Following is a question by the Hon Wong Sing-chi and a reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Professor Arthur K C Li, in the Legislative Council today (January 15):
Regarding non-local students of various universities, will the Government inform this Council :
(a) of the respective numbers of non-local undergraduates and non-local postgraduates admitted by each university in the current academic year, as well as their percentages in the respective total numbers of students admitted;
(b) the number and percentage of non-local students staying in Hong Kong to take up employment after graduation in each of the past three years;
(c) of the average amount of public fund granted to each of these non-local students, together with the total amount of such funding, in the current academic year; whether it knows which countries provide similar level of subsidies from public funds to foreign tertiary students; and
(d) given that some universities have indicated that they will increase the percentage of overseas and Mainland students in their enrolments, how it will ensure that the chance of local students pursuing studies at local universities will not be affected?
(a) In the 2002/03 academic year, the eight tertiary institutions funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC) have admitted 274, 192 and 563 non-local students at the undergraduate (Ug), taught postgraduate (TPg) and research postgraduate (RPg) levels respectively. These represent 1.7%, 2.8% and 31.5% of the total number of students admitted at these three levels. Detailed breakdown is at Annex I.
(b) We do not have statistics on the number and percentage of non-local students staying in Hong Kong to take up employment after graduation. According to the graduate employment surveys conducted by the eight UGC-funded institutions in the past three years, the number and percentage of non-local graduates who took up full-time employment outside their places of origin (including Hong Kong or other places) in 1999, 2000 and 2001 are at Annex II.
(c) After netting off the tuition fee of $42,100 payable by a degree student (same for both local and non-local students), the average amount of public subsidy provided to a non-local Ug, TPg and RPg student is $204,900, $201,900 and $435,900 respectively in the 2000/01 academic year.
In the 2000/01 academic year, the number of non-local students enrolled in UGC-funded programmes at the Ug, TPg and RPg levels were 362, 161 and 1,200 in full-time equivalent terms respectively. The total amount of public subsidy provided to them is around $74 million, $33 million and $523 million respectively.
Information for the 2001/02 and 2002/03 academic years is not yet available.
We have not conducted any comprehensive study on the amount of public subsidy to local and foreign tertiary students in other countries but we understand that the policies and practices can vary quite substantially among different parts of the same country and different types of tertiary institutions.
(d) Following the Higher Education Review, the number of non-local students at the Ug and TPg levels is subject to a ceiling of 4% of the total publicly funded places at the two levels. Since the ceiling represents a small number of student places and about 90% of our secondary school graduates who meet the minimum requirement for entry can be admitted to undergraduate programmes in recent years, the chance of local students pursuing studies at local universities should not be greatly affected.
End/Wednesday, January 15, 2003