A total of 70,000 mainland students have studied in Hong Kong in the past 10 years, and the number of recruited mainland students has risen from around 1,600 in 2003 to more than 160,000 in 2012. One of the main attractions is that tuition costs far less in Hong Kong than in Britain or the US.
"Some local Hongkongers can't handle the rigour of higher education, so they use us to release their envy," one mainland student said.
Michael Chan Siu-fai, 18, from King Ling College, who took the HKDSE exam this year, says: "It is fair to have 20 per cent of the places for overseas students. Chances should be given to those who put effort into their studies."
Gigi Wong, 18, of Po Leung Kuk Laws Foundation College, who hopes to study in a local university in September, says: "I don't think local universities should reduce the number of [non-local admissions scheme] students because it will kill the cultural diversity of the campus."