Private Braemar Hill college in no hurry and may change in 2006 Shue Yan College could become the first private university in Hong Kong in 2006, according to its president Henry Hu Hung-lick. Its first degree students, from programmes including journalism and communication, accounting, social work and four others, will graduate next year. The college expects its history, English literature and sociology programmes to be accredited as degree courses by the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation next year. 'Almost all of our programmes will be at degree level by next year. But we do not want to rush into becoming a university. Most probably we will become one in 2006,' Dr Hu said, adding that the college had sufficient funding to sustain its future operations. With 3,000 students, Shue Yan charges an annual tuition fee of $45,000, slightly above that for students in the eight government-funded institutions. Set up in 1971, it moved into its $100 million Braemar Hill campus in 1995. Its library complex was completed at a cost of $150 million. It has also built a $200 million 30-storey dormitory cum amenities building on government land. Another private college, the Caritas Francis Hsu College, has submitted a 10-year plan to the government stating its goal to create the territory's first Catholic university within a decade, through the merger of several institutions under the Catholic Church. President of the college Liu Ping-cheung said they expected a few of its nine higher diploma programmes to be accredited within the next five years. His college has encouraged teaching staff to pursue doctoral qualifications in preparations for the future status, said Mr Liu. He added: 'The Catholic Church has a lot of resources available to create the university; like it can get help from the Jesuits who are very experienced in higher education.'