Entry tougher at HK universities

Updated: 2015-01-26 08:02

By Luo Wangshu(China Daily)

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Hong Kong universities have raised the bar for Chinese mainland students due to the increasing number of applications.

The comparatively low cost of tuition and living expenses and the world-recognized quality in higher education in Hong Kong attract mainland students to pursue higher education there.

Since the mainland and Hong Kong agreed to recognize each other's higher education degrees in 2004, Hong Kong has become a hot destination for mainland students to experience "international" education.

"The number of applicants is increasing and the admission standard has become more stringent, but the admission rate is becoming lower and lower," said He Chugang, general manager of Amber Education's Southern China region, a Hong Kong-based education counseling firm.

Amber Education filed more than 300 applications from mainland students to graduate programs in Hong Kong universities in the 2014-15 academic year and less than 20 percent of applicants received offers.

"Even less popular programs, such as social work, require competitive face-to-face interviews," He said.

"The enrollment at universities has remained almost the same, but the number of applications have increased, which has made the application process more competitive," he added.

Some universities have raised the bar of admission for the Class 2015.

The University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong will ask all mainland applicants to offer their scores of International English Language Testing System.

The Chinese mainland's College English Test, known as CET, will no longer be accepted by the two universities in 2015.

"Considering that most of the local and overseas universities do not accept CET6 for fulfilling the admission requirements of their postgraduate programs, and that the university also refers to international benchmarks when formulating its admission requirements, it decided to remove CET6 from the list of English tests accepted as fulfilling the English proficiency requirement for admission with effect from the 2015-16 academic year," the Chinese University of Hong Kong Graduate School said.

However, for the majority well-prepared mainland students, removing CET 6 as an admission requirement has not affected their applications.

Tao Yimei, a senior college student in Guangzhou, took IELTS as soon as she decided to apply for Hong Kong universities.

"I was applying for graduate schools in the UK as well, which all require to submit an IELTS score," she said, adding that having an IELTS score is also a plus in the job market. Tao has already received an offer from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

(China Daily 01/26/2015 page5)