Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ11: Measures to be taken by the Government to attract non-local students and bring talents to Hong Kong

    Following is a question by the Hon David Li and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (November 21):


     Regarding measures to be taken by the Government to attract non-local students and bring young, new and high quality talents to Hong Kong, will the Government inform this Council:

(a)  of the number and percentage of non-local students who took up employment in Hong Kong upon graduation from local tertiary institutions in the total number of non-local graduates in each of the past five years, and the number of those who remain in Hong Kong at present;

(b)  whether it has conducted any study to find out the reasons for non-local students choosing to leave Hong Kong after graduation and not to pursue employment here; if it has, of the results;

(c)  whether it has assessed if the relaxation of employment restrictions alone will result in a significantly higher retention rate of non-local students upon graduation, or whether additional steps will need to be taken to retain such graduates;  if it has, of the results; and the relevant steps the Government is contemplating;

(d)  whether it has assessed if a significant shortfall in student hostel places will affect Hong Kong's ability to raise the number of non-local students in publicly-funded tertiary education programmes from 10% to 20% of the approved student number targets for such programmes, as stated in the new government policy; and

(e)  whether it has considered inviting the private sector to run student hostels on a commercial basis, to complement the provision of publicly-funded hostel places; if it has, of the results?


Madam President,

(a) Under current arrangements, non-local students from the Mainland or overseas who have obtained a degree or higher qualification in a full-time and locally-accredited programme in Hong Kong may apply to work in Hong Kong.  The general requirements include the non-local graduate having secured an employment offer for a term of appointment of not less than one year; the job being relevant to his/her academic qualifications or working experience and cannot be readily taken up by the local workforce; the remuneration package being commensurate with the prevailing market rate of Hong Kong; and the non-local graduate meeting normal immigration requirements.

     The Administration does not maintain statistics on non-local graduates from overseas who are admitted to work in Hong Kong.  For non-local graduates from the Mainland who are admitted to work in Hong Kong, the relevant statistics are as follows:

       Year               Number
       2002                 97
       2003                 127
       2004                 197
       2005                 311
       2006                 550
   2007 (up to October)     895

     The Administration does not have information on the number of non-local graduates who, following admission for the purpose of taking up employment, still remain in Hong Kong.

(b) The Government has not conducted any study on why some non-local students have chosen to leave Hong Kong and not to pursue employment here after graduation.

(c) Decisions to stay and work in Hong Kong are subject to the influence of many factors, such as job opportunities, local tax regime, quality of life, family concerns, availability of social support, social tolerance and cultural diversity.  Besides relaxing employment restrictions, the Government will implement a number of initiatives to further develop Hong Kong as a regional education hub so as to attract more quality non-local students to study in our higher education institutions, and to retain them to stay and work in Hong Kong.  These include increasing the non-local student quota for publicly-funded programmes, establishing a $1 billion scholarship endowment fund, allowing non-local students to take up internships, part-time jobs and summer jobs, and allowing, on application, fresh non-local graduates to stay in Hong Kong for 12 months after graduation without any restriction.

(d) The Government understands that insufficient hostel places will affect the capacity of institutions to admit more non-local students.  We are exploring alternative options to address this problem such as constructing "joint-hostels" for shared use by institutions.  Furthermore, the 20% of the approved student number targets for publicly-funded programmes represents the upper limit of the number of non-local students that may be admitted by institutions.  Institutions would consider their own circumstances and capacity in deciding the timetable for increasing the admission of non-local students.

(e) The Government has not considered inviting the private sector to run student hostels on a commercial basis. We will continue to explore alternative options to address the problem of insufficient hostel places under the existing hostel policy.

Ends/Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Issued at HKT 16:13


Print this page