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The Policy of "Developing Hong Kong’s status as a Regional Education Hub"

The HKSAR Government strives to develop Hong Kong as a regional education hub through internationalisation and diversification of the post-secondary education sector. We aim to nurture talents for other industries and attract outstanding people from around the world, boosting Hong Kong’s competitiveness and facilitating the long term development of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is well-positioned to become a regional education hub -

What Makes Hong Kong well-positioned to be a Regional Education Hub; Strategically located; A culture of East meets West; World-class institutions; Institutional autonomy;Robust quality assurance regime; A knowledge-based economy generating high demand for education and training; No entry barrier to overseas education and training institutions; A gateway for institutions / students to enter the Mainland China market;

To promote internationalisation, we –

  • have doubled the non-local student(note) admission quotas of publicly-funded institutions to 20%;
  • provide government scholarships to outstanding non-local students (HK$80,000 (US$ 10,260) for each student);
  • have relaxed employment and immigration restrictions for non-local students (e.g. Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates); and
  • have implemented the PhD Fellowship Scheme offering a monthly stipend plus travelling sponsorship for top research students from around the world.

For the purpose of admission to post-secondary programmes in Hong Kong, non-local students are defined as students holding the following documents issued by the Immigration Department of the HKSAR:

  • Student visa / entry permit,
  • Visa / entry permit under the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates, or
  • Dependant visa / entry permit who were 18 years old or above when they were issued with such visa / entry permit by the Director of Immigration.

On diversification, we have introduced various measures to support the development of the self-financing post-secondary sector, including granting land at nominal premium, interest-free start-up loans, quality assurance subsidies and a HK$3.52 billion (about US$ 450 million) Self-financing Post-secondary Education Fund to provide scholarships to outstanding self-financing students and supports worthwhile initiatives and schemes to enhance and assure the quality of self-financing post-secondary education.

We will build on these measures and endeavour to attract more quality non-local students to study in Hong Kong, as well as welcome overseas institutions to set up campuses in Hong Kong. We will work with our post-secondary education institutions to step up exchange and promotion efforts overseas so as to encourage more students to regard Hong Kong as a destination for education.

Our achievements in the 2018/19 academic year –

  • About 42,000 non-local students coming from over 100 countries or regions studied in post-secondary education programmes in Hong Kong
  • About 6,800 incoming and 6,700 outgoing students on exchange (i.e. every one out of four of our undergraduate students had the opportunity to go on exchange during their study period)

For more details of the Policy, please take a look at our detailed factsheet.