If you are considering studying in Hong Kong, you will first want to decide exactly what you want to study. In general, universities in Hong Kong offer a wide variety of courses of study, however, schools tend to specialize in different disciplines.
You want to be sure that your university of choice will provide you with an adequate education. Some universities, such as The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, emphasize research. Others, like the City University of Hong Kong, specialize in humanities-oriented studies similar to liberal arts education programmes. You may want to look into how much government and corporate support each university receives, as the amount could have an effect on the quality of your education.
The nine universities in Hong Kong are:
- University of Hong Kong
- Chinese University of Hong Kong
- Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
- Hong Kong Polytechnic University
- Hong Kong Baptist University
- City University of Hong Kong
- Lingnan University
- The Open University of Hong Kong
- Hong Kong Shue Yan University
Of these, the University of Hong Kong is by far the most prestigious and well-funded. Though technically The Open University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Shue Yan University are listed as private universities, they have received government subsidies or grants for improvements and renovations in the past, and will likely do so again in the future.
University admissions in Hong Kong
Exact admissions requirements will vary from university to university. All require strong English language skills – classes are taught in English – and standardized exit-exam test scores (such as the British A-Level, American SAT, Hong Kong HKALE). If you are not a native English speaker you will most likely have to take an English language proficiency test before you will be admitted.
You will be able to enter most universities if you have obtained an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma or if you have completed at least one year at a recognized (accredited) university. There are also program-specific requirements for admission into certain courses of study at some universities.
Only after being admitted to university will you be able to apply for a student visa. Universities usually help their admitted students through this process, but it is important to remember that you must renew your student visa each year. If you do not, your residence in Hong Kong will be considered illegal and you will be subject to deportation, or worse.
Tuition and Financial Aid
The cost to study in Hong amounts to an average of about US$10,000 per year. This includes tuition, fees, room and board. In comparison to other countries, this is a relatively high figure, but there are plenty of opportunities available to apply for scholarships and financial aid. These awards range in size from small stipends to full tuition.
Scholarships have their own eligibility requirements and application processes: many will require essays, interviews, and letters of recommendation. Awards also vary, and as a general rule the more generous the scholarship seems, the more rigorous its application process will be.
Universities in Hong Kong offer a full range of degrees, from Bachelor´s Degrees to Doctorates. Currently it takes a student three years of study to obtain a Bachelor´s Degree in Hong Kong, but this will change by 2012 due to the government´s education reform efforts. After 2012, the required length of study to obtain such a degree will be the standard period of four years.