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UGC responds to Thematic Household Survey on Higher

The following is issued on behalf of the University Grants Committee:

     The University Grants Committee (UGC) said today (October 21) it was pleased to learn that the UGC-funded sector had generally earned wide public recognition for its contribution to the higher education arena.

     The comments came after the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD)'s publication of the Thematic Household Survey Report, which contained the findings of the Thematic Household Survey on "Pattern of Study in Higher Education" commissioned by the UGC.

     Conducted from June to August, 2004, the survey collected information on the higher education studying pattern of local people in and outside Hong Kong, as well as their views on higher education being offered locally.

      "We are pleased to learn that the UGC-funded sector has generally earned wide public recognition," a spokesman for UGC said. "Nearly 90% of the respondents considered that higher education offered by UGC-funded institutions supported the development of Hong Kong, and more than 80% of the respondents were of the view that higher education provided by UGC-funded institutions provided value for money."

     The survey showed that out of about 242 000 people aged 15 and over of Hong Kong's population who were pursuing higher education studies in and outside Hong Kong at the time of study, 169 000 (70%) of them were studying locally.  

     Among these 169,000 students studying locally, more than 58% of them were pursuing full-time studies and about 52% were at the undergraduate level.  For students who were pursuing higher education outside Hong Kong (73,000), nearly all of them were studying full time (97%) and a large majority of them were studying at undergraduate level (more than 75%).
     The survey also showed that for the three years from 2001 to 2003, about 147,000 people aged 15 and over had completed higher education in and outside Hong Kong.  

      "The findings demonstrate that our community has been grooming a significant pool of talent to meet manpower requirements of the knowledge-based economy which Hong Kong is moving into," the spokesman said.

     The most popular fields of higher education study in Hong Kong were "Business and Management", "Engineering and Technology", and "Sciences".  A similar pattern was found among students studying outside Hong Kong.

     Australia (26% of the relevant students) and the UK (24%) were the two most popular destinations for higher education.  More than 35% of the students studying overseas said that they did so to improve their English proficiency.  Survey findings also revealed about 46,000 people aged 15 and over had plans to study outside Hong Kong in the next three years.

     A summary of the broad survey findings published in the report is available for downloading from the website of C&SD ( The full report is also available, in both print version and download version, for sale at $63 & $47.3 respectively.  Purchase can be made online (, through mail order by returning a completed order form which can be downloaded from the C&SD's website ( or made in person at the Publications Unit of the C&SD (Address: 19/F, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai; Tel: 2582 3025).  Enquiries about the results of the survey can be directed to the Social Surveys Section of the C&SD (Tel: 28875103 or email:

Ends/Friday, October 21, 2005
Issued at HKT 15:01


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