In light of the uncertainties that is engulfing most of our world right now, I’d like to celebrate the green shoots in our community - the result of the hard work, determination, vision, and creativity of our Grade 12 students who chose to apply to an institution of higher education this past fall.
I’d also like to take a moment to celebrate your courage, both students and parents of these pioneering THS years. Of the 20 graduating students this year, about half of the cohort have been with the school for seven years or more.
Every single student that chose to apply to an institution of higher education has an option in front of them. Many have multiple. In fact, if you look back over the last few years, was there any reason to believe that this wouldn’t be so?
There is so much anxiety about being unconventional and trying something new. There is a prevailing false narrative that if one doesn’t allow themselves to be molded and sorted by the dominant forces of the would-be gatekeepers, one is sentencing themselves to a life of poverty and microwaveable dinners.
There is an energy, determination, and pride to be a member of this pioneering rank of students who are showing the rest of Hong Kong that it can be done. A progressive, interdisciplinary, project-based learning approach can deliver content and challenges just as effectively. It also has the fortunate side effect of empowering the student along the way.
The jury is back and the verdict is unanimous: a THS education is a distinguisher, not an extinguisher.
I am including in this blog post a list of colleges and universities that our students have been admitted to over the last three years. Please note, for every name that you see preceded by “university”, there was an enormous and impersonal application reading and sorting system that did not balk at a THS transcript. It did not balk at a cross-curricular approach to education. It did not balk at the lack of IBs or APs. It did not balk at not seeing a GPA. It did not balk at not seeing a class rank. In fact, in many cases, it unearthed a curious human being who rose out of the faceless bureaucracy to learn more about our school. And for those colleges (versus universities) out there reading our student’s applications, they already employ a holistic review process that affords the admissions committee an opportunity to actually “get” what’s happening here at THS. I would caution though that we never let the tail wag the dog. These results should manifest as a result of an authentic process as defined by each individual, not ends looking for a means. To put it in another way, let us always remember that the THS ethic is a “how” not a “what”.
2019-20 (20 graduates)
California Lutheran University
Colorado State University
Leeds College of Music
Loyola Marymount Manhattan
Ontario Tech University
Penn State University
Purdue University - Main Campus
San Francisco State (Physics and Astronomy)
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University for the Creative Arts*
University of British Columbia, Okanagan
University of Calgary
University of California Riverside
University of Denver
University of Guelph
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Rochester
University of San Francisco
University of Sussex*
University of Toronto, Main Campus and Scarborough
University of Washington
University of Waterloo
University of Westminster*
*denotes a conditional offer
2018-19 (8 graduates)
Bath Spa University
Berklee College of Music
Chamberlain Institute (University Arts London)
Oxford Brookes University
St. Lawrence University
St. Louis University
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
University of Plymouth
University of San Francisco
University of Winchester
University of Worcester
2017-18 (4 graduates)
Chinese University of Hong Kong
City University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Lake Forest College
Roger Williams University
Saint Mary’s University Wittenberg
Syracuse University for Architecture
University of California - Berkeley Department of Architecture
UCLA- Samueli School of Engineering
In most parts of the world, Spring is a time of renewal and change, where seeds that were once dormant in the soil, start to break ground in search of light. Where what was once latent with potential is now that potential realized. It is also a time when certain things did not take root, dreams that remain just that, and the vision of green shoots of a particular variety of plant is not to be. There is always pain in the process of transitions. It is one of the universal experiences of the human condition. Change is inevitable, growth is optional.
Furthermore, being on the road less traveled means connecting with a richer and more authentic life, one that is less prone to becoming untethered by the never ending hoop jumping and ever receding goal achieving lifestyle, whose motto is, “you are almost there.” But as we all know, there is no there, there.