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Study Subsidy Scheme for Designated Professions/Sectors for 2018/19 cohort announced
     The Government announced today (August 1) that under the Study Subsidy Scheme for Designated Professions/Sectors (SSSDP), a total of 2 776 subsidised places in 37 programmes will be provided by six post-secondary institutions for the cohort to be admitted in the 2018/19 academic year. Details of the participating institutions, the programmes and the 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. It has been announced in the 2017 Policy Address that the SSSDP will be regularised in the 2018/19 academic year with an increase in the number of subsidised places to about 3 000 per cohort. Current students of the designated programmes will also receive the subsidy from the 2018/19 academic year onwards. The Scheme aims to achieve the following objectives:

(1) To increase the supply of subsidised undergraduate places by leveraging the supply of the self-financing sector;
(2) To nurture talent in support of specific industries with keen demand for human resources;
(3) 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
(4) 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.

     The programmes and number of subsidised places under the SSSDP were determined by the Education Bureau in consultation with relevant policy bureaux and departments. For the cohort to be admitted in the 2018/19 academic year, the programmes supported by the SSSDP fall under 10 disciplines that have been identified as having keen manpower demand, namely health care, architecture and engineering, testing and certification, creative industries, computer science, financial technology, insurance, logistics, tourism and hospitality, and sports and recreation. 
     Allocation of the subsidised places will mainly go through the Joint University Programmes Admissions System to ensure that eligible students are selected on a merit basis.
     The SSSDP will continue to be 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 subsidy. Students in need may still apply for student financial assistance in respect of the actual amount of tuition fees payable.
     For more details of the SSSDP, please visit www.cspe.edu.hk/SSSDP.
Ends/Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:40
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