Education Bureau proposes to lend Hang Seng School HK$800m

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 May, 2013, 3:57am

The Education Bureau has proposed to lend the Hang Seng School of Commerce HK$800 million to cover its expansion costs.

The bureau will seek legislators' approval for the interest-free loan, which will cover the development of campus facilities and student hostels for programmes offered by the school's management college.

The plan includes an eight-storey purpose-built academic and administrative building, a sports and amenities centre and three blocks of student hostels with up to 1,300 places.

The total cost is estimated to come up to more than HK$1 billion, and the loan is to be repaid in equal instalments over 10 years.

The management college, established in 2010, is offering five bachelor's degree programmes and an associate degree programme with about 3,300 full-time students.

After the construction projects, the college plans to offer nine more bachelor's degree programmes and an associate degree programme with about 5,700 students by the 2017/18 academic year.

But Fung Wai-wah, president of the Professional Teachers' Union, thinks the government should subsidise the development project partially.

"Students' school fees will mostly be used to repay the loans instead of on their education in the future. This will have great impact on the quality of education," he said.

Since 2011, the Legislative Council Finance Committee has approved 28 loans to 14 institutions, amounting to more than HK$6 billion, with the aim of promoting the development of the self-financing post-secondary education sector. The bureau has since 2011 approved seven loan applications that amount to about HK$69 million.