$400m joint venture will offer range of 20-plus subjects A community college set up by the Chinese University and the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals will provide 4,500 sub-degree places for secondary school graduates next year. Of those places, 2,500 will be for full-time associate degree (AD) students, with the rest for part-time studies. More than 20 programmes in business administration and tourism management, Chinese medicine and health care, general education, IT, and digital design will be offered, at annual fees of about $45,000. CUHK registrar Richard Ho Man-wui has been appointed principal of the college, now under construction in Mongkok and with financial backing of $400 million from the charity group. At the foundation-laying ceremony this week, Professor Ho described it as a merging of two giants. 'Both the resources and management of the college will be strengthened with the co-operation of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, which has more than 100 years of experience in running schools. 'The education provided will give students room for thinking and debate and equip them with general as well as professional knowledge.' 'Articulation' agreements have already been made with some mainland and overseas universities allowing future graduates to move on to degree programmes, he added. It is not clear whether the future students will have access to CUHK's campus facilities. Getting into CUHK after graduation may be difficult given the tiny number of second-year places in bachelor degree programmes open to them at the university. The University Grants Committee has allocated to Polytechnic University the greatest number of second-year places for AD graduates annually in the 2005-2008 triennium. PolyU has 220 places, although it had sought 540 in its March submission. The places will be spread across programmes including industrial/product design, design for visual communications, fashion and textiles, hotel and catering/tourism management, logistics and information technology. The UGC is funding a total of 840 places annually in the next triennium to help meet intense demand for degree studies among AD candidates. City University, another major provider of AD programmes, has been allocated 210 places, some of which will be reserved for the criminology programme. Baptist University has been given 110, while CUHK has been given 95, the same as the University of Hong Kong, which currently has 2,100 AD students enrolled at the community college run by its School of Professional and Continuing Education. Each university may over-enrol a maximum of 25 per cent of their number of allocated places. But educators have long criticised the limited opportunities available locally for sub-degree graduates.