Subsidies for students studying certain tertiary education programmes in Hong Kong will be increased in the next academic year.
The government announced last Thursday that the increases will apply to the Non-means-tested Subsidy Scheme for Self-financing Undergraduate Studies, and the Study Subsidy Scheme for Designated Professions/Sectors.
The non-means tested scheme, which covers about 300 full-time self-financing first-year-first-degree and top-up degree programmes, will be increased from HK$30,000 to HK$30,800.
The designated professions scheme is targeted at certain courses for industries that have a big demand for talent. There will be a HK$1,700 increase in the subsidy for laboratory-based programmes, to HK$71,700. For non-laboratory-based courses, subsidies will be increased by HK$1,000 to HK$41,000.
Both subsidies apply to new and continuing students. Students will pay their tuition fees after the subsidy has been deducted.
The designated professions scheme was rolled out as a pilot in 2015, and will be introduced in full next academic year. It covers 37 designated programmes.
To benefit from the non-means tested scheme, students need to have scored a “3-3-2-2” in the HKDSE core examinations, or have attained a sub-degree qualification, depending on the type of course they are enrolled in. Around 20,000 students benefited from the non-means tested scheme in the last academic year.
Ho Chak-sum, 21, studies at the University of Hong Kong. Although his course is not covered by these programmes, he supported the subsidies. He says more financial support would give him extra time for other activities. “I try to not rely on the allowance from my parents, so I work lots of part-time jobs,” he said. “If I had [more] subsides, it would allow me to spend more time on my interests and study instead.”