LCQ12: Recruitment of Hong Kong students graduating from Mainland universities

     Following is a question by the Hon Lai Tung-kwok and a written reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mrs Ingrid Yeung, in the Legislative Council today (May 3):


     In 2021-2022, the number of civil servants who left the service reached 10 487, a new high in the few years before that. There are views that in order to address the problem of rising number of civil servants leaving the service, the authorities should step up recruitment by, for example, focusing on recruiting Hong Kong students who graduated from Mainland universities. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) given that the Civil Service Bureau generally conducts civil service recruitment examinations in seven cities outside Hong Kong, and the authorities have recently indicated that consideration is being given to including Shanghai as one of the examination venues for the recruitment exercise in 2023-2024, of the factors to be considered and when a decision will be made;

(2) as there are views that the number of Hong Kong students pursuing university education on the Mainland has been increasing in recent years, and they are located in many regions, but the authorities currently only conduct civil service recruitment examinations in Beijing, and that the number of examination venues is still insufficient even with the inclusion of Shanghai as an examination venue, whether the authorities have plans to conduct recruitment examinations in more Mainland cities in the future; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(3) whether it has compiled statistics on the number of civil servants recruited in each of the past three years who were Hong Kong graduates of Mainland universities; if not, whether the authorities will consider compiling such statistics, so as to better monitor the recruitment trend of civil servants?



     The Civil Service Bureau (CSB) has been keeping in view the civil service recruitment situation, and has reminded recruiting bureaux/departments to take early actions to formulate manpower plans and launch recruitment exercises to fill vacancies arising from reasons such as retirement and resignation in a timely manner. Bureaux/departments will also strengthen promotion of individual grades and their recruitment arrangements, maintain close communications with stakeholders like tertiary institutions etc. to keep abreast of the market situation, proactively organise recruitment talks with institutions and participate in career expo, in order to enhance job applicants' knowledge and interest on government jobs and attract more individuals with aspiration to serve the country and the community to join the civil service.

     Apart from local graduates, recruitment promotion work of the Government also seeks to attract individuals of different backgrounds (including Mainland and overseas graduates, and the working population) to join the Government. With more and more local students pursuing further studies in the Mainland and the full resumption of normal travel, departments have strengthened promotion and recruitment efforts on local students studying in the Mainland in recent months. For example, the Hong Kong Police Force conducted recruitment and promotion activities (including recruitment talks and selection processes) in Guangdong and Fujian in November 2022, as well as in Beijing and Wuhan in April 2023. Other grades also plan to conduct promotion and recruitment works in Mainland.

     Before making offer of appointment to job applicants holding non-local qualifications (including those awarded by Mainland and overseas institutions), the relevant qualifications have to be assessed as comparable in standard to the entry academic requirements of the posts being applied for. In the past three years, qualification assessments have been conducted for more than 200 civil service job applicants holding a bachelor's degree awarded by Mainland institutions. As assessment is not required for applicants holding both Mainland and local bachelor's degrees, the actual number of appointees having a qualification awarded by Mainland institutions may be greater.

     According to Article 99 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (Basic Law), public servants serving in all government departments of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) must be permanent residents of the HKSAR except where otherwise provided for in Article 101 of the Basic Law. For the convenience of candidates studying or residing outside Hong Kong, the CSB conducts the Common Recruitment Examination and Basic Law and National Security Law Test (Degree/Professional Grades), as well as the Joint Recruitment Examination for Administrative Officer, Executive Officer II, Assistant Labour Officer II, Assistant Trade Officer II, Management Services Officer II and Transport Officer II, in seven cities outside Hong Kong (namely Beijing, London, San Francisco, New York, Toronto, Vancouver and Sydney). For instance, during the period from 2020 to 2022, an annual average of around 640 eligible applicants enrolled for examinations held at venues outside Hong Kong, among them some 280 enrolled for the examinations held in Beijing.

     The CSB will consider whether there is a need to adjust the location and number of examination venues outside Hong Kong having regard to various factors such as expected number of candidates, venues, manpower arrangements and logistic support. In December 2022, in view of the development of the epidemic, the examination originally scheduled to be held in Beijing was conducted in Shanghai with a total attendance of 125 candidates. Noting that there are increasingly more Hong Kong people studying or residing in the Mainland, and that some of the cities are relatively far from Hong Kong or Beijing, we are planning to include Shanghai as an additional examination venue in 2023-24 to facilitate candidates in those places to take the recruitment examinations. Relevant arrangements are expected to be finalised in Q3 2023. We will continue to consider whether it is necessary to arrange recruitment examinations in more Mainland cities in future based on actual circumstances.

Ends/Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Issued at HKT 15:55