On-line Application System for Taught Postgraduate Admission
- Simple application procedure with secure on-line payment
of application fee
- Efficient handling of the diversity of programme information and application forms
- Rich features to cater for the management needs
- Concluding Remarks
From the advertisements in the press, readers may
have noticed that the
new admission exercise for postgraduate studies has begun.
The University would always like to attract the best local and overseas students.
For years, prospective students from all over the world have been accessing
our postgraduate prospectus on the Web to read about
our wide variety of programmes
of studies. With the launch of the on-line
for taught postgraduate admission
in 2005, students
can apply for admission
through the Web without
sending a printed application
form. This brings convenience to the applicants
and speeds up the processing of their submitted forms. The
accessible at http://www.hku.hk/rss/online
or from the HKU homepage => "Study Programmes and
Applying for admission on-line
is just part of the
picture. Behind the scene is a
sophisticated information system that provides
the necessary back-end support for processing the
applications and catering
for the unique requirements of individual programmes of studies.
2.1. Simple application procedure with secure on-line payment
of application fee
A prospective student can apply for admission simply by filling in the
on-line application form of the chosen programme
of study and follow any application requirements
of the programme. In
the on-line application system, the application fee
by credit card payment is settled securely by the
JETCO payment gateway service provided through the Bank of East Asia.
Using the payment gateway,
JETCO or the bank never receive any applicant data from our system
and similarly our system never receive any credit card information.
After an application is successfully submitted, an application number
will be shown in the acknowledgement web page and an
email will be sent to the applicant to
double confirm the receipt of an application. Therefore, applicants can
enjoy a straightforward application procedure while
a secure on-line payment service. A sample partial on-line form is shown
in Figure 1.
Figure 1. A sample on-line form (partial)
2.2. Efficient handling of the diversity of programme
information and application forms
One complexity of the system is the need to handle the yearly update of
the syllabuses and information of each programme of
studies from the faculties.
final details of some programmes are finalized a few days before application begins. To tackle this problem, a central
repository is set up for
the Faculty Offices to upload the new
administration staff will then have a single place to receive,
process and disseminate up-to-date information to the public.
of the update exercise is now easily managed
through the system. Any late information can
easily be spotted and handled accordingly.
Faculties will receive
different application information
according to the different programmes they
offer. For example, a programme
in Community Geriatrics requires the details of in-service training
taken by applicants. The ability of the system to collect such information
is crucial for minimising the administration effort to contact the applicants
afterwards. In the current admission exercise, about forty different on-line
application forms are used to cover the different needs
of over one hundred programmes.
2.3. Rich features to cater for
the management needs
To assist the selection of applicants, application data can be downloaded
by Faculty Offices. The data
is provided in a tabulated form to enable
easy short-listing. In addition, to handle enquiries from applicants,
facilities are available for the different administrative offices to conveniently
search for applicant information. Finally, management information
such as the statistics of applications is made
the system. Management decisions can be made accordingly.
A sample application
statistics report is shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2. A
sample application statistics report (data for demonstration only)
||Master of Arts
||Master of Arts in Transport Policy
||Master of Geographic Information
3. Concluding Remarks
Applications for admission to the
taught postgraduate studies are now open for the coming
academic year. We expect the number of programmes
of studies and on-line
applications will increase. By
streamlining the application process and organizing the application
information, the On-line Application System
for Taught Postgraduate Admission will
continue to provide a convenient channel for our applicants
to submit applications while
serving the complex needs of our Faculty Offices.