Hong Kong aims to raise higher education rate among young people to 65% in years

18:51, October 13, 2010      

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Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive Donald Tsang said Wednesday the city was likely to raise the attending rate of higher education among young people to about 65 percent, from some 30 percent in 2000.

"Education is the largest single expenditure item in our budget, representing over 20 percent of (Hong Kong's) total government recurrent expenditure," Tsang said in his annual policy address at the city's 60-member Legislative Council, which was live broadcast to Hong Kong's 7 million people.

He said Hong Kong would continue allocating resources to provide quality and diversified education for young people and nurture talent for the community.

Degree programs organized by the city's 13 higher education institutions aside, Hong Kong's post-secondary institutions offer sub-degree programs covering various disciplines, and youngsters have many other options in continuing education and vocational training.

Tsang proposed forming a fund with a total commitment of 2.5 billion HK dollars (322 million U.S. dollars) for the development of self-financing post-secondary education.

The fund will offer scholarships to students of self-financing post-secondary programs, and support institutions to enhance the quality of teaching and learning, he said.

Tsang also proposed to increase publicly-funded first-year- first-degree places to 15,000 for each cohort from the 2012-13 academic year, and to double senior year intake places to 4,000 each year to provide more articulation opportunities for sub-degree graduates.

Upon completion of these measures, he said over 30 percent of Hong Kong's young people in the relevant age group would have the chance to take self-financing or publicly-funded degree programs.

Tsang also said the city's government would increase opportunities for students to participate in Chinese mainland learning and exchange activities.

"Our target is to subsidize every primary and secondary school student to join at least one Mainland exchange program," he said.

The city would organize more exchange activities together with voluntary groups through the "Passing on the Torch" program, providing 4,000 additional places a year, Tsang said in his policy address.

Policy address is the annual address by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Usually, it is addressed in October, on the opening of the city's Legislative Council.

Source: Xinhua


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