Hong Kong is set to allow its public universities to double the number of non-local undergraduate admissions in the forthcoming Policy Address, local media reported citing government sources on Tuesday.
Sing Tao reported that the 2023 Policy Address – scheduled to be delivered by Chief Executive John Lee next Wednesday – will see the ceiling of non-local undergraduate intake be raised from 20 per cent of publicly-funded places to 40 per cent. The new proposal aims to make the city “an international higher educational hub,” the newspaper’s source said.
Under the current admission scheme, eight public universities in Hong Kong offer a total of 15,000 first-year degree places to local students. The proposal would allow universities to admit up to 6,000 non-local undergraduates.
HKFP has reached out to the Education Bureau for comment.
According to data from the University Grants Committee (UGC), an advisory body responsible for funding higher education institutions, Hong Kong had a total of 21,709 non-local student enrolments for the 2022-23 academic year. Among them, 74.8 per cent were from mainland China, and 21.6 per cent were from other parts of Asia.
The upcoming Policy Address will also encourage universities to step up efforts to recruit students from Belt and Road countries and from member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Sing Tao reported.
In June, the city’s education minister, Choi Yuk-lin, hinted that the limits would be raised: “Ensuring the quality of education and the proper use of taxpayer’s money, we will gradually lift the cap of non-local admissions to University Grants Committee funded programs.. to effectively address the need of Hong Kong’s talent development,” Choi said in Cantonese during a panel at the city’s legislature.
Lawmaker Chow Man-kong said the cap on the non-local student intake could be raised to 50 per cent, whilst local universities would have to make plans to accommodate the increase in students.
“There have been new academic buildings at different universities over the past five years, they [local universities] could handle a rise in numbers,” Chow, who is also the associate vice-president of the Education University of Hong Kong, said in Cantonese.
HKFP has also reached out to Chow for comment.
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