University guidance at FIS: A truly global outreach

Issue 10: 25/11/2022 International Stream From the Principal

Ask any year 13 student how they are feeling right now and I can tell you that the words "chilled" and "great" will not feature in the top 10 adjectives that they use to express their current mood.  One of the reasons is that we are coming to the time of year when they are having to narrow down their choices of courses and destinations for the University that they would like to be attending from August/September 2023, and for most this means making some hard decisions and perhaps even some sacrifices from what they imagined as they made their way through their younger years as a student.

This week I would like to focus on a couple of  aspects at FIS that are often overlooked or misunderstood when discussions take place in our community about how we support all our students with the choices they make in the application process to Universities.  Whilst many International Schools based in Hong Kong will be known for getting their students predominantly into Universities in one area of the world, the FIS Orientation team offer expertise and guidance for university entrance across the globe!  Last year our students not only got offers from 120 universities around the world, but could count a wide range of countries on that list: Europe (France, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Republic of Ireland), North America (USA, Canada), United Kingdom, Australia, Asia (China, Japan) and here at home in Hong Kong too. The breadth of choice that FIS supports is truly spectacular.  Our team often work with students who wish to apply to more than one country, and expertly guide them through the different processes that entail in a very supportive and patient way.

Another myth that we often hear is that FIS does not access the top universities.  The data from the University team certainly disproves this rumour.  For example if we take applications for the most popular destination for students from both streams, the United Kingdom, since 2016 FIS has had an average offer rate of around 75% to the prestigious collection of 24 Russell Group Universities (who inc. inter alia Bath, Oxford, St. Andrews, UCL, Imperial, Cambridge) despite the trend that in some of these institutions, access is increasingly difficult due to political pressure to admit more students from UK state schools.  In the USA, despite plunging admission rates in many elite universities (i.e MIT down from 7.3 to 4.5% since 2020), FIS students have still been admitted to Yale, Harvard and UCLA in the same time period.  The Orientation team this year introduced a scheme to support those students aiming to enter the Oxbridge/Ivy league Universities, and so support in this area is being strengthened.

Next week I will expand a little more, and show you how our university team work to get the best deal for each and every student.


Mark Williams
Secondary Principal (International Stream)