There are approximately twenty-two higher education institutions that award degrees in Hong Kong. These are divided into three categories: UGC-funded universities, which are funded by public under the University Grants Committee; Self-funded institutions; and Public institutions: which are funded by the Hong Kong Government. For UGC-funded and Public establishments, the tuition is mostly funded by the state, however both home and international students need to pay yearly enrolment fees; international students’ fees at these institutions however are famously high and comparable to self-funded or private institutions. The educational system is highly influenced by Anglo-Saxon tradition (see below), with the language of instruction being English and/or Chinese.
Conditions for international students are subject to individual universities’ regulations, and further requirements of residency. Generally speaking, being a home to a spate of world class universities and multi-national businesses, Hong Kong is a sought-after destination for higher education, being home to over 320 000 post-secondary students, with over 14 000 coming from abroad. For more information please refer to https://www.edb.gov.hk/en/edu-system/postsecondary/index.html.
The Hong Kong educational system is strongly influenced by Anglo-Saxon educational tradition. However, its degree structure has undergone a significant reform in 2012 in an attempt to create a more balanced, well-rounded learning experience. It follows the ‘bachelor's master's doctorate system’; nonetheless in contrast to the UK, a greater stress is placed upon the importance of examinations as a means of tracking academic progress.
The length of Bachelor’s degree newly comprises four years. More generally, its structure follows that of the UK; students are able to complete studies in general fields of study within which they will nominate a ‘major’. Some institutions also offer students to complete double degree programmes.
Postgraduate programmes in Hong Kong are taught via research and coursework at both Master’s and Doctoral levels. Postgraduate study tackles general study areas with a more specialist focus, and so may require students to be more decisive in their subject choices. Master’s programmes typically last a year in Hong Kong.
Entrance requirements vary across institution, study level and subject area. Generally speaking, applicants are assessed against their academic background and previous academic achievements. Most universities will include an interview as part of the admission process. A proof of English language proficiency (B2 minimum) is also required for programmes taught in English.
In terms of financing the studies, international rates are much higher than the domestic ones. For foreign students, the annual fees can vary between approximately £7 800 and whopping £53 000. For undergraduate courses international students can expect to pay between £7 800 and £8 840. Postgraduate tuitions are slightly lower, with some notable exceptions of medicine, law and business administration, and show some great inter-institution variation.
There is a number of scholarships made available to international students, some valued up to £17 600. One of the largest of such programs, the HKSAR Government Scholarship Fund is funded by the Hong Kong administration, and prospective students are kindly invited to check the Hong Kong government as well as university websites for more information eligibility criteria.
Information for International Students
Hong Kong is a sought-after destination for higher education, being home to over 320 000 post-secondary students, with over 14 000 students coming from abroad. As a city with an international outlook, advice as well as support is readily available for most countries of origins, with consulates, embassies as well as international student bodies’ branches being located in the city.
The admission process is usually administered by the university of one’s choice. Nonetheless requirements of proof of previous education, language capabilities and nationality form an integral part of virtually each admission process. For international citizens, relevant residency requirements also apply, nonetheless it is usually possible to apply for a student visa only once the applicant has secured a place at one of the city’s universities.
Total costs for a year of university study have been estimated at between £1 500 and £2 300. Accommodation costs for one year of study vary between £1 000 and £1 800, with the remaining £500 being average living costs for a university student. To illustrate with an example, a meal at McDonald’s costs approximately £3 in Hong Kong, with a set meal at an average local café being priced at from £5 to £8.