Hong Kong universities open to more mainland students

Yang Meiping
Universities in special administrative region confirm they will admit more non-local undergraduates following chief executive's pledge to double its quota from 20 to 40 percent.
Yang Meiping

Hong Kong universities said in Shanghai on Thursday they are to admit more students from the Chinese mainland as they take in more non-local undergraduates.

The announcement came as John Lee, the special administrative region's chief executive, said in his annual policy speech on October 25 that the quota of non-local undergraduate students from overseas and the mainland at Hong Kong's public universities was set to double from 20 percent to 40 percent. This was among a raft of measures he announced to position Hong Kong as an international hub for education and a center for innovation.

At an admission illustration session, Esther Kwok, director of the admission office of the University of Hong Kong (HKU), said HKU admitted about 570 mainland students this year and the number is expected to be between 600 and 700 next year.

"Students from the mainland are more than welcome as we see a lot of outstanding applicants every year," she said.

HKU is one of the most popular Hong Kong universities with mainland students because of its strength in education, research and innovation.

Kwok said it received more than 10,000 applications from the mainland each year, a number that was increasing year by year.

Andy Wong, director of admissions and financial aid of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), said CUHK had also increased the quota from 300 this year to 400 next year.

"As usual, the quota will be flexible as there are so many outstanding applicants from the Chinese mainland that we've overshot the annual cap almost every year," he said.

Perrie Lai, head of the student recruitment and community engagement office of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, said the university will still admit about 300 undergraduate students next year but will double its quota for non-local undergraduates to 40 percent.

It's good news for students and parents in Shanghai.

Penny Wu, a local mother, said her daughter had submitted an application to HKU and the increase of quota will increase her chances of success.

"Hong Kong is a cost-effective option as it has world renowned universities with tuition lower than those in the Unites States and Europe," she said. "Moreover, it's not far away and shares a lot of similarities with Shanghai. It would be easier for my daughter to adapt to the new environment."

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