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Study Subsidy Scheme for Designated Professions/Sectors for 2017/18 cohort announced
     The Government announced today (August 17) that under the Study Subsidy Scheme for Designated Professions/Sectors (SSSDP), a total of 1 062 subsidised places in 17 programmes will be provided by six post-secondary institutions for the cohort to be admitted in the 2017/18 academic year. Details of the participating institutions, the programmes and their number of subsidised places are listed in the Annex. 
     The SSSDP was launched as a new initiative under the 2014 Policy Address to subsidise about 1 000 students per cohort starting from the 2015/16 academic year to pursue designated full-time locally accredited self-financing undergraduate programmes in selected disciplines. The Scheme aims to achieve the following objectives:

(a) To increase the supply of subsidised undergraduate places by leveraging the supply of the self-financing sector; 

(b) To nurture talent in support of specific industries with keen demand for human resources; 

(c) To encourage the self-financing education sector to offer programmes in selected disciplines that meet Hong Kong's social and economic needs by providing targeted financial support; and 

(d) To support the healthy and sustainable development of the self-financing post-secondary education sector to complement the University Grants Committee-funded sector in broadening and diversifying study opportunities. 

     There were 940 and 1 030 places subsidised under the SSSDP for the 2015/16 and 2016/17 cohorts respectively. For the 2017/18 cohort, there will be 32 more subsidised places, namely 20 places in the Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours) programme (Medical Laboratory Science Major) and 12 places in the Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours) programme (Radiation Therapy Major) offered by Tung Wah College.
     The programmes and the number of subsidised places under the SSSDP were determined by the Education Bureau in consultation with relevant policy bureaux and departments. The programmes supported by the SSSDP fall under six disciplines that have been identified as having keen manpower demand, namely health care, architecture and engineering, testing and certification, the creative industry, logistics, and tourism and hospitality. 
     Allocation of the subsidised places will mainly go through the Joint University Programmes Admissions System to ensure that eligible students are selected on the basis of merit.
     The SSSDP is administered by a two-tier arrangement in which a subsidy of up to $70,000 per year will be provided to each student admitted to a laboratory-based programme while a subsidy of up to $40,000 per year will be provided to each student admitted to a programme that is not laboratory-based. The subsidy is tenable for the normal duration of the programmes concerned (i.e. four to five years) and will be disbursed to the participating institutions based on the actual enrolment of eligible students. Students accepting the subsidised places will pay a tuition fee after deducting the subsidy from the gross tuition fee. Students in need may still apply for student financial assistance in respect of the actual amount of tuition fees payable.
     A dedicated webpage for the SSSDP under the Concourse for Self-financing Post-secondary Education is available at www.cspe.edu.hk/SSSDP, showing details of the Scheme. The tuition fees and more information of the programmes to be supported under the SSSDP for the 2017/18 cohort will be released via the webpage soon.
Ends/Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Issued at HKT 13:00
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