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Study Subsidy Scheme for Designated Professions/Sectors for 2022/23 cohort announced
     The Government announced today (September 21) that the Study Subsidy Scheme for Designated Professions/Sectors (SSSDP) will subsidise a total of 3 075 places in 44 undergraduate programmes of eight post-secondary institutions for the cohort to be admitted in the 2022/23 academic year. 
     These 44 designated programmes fall under 10 disciplines that have been identified as having keen manpower demand, namely architecture and engineering, computer science, creative industries, financial technology, health care, insurance, logistics, sports and recreation, testing and certification, and tourism and hospitality.
     The above-mentioned designated programmes also include the four applied degrees selected for the Pilot Project on the Development of Applied Degree Programmes. These applied degree programmes will have distinct and prominent features that would differentiate them from other degree programmes. Generally speaking, these programmes will have an applied focus blending theory and practice, providing substantial internships and work-based learning experience with strong industry involvement, thereby equipping graduates with trade-recognised qualifications and preparing them for specific trades and industries. There will also be a more flexible admission requirement giving due regard to relevant factors apart from academic results. 
     The programmes and number of subsidised places under the SSSDP are determined by the Education Bureau (EDB) in consultation with relevant policy bureaux and departments. Details of the participating institutions, the programmes and the number of subsidised places are listed in the Annex.
     In the 2022/23 academic year, the annual subsidy amount for laboratory-based programmes will be increased from $76,800 in the 2021/22 academic year to $77,040, while that for non-laboratory-based programmes will be increased from $44,100 to $44,240 according to the movement of the Composite Consumer Price Index.
     The adjusted subsidy amounts are applicable to both new and continuing eligible students. The subsidy is tenable for the normal duration of the programmes concerned. Subsidised students will pay a tuition fee with the subsidy applied. Students in need may still apply for student financial assistance from the Student Finance Office of the Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency in respect of the actual amount of tuition fee payable.
     Allocation of the subsidised first-year intake places will mainly go through the Joint University Programmes Admissions System to ensure that eligible students are selected on a merit basis.
     The SSSDP was launched in the 2015/16 academic year to subsidise students to pursue designated full-time locally accredited self-financing undergraduate programmes in selected disciplines. 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 post-secondary education sector;
(2) To nurture talent in support of specific industries with keen demand for human resources;
(3) To encourage the self-financing post-secondary 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 scope of the SSSDP was expanded with effect from the 2019/20 academic year to benefit students enrolling in designated sub-degree programmes. The relevant details for the 2022/23 cohort, including the participating institutions, the sub-degree programmes, the number of subsidised places, the subsidy amounts and more, will be announced in due course. 
     For details of the SSSDP, please visit www.cspe.edu.hk/sssdp.
     The EDB launched the Pilot Project in December 2020 to gain experience in the practical issues involved in the development of applied degree programmes and to assess the implications for the higher education system as a whole. Having assessed the proposals submitted by eligible self-financing post-secondary institutions, the EDB has selected four degree programmes for the Pilot Project. The selected institutions will develop applied degree programmes by modifying the programme structure and curriculum of these existing programmes. For details, please refer to the relevant press release issued earlier: www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202106/28/P2021062800464.htm.
Ends/Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Issued at HKT 11:00
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