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#STUDYABROAD: FIVE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE APPLYING TO MAINLAND HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS

Besides pursuing further studies in local or overseas institutions, more and more Hong Kong students are considering schools in the Mainland. Since 2012, the Ministry of Education and Hong Kong’s Education Bureau have joined hands to launch a “Scheme for Admission of Hong Kong Students to Mainland Higher Education Institutions”. From 2012 to late 2018, more than 21 000 Hong Kong students enrolled for the scheme and 9 300 were admitted eventually.     Before applying to institutions in the Mainland, be sure to take note of the following 5 tips:   1. Graduation ≠ Bachelor’s Degree  To obtain a Bachelor’s Degree, one has to obtain both a “Degree Certificate of Undergraduate Programme” and a “Certificate of Bachelor’s Degree”.    “Degree Certificate of Undergraduate Programme” only represents the completion of study of an Undergraduate Programme.  “Certificate of Bachelor’s Degree” represents the conferment of a Bachelor’s Degree.    Each institution will confer the degree in accordance with the “Regulations on Academic Degrees of the People's Republic of China” and other conditions as required by individual institutions (generally include completion of specific credits, attainment of specific levels in Grade Point Average and in English examination etc.).   2. Putonghua Is The Norm!    In 2000, the National People’s Congress enacted the “Law of the People's Republic of China on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language” which stipulates that schools and educational organisations are to adopt Putonghua as the common language for teaching.     Individual institutions may provide programmes and subjects conducted in foreign languages, but the major core subjects and elective subjects are probably taught in Putonghua.    Besides, students are coming from various provinces of China. Not all of them can speak or understand Cantonese. Putonghua would be the lingua franca for communication among peers and daily living. Putonghua is used in daily activities.   3. “First Class” Universities And Disciplines When choosing your preferred schools and subjects, you may refer to the “Double First–Class” Project university and discipline list (a.k.a “Double First-Class”) announced by the Ministry of Education. The listed institutions have achieved certain levels of quality in overall development, development in key areas, talent incubation, capacity building in innovation, discipline development and development in special areas.     4. Accreditation Of Qualifications Back In Hong Kong In 2004, the “Mainland and Hong Kong on Mutual Recognition of Academic Degrees in Higher Education” was signed between the Ministry of Education and the Education Bureau of Hong Kong (List of institutions). Academic qualifications would be mutually recognised concerning the continuation of education.    Please note that mutual recognition is ONLY applicable for the purpose of further studies.     All holders of non-local qualifications (overseas or Mainland) can seek accreditation by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic & Vocational Qualifications. According to its Annual Report of 2016/17, there was a total of 897 accreditation applications of Mainland academic qualification, of which 99.6% were recognised as being in line with the Hong Kong Qualifications Framework.     5. Cultural Diversity Among Mainland Students The Mainland covers a vast landmass with variations in climate, culture, diet and dialect. Not only students from Hong Kong, students from different areas of the Mainland may also encounter cultural differences and issues such as home-sickness. Yet, learning to embrace differences is also one of the merits of studying away from home.     Try to make good use of the platforms provided by the school campus, explore the multi-cultural environment and connect with people of different backgrounds. You may find yourself having a broader vision, a wider network and a more diversified development.     Useful links:  Scheme for Admission of Hong Kong Students to Mainland Higher Education Institutions  National Education Exams Authority, People's Republic of China Joint Entrance Exam for Universities in PRC  

#STUDYABROAD: IS THERE ANY SCHOLARSHIP FOR HONG KONG STUDENTS WHO WISH TO CONTINUE THEIR STUDIES IN THE MAINLAND?

DEFINITELY! Hong Kong students enjoy the same the fee structure including tuition fee, accommodation fee and medical insurance fee as those for Mainland students, making it more affordable than studying in Hong Kong or overseas. Nevertheless, there are dedicated scholarships for Hong Kong students to ensure that no one is deprived of higher education for financial reasons.       Scholarships for Hong Kong, Macao and Overseas Chinese Students In 2017, the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Education set up the Scholarship to encourage Hong Kong, Macao and Chinese overseas students to study in the Mainland. Each student may receive up to RMB$ 8,000 each academic year! (Year 2019)    Details and Application of Scholarships for Hong Kong, Macao and Overseas Chinese Students>>    Mainland University Study Subsidy Schemes The scheme is managed by the Education Bureau of Hong Kong and means-tested by the Student Finance Office of the Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency. The full-rate subsidy is HK$ 16,800 each year! (Academic Year 2019/20) Mainland University Study Subsidy Schemes>>   Higher education institutions in the Mainland also offer their own scholarships, grants, fee remission, etc.  For details and requirements, please refer to information from individual institutions.