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Thursday, June 20, 2019, 12:00
More HK, Macao varsity places for mainland students
By Gu Mengyan
Thursday, June 20, 2019, 12:00 By Gu Mengyan

Fifteen tertiary institutions in Hong Kong and six in Macao are eligible to enroll Guangdong high school graduates who sit this year’s college entrance examination, known as gaokao, according to the Education Examinations Authority of Guangdong province.

Since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland in 1997, universities in the city have been exploring ways to enroll mainland students

The 21 institutions include publicly funded universities such as the University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the University of Macau, and private ones like the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong and Tung Wah College.

Since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland in 1997, universities in the city have been exploring ways to enroll mainland students. In 1998, they started to admit a limited number of selected students from 10 elite mainland universities, including the Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou.

READ MORE: Record HK students vie for mainland universities

Liu Haifeng, member of National Education Exanimations Advisory Committee, said this policy was considered attractive then because it made possible for students to study at the Tsinghua University or the Peking University for one year before they move to a university in Hong Kong.

Two years after Macao universities were given the green light in 2001, the Ministry of Education allowed Hong Kong universities to organize independent enrollment tests in six provinces and municipalities –Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Fujian and Guangdong.

Students need to obtain a well-above-average result in gaokao and satisfy the admission directors in an interview conducted in English before they land a Hong Kong university. The admission rate remains under five percent, statistics show.

Candidates from 31 provinces and municipalities across the mainland can choose to study in the two special administrative regions now, according to the Ministry of Education.

“Ten years ago, only those who achieved astonishingly high scores in gaokao could study in Hong Kong,” said an admission officer in Guangdong Education Bureau. “Now students have more options as more Hong Kong and Macao universities open the door for them and they can even apply for an associate degree.”

The development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area also brings more Hong Kong high school graduates to mainland universities. Total 7.25 percent of them this year choose to apply for a university across the border, a 9.2 percent increase to 10433, marking an eight-year high, according to China Education Exchange Center (HK).

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Total 5,755 Hong Kong students, about half of the total, choose at least one university in Guangdong province as one of their preferences this year, a steady 7.5 percent rise compared with last year, data show.

Hong Kong students have three major channels of getting into mainland universities: Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (known as Hong Kong’s equivalent of gaokao), Joint Entrance Exam for Universities, and Scheme for Admission of Hong Kong Students to Mainland Higher Education Institutions.

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