Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ16: Utilisation of surpluses of University Grants Committee-funded institutions

     Following is a question by the Hon Ip Kin-yuen and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, in the Legislative Council today (May 18):


     The 2015 Policy Address pointed out that the community colleges of University Grants Committee-funded institutions (funded institutions) "have experienced rapid growth and some have accumulated large surpluses. We will ask the institutions to critically review their financial position and consider ways to use their surpluses to benefit their students, such as lowering tuition fees and offering scholarships or bursaries for underprivileged students." In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) whether it knows, in respect of each funded institution in each of the past five years, (i) the surplus accumulated from the operation of self-financing programmes by its community college, (ii) the total amount of students' tuition fees reduced or waived and (iii) the total amount of scholarships or bursaries offered for underprivileged students (set out in a table); and

(2) of the latest progress and effectiveness of the aforesaid request raised in the Policy Address?



     My reply to the question raised by the Hon Ip Kin-yuen is as follows:

     At present, seven out of the eight tertiary institutions funded by the University Grants Committee (except the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) have established self-financing community colleges or other similar self-financing arms offering sub-degree programmes. A total of nine organisations are relevant, namely the School of Professional and Continuing Education of the University of Hong Kong (HKU SPACE), School of Continuing and Professional Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Community College of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU HKCC), Community College of City University (CCCU), School of Continuing Education of Hong Kong Baptist University, Academy of Film under Hong Kong Baptist University's School of Communication, Lingnan Institute of Further Education of Lingnan University, Community College at Lingnan University, and Unit of Associate Degree Studies of the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

     In response to the recommendation put forth in the 2015 Policy Address, the Education Bureau (EDB) has issued letters to the institutions concerned to request their review of the financial position of their self-financing community colleges or other similar self-financing arms (i.e. self-financing arms or affiliates offering sub-degree programmes) as well as the use of their surpluses (if any) for the benefits of students.

     Based on the information provided by the institutions, the surplus or deficit recorded by each institution for the 2014-15 financial year and the amount of their accumulated surpluses or deficits are set out in Annex. The EDB does not possess information concerning the total amounts of students' tuition fees reduced or waived and scholarships or bursaries offered for underprivileged students by these institutions in the past five years.

     The above institutions are all non-profit-making organisations. Although some of them have accumulated surpluses, they point out that the financial surpluses need to be (or will be) used for improving campus facilities, developing new school premises, repaying loans under the Government's Start-up Loan Scheme, enhancing teaching and learning (including the provision of support for students with different financial needs in various aspects, e.g. e-learning, internship/student exchange programmes), and/or offering scholarships or bursaries. For example, CCCU will move out of the campus of the City University of Hong Kong in a few years and will need to make use of its financial reserve mainly for new campus development and the provision of teaching support systems and facilities required. PolyU HKCC has earmarked about $100 million in the 2015/16 academic year for scholarships, bursaries, overseas exchange programmes for students, enhancement of campus facilities, etc. Related expenditures from the 2012/13 to 2014/15 academic years amounted to a total of about $270 million. It also needed to repay outstanding Government loans of about $641 million. HKU SPACE provides $1 million annually to its Community College for scholarships and bursaries. Its financial reserve was accumulated for many years and was required for repaying outstanding Government loans of about $205 million; investing in new programmes; enhancing campus facilities; and for contingencies, etc.

     At the same time, the institutions also point out that they need to keep sufficient reserves to maintain their operation in view of volatilities and uncertainties that may arise each year, and given the decline in the number of secondary school leavers in the coming few years.

Ends/Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Issued at HKT 12:28


Print this page