Self-financing post-secondary education started in 2000. Under the premise of not increasing the number of openings for subsidized undergraduate programmes, the government massively launched sub-degree programmes such as those offered by self-financing institutions and higher diploma, in a bid to satisfy the needs of knowledge-oriented society.
However, a surplus of 20% to 30% in the number of openings for programmes of self-financing post-secondary education began surfacing last year. The number of graduates of secondary education in Hong Kong has continued to drop with the decline of birth rate. If the situation continues, the institutions providing self-financing post-secondary education would face even severer under-enrollment issue in the coming five years. The new round of programme information about post-secondary education of the next academic year revealed that many colleges and universities have lowered the number of student intakes and reduced programmes to cope with the scramble for students. In addition, some institutions have announced that tuition fees will increase by 5% in the new academic year.
Post-secondary education will face bigger challenges in student intakes due to the surplus in openings for programmes of self-financing post-secondary education as well as the continuing decline in the number of appropriate-age students in the future. It may eventually result in the shutdown of some institutions and impact the quality of education, which will negatively affect students.