world has the opportunity to thrive and succeed, which means they go straight on into quality employment to do meaningful work.

And the same is also true of much-needed experience in allied healthcare professions. One of Huddersfield University’s top ten partners is the British National Health Service. Students make the most of an opportunity to work and learn, many then following their degrees with a life-changing experience of post-study work in the UK giving them a global perspective which accelerates their careers when they return home.

Understanding the range of opportunities open to Hong Kong students keen to take advantage of a British education offers a pathway to success. Hong Kong families considering study abroad options would be wise to open their eyes to the wide range of possibilities that will meet the needs of their own sons and daughters, and of a city in need of all the graduate talent and experience they have to offer.

Our role at Study Group is to ensure that students and their families have a broad choice of options to pursue higher education that will really work for them. We believe we have something for everyone and consider it a privilege to work with so many high quality, time proven institutions offering great international education in such a safe, supportive environment.

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