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LCQ10: Overseas studies services


The following is a question by the Hon Ng Leung-sing and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Professor Arthur K C Li, in the Legislative Council today (January 14):


With regard to the complaints about the services relating to overseas studies provided by education consultancy firms in Hong Kong, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the handling procedures followed by the authorities upon receipt of the above complaints;

(b) whether it will consider implementing measures such as a registration system to regulate these education consultancy firms, so as to safeguard the interests of local students planning to study abroad; and

(c) of the measures in place to enhance its assistance to local students seeking to study abroad.


Dear Madam,

(a) Since the education consultancy firms offer their services on a commercial basis, members of public using their services are safeguarded by consumer-related legislation. In general, members of the public can seek assistance from the Consumer Council if they have complaints about the goods and services they purchase. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Council will seek relevant information from the parties concerned to mediate and to help resolve the dispute. If the complaint involves a possible criminal case, the Council will refer the complaint to the Police.

(b) Since the services provided by the education consultancy firms are commercial in nature and that we have legislation in place to regulate commercial behaviour and to safeguard consumer interests, the Government will not consider imposing further regulatory measures.

(c) To help students who would consider studying abroad, the Education and Manpower Bureau (EMB) maintains close liaison with overseas government educational organisations stationed in Hong Kong to provide up-to-date information and tips about overseas studies to interested students, careers teachers and parents through periodic issue of school circulars, leaflets, publications, its webpage and talks. If students require individual advice on overseas studies, they can contact the student advisors of EMB through telephone or e-mail.

Ends/Wednesday, January 14, 2004


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