Getting organised to apply to study in Hong Kong can sometimes be stressful. There is a lot that you need to know to make sure your application is submitted correctly. In order to help you out with this process, we’ve created this handy guide. It details each step you’ll need to take.
Research universities and programmes
There are 20 degree-awarding institutions in Hong Kong. Eight of these are publically funded by a University Grants Committee. It’s these eight institutions that are the most prestigious in the city-state. The University of Hong Kong, for example, is ranked number 25 in the world. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is ranked at 37 and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University at 106. Of course, each university has faculties that excel; PolyU ranks 3rd for Hospitality and Leisure Management, for example.
Don’t forget that there are other factors to consider as well as rankings. If you’re studying abroad, it’s important to find a university that meets both your academic and personal requirements. You need to find one that offers an environment for you to thrive.
When deciding on a programme that’s right for you, there are a lot of choices. It’s best to research the various options you have in terms of universities and faculties. Check that you meet the minimum entry requirements for each programme.
Undergraduate programmes are typically four years long, but your secondary education may count towards some of your course credits before you begin. This is referred to as Advanced Standing.
Contact the University
Many of the universities in Hong Kong have quite vague websites when it comes to entry requirements. It’s best to contact specific institutions and faculties to get more detailed information. They can help you with admissions requirements and the particular criteria for programmes. In addition, they will provide details on the deadline for your application.
The prerequisites and entry requirements differ greatly between universities. You will need to pass your high-school or equivalent qualifications, but exact requirements are often programme-specific. You can find out more details about these prerequisites in our Study in Hong Kong: Preparing to apply guide.
Submit your application
The timeline for your application will depend on the university and faculty you’re applying for. However, generally speaking, the application window opens in September the year before your programme starts. You will have to apply directly to the university via their website; local students apply through a system called JUPAS.
You’ll have to provide supporting documents with your application. This includes details of your results/predicted grades for the main secondary education exams in your country. If you’re from a country where English isn’t the native language, you will also have to provide evidence of your language ability. Usually, this is a TOEFL or IELTS qualification.
The fee for applying differs between universities. As an example, the City University of Hong Kong charges HKD$450, which is around $50 US or £43.
Receive a letter of offer
Applications are usually processed on a first-come-first-served basis. However, times vary between institutions. During the processing time, you can often make amendments to your personal details but nothing more.
If you are successful with your application, the university will send you an offer letter. This letter will outline the conditions of your acceptance, as well as other relevant information you need to know.
Accept the offer
Once you’re happy with the terms and you choose to accept your place, you can then respond to the university to confirm it. If you’ve applied for multiple programmes, you may receive offers for each one.
Most universities charge an acceptance fee for you to confirm your place. This amount is usually quite high; around HKD$10,000. In USD that’s roughly $1275 or £970. The fee is non-refundable if you choose not to attend the university. However, it does count towards your first semester’s tuition.
Apply for your student visa
To study in Hong Kong, you will need to apply for a student visa. You have to fill out various forms, as well as provide photocopies of your ID, letter of admission, and evidence of your financial standing. Furthermore, you will need a sponsor in Hong Kong to sign your forms. Usually, the university will do this for you.
Your visa application can be made by post through the university or through the nearest Chinese consulate. Residents of the Chinese Mainland can submit their application through the Immigration Department.
Sort out accommodation and flights
Once you have confirmed your place and applied for your visa, it’s time to start planning for your travels. You will need to sort out accommodation for your initial period of study. Many universities offer on-campus housing and give priority to overseas students. You should be provided with information about this upon confirming your place.
You will also need to book a flight to Hong Kong. Make sure that you have enough time to move in and attend any orientation programmes before the start of your first term.
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