Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram THE release of university offer results can make or break a student’s dreams. When 2008 Alphington Grammar Captain Elizabeth Voulgaris could not locate her name in the first round tertiary offer section of the Herald Sun last Monday, she began to panic.“I started thinking I didn’t get an offer and thought, what am I going to do? But when I went onto the VTAC website I found that I had an offer from Latrobe university into a science course (my second preference),” she tells Neos Kosmos English Edition.Alphington Grammar’s other 2008 school captain, George Clonis also experienced a lucky twist when he landed his first preference, Biomedical science/law at Monash University.“I didn’t expect to get in because the entry score was 99.4 and my ENTER score was 98 so I was extremely pleased,” he says.Clonis believes that the increase in government-funded places following the abolishment of full-fee places for Australian students will generate greater access to tertiary study.“I knew a guy that got a much lower score than the ENTER required for a course but paid his way through it. But now with more Commonwealth supported places, this means that one guy who missed out by .5 of a mark would not miss out because he couldn’t afford to pay”.Voulgaris is more critical of the VTAC system. “I actually don’t like the way we are marked at all. I understand that there are brighter students but at the same time I don’t think that it’s fair as a lot of students who are average get marked down (for not choosing the subjects which are marked up), lowering their ENTER scores”.For those who missed out on a first round offer last week, there is still a chance to receive a second round offer (published in the Herald Sun on February 6) or a third round offer.Bill Lihoudis, missed out on his first preference but was still pleased with acceptance into his second preference – Finance at Latrobe University.“These days you can transfer courses after first year or even transfer from TAFE so there are a lot more options,” he says.
Travellers are advised to check-in for their rail journey at least 45 minutes before departure and must pass through both Hong Kong and Mainland China clearance procedures. Boarding gates for the High Speed Rail close five minutes prior to the train’s scheduled departure time.Passengers are permitted a maximum luggage allowance of 130 centimetres (approximately the size of a 24-inch suitcase). In particular, each adult passenger should not carry more than 20 kilograms of luggage and each child passenger should not carry more than 10 kilograms of luggage.Tickets for the High Speed Rail network are available online, from ticketing agents and through a tele-ticketing hotline. For more information, see www.highspeed.mtr.com.hk/Go back to the enewsletter Go back to the enewsletterHong Kong’s first high-speed railway, the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High Speed Rail (Hong Kong Section), has commenced operation, offering a new means of travelling quickly and conveniently between Hong Kong and cities across Mainland China. In particular, the MTR Vibrant Express puts Hong Kong in easy reach of nine neighbouring cities in Guangdong Province and heralds a major boost to tourism in the Greater Bay Area.The 26-kilometre rail link connects Hong Kong for the first time to Mainland China’s vast high-speed rail network, the world’s most extensive. Travellers will be able to ride from Hong Kong to 44 destinations in Mainland China without changing trains, making the city an ideal starting-point for multi-destination journeys through China. With frequent direct high-speed trains linking Hong Kong to Shenzhen and Guangzhou in as little as 48 minutes, travelling within the Greater Bay Area will be faster and more convenient than ever before.“The brand new cross-boundary railway service offers fast, convenient and comfortable connections to the Mainland of China. Passengers can complete both Hong Kong and Mainland clearance procedures in one place at Hong Kong West Kowloon Station and then board trains to 44 Mainland destinations directly without interchange, providing them with a good travel choice for leisure or business,” said Professor Frederick Ma, Chairman of MTR Corporation, the company that operates the MTR Vibrant Express.The train has a maximum speed of 200km/hr in the Hong Kong section and up to 350km/hr in the China Mainland.The line offers Second class, First class, Premium class and Business class levels of travel, with Premium class and Business class only available on some Mainland trains.The Hong Kong section of the High Speed Rail network runs from West Kowloon Station, one of the world’s largest underground high-speed railway stations and a new must-see landmark for visitors to the city. The station’s design has already garnered a number of international design awards including one at the World Architecture Festival Awards, known as the “Oscars of architecture”. Visitors can enjoy views of iconic Victoria Harbour by walking along the Sky Corridor on the station’s rooftop.