Over the last ten years Hong Kong Polytechnic has achieved unprecedented growth, not only in the number of students but also in the quality of education. The number of full‐time students expanded nearly five times from 1,580 in 1972 to 7,506 in 1982, according to the tenth annual report of the Polytechnic, covering the academic year ending July 1982. The total number of part‐time day‐release students similarly increased — from 1,030 to 4,860 — while the number of those attending short full‐time courses expanded almost 20 times, from 120 to 2,370. The Polytechnic now has 21 teaching departments, compared with only eight in 1972. Each year graduates are being offered substantially higher salaries, with the rate of increase well above that of inflation. Despite the recession, the average starting salary for graduates at all levels this year was 15 per cent higher than last year's average. For professional diploma and higher diploma graduates, who form the largest group, the average starting salary was more than 18 per cent over the previous year's. These figures clearly show that Polytechnic graduates are in demand, and that the institute has achieved not only an unprecedented and planned growth in numbers, but also a growth in quality. Polytechnic degree courses will be introduced in October this year; but the programme, even when fully developed by the early 1990s, will not account for more than 30 per cent of the total full‐time students. The remaining 70 per cent of the Polytechnic's work will continue to focus on the production of professional and higher diploma graduates, who are vitally important to Hong Kong's economic and social development in the years ahead. Hong Kong now has a Polytechnic which is not only very large by any standard, but is also a true Polytechnic in the sense that it provides a wide variety of courses at various levels in different attendance patterns for post‐secondary students of all ages.
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