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LCQ13: Joint hostel for UGC-funded institutions

     Following is a question by the Hon Abraham Shek Lai-him and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (May 20):


     At the end of last year, the Government indicated that it was planning the construction of joint hostels for common use by students from various institutions funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC) and it had preliminarily identified two sites.  The Government and UGC were liaising with various institutions on the specific proposals.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the progress of the aforesaid plan; whether the authorities will introduce measures to expedite the vetting and approving of the relevant projects, so as to meet the additional demand for hostel places arising from the implementation of the four-year undergraduate curriculum and the development of Hong Kong as an education hub;

(b) as it has been reported that the Government has initially agreed to allocate a site in Ma On Shan to construct the first joint hostel, of the user institutions of this hostel, the design to be adopted, the progress of planning work, the number of hostel places to be provided, and the expected dates for the commencement and completion of the construction work; and

(c) whether it has any plan to construct joint hostels in Tseung Kwan O and Kowloon Tong; if so, of the details of the plan; if not, the reasons for that?



     To cater for the additional demand for student hostel places arising from the implementation of the four-year undergraduate curriculum and the further development of Hong Kong as a regional education hub, a number of University Grants Committee (UGC)-funded institutions are actively planning student hostel development projects, and the Legislative Council has approved funding for some of them.

     Apart from developing hostels on campus, in view of the scarcity of suitable land within or near the institutions (particularly in the urban area) for hostel development, the Administration has been exploring with the institutions the development of off-campus "joint hostels" for their shared use.  Joint hostels will be processed in line with the existing hostel policy, and their funding requirements will be dealt with under the established procedures of the UGC-funded sector.

     One of the suitable sites for joint hostel development is in Tseung Kwan O.  The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Hong Kong Baptist University will participate in this joint hostel project and the Sai Kung District Council has been consulted on the proposed development.  It is estimated that the project will be submitted to the Legislative Council Public Works Subcommittee and Finance Committee for consideration in 2011.  Subject to funding approval by the Finance Committee, the two universities plan to begin construction works in the second half of 2011, with a view to completing the project by the end of 2013.

     We have also identified a potential site for joint hostel development in Ma On Shan.  We are currently discussing detail proposal of developing a joint hostel at the site with the institutions.  We will consult local residents and seek funding approval from the Legislative Council Finance Committee in due course.  Meanwhile, we will continue to identify other suitable sites for student hostel development.

Ends/Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Issued at HKT 12:00


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