The University of Hong Kong is planning to invite overseas applications for its undergraduate medical programme as a pilot for internationalising its student population. The proposal, which HKU has submitted to the University Grants Committee, targets students from Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, Australia and the United States. The students would be required to pay the full price of the five-year bachelor's degree and work outside Hong Kong after finishing their placement in the sixth year, according to its registrar, Henry Wai Wing-kun. But Legislative Council member Lo Wing-lok, who represents the medical constituency, said it would be difficult to attract overseas students to enrol in the programme if they were not allowed to work in Hong Kong. He also called for the cutting back of places for training medical students, because of the oversupply of doctors in the SAR. Mr Wai said the aim of the plan was to 'make the university truly internationalised'. 'We have been recruiting staff from all over the world and working hard to internationalise the curriculum. Now we hope to do the same for our student population,' he said. The plan would not affect the quota for local students studying medicine and surgery, which has been reduced from 170 to 140 in the past three years due to the declining demand for doctors. The overseas students would be required to work outside Hong Kong after graduation, to avoid competition with local medical graduates. Overseas students would probably take between 10 and 20 per cent of the total number of places. The full cost per year was estimated at $200,000 to $300,000. The plan was unlikely to begin until next year, said Mr Wai, adding that the university was considering opening up its programmes in law, Chinese culture, history and philosophy, to overseas applications.