Education chiefs have pledged to pump a further HK$100 million a year into higher education over coming years after legislators agreed on a HK$7.68 billion university buildings programme. A total of 11 campus expansion projects across the seven publicly funded universities to accommodate an extra year-group of students on four-year degrees were given the green light yesterday by the Legislative Council's Finance Committee. The new projects bring total spending on campus extensions for the new degrees being launched in 2012 to nearly HK$10 billion, with more than 4,000 jobs created for construction workers and 473 for professional and technical staff. Four other university building projects due to go before legislators over the next two months are expected to cost a further HK$1.3 billion. Deputy education secretary Michael Wong Wai-lun said: 'All these university construction projects form an important and integral part of Hong Kong's infrastructure. We are pleased to note the implications for jobs and also the long-term implications. When the university facilities and hostel places are completed, they will bring further benefits to Hong Kong, not just for the economy but also for the talent pool. 'We think every year - for the coming two to three years - there would be HK$100 million spent on university buildings to accommodate new programmes and new students. And further down the road more should come.' A total of 2,100 extra hostel places would be needed by 2012 to accommodate the extra students and, if all universities admitted non-local students up to the new quota of 20 per cent of admissions, a further 6,500 places would be required. The Education Bureau would be working with the Development Bureau and the Planning Department to find the land needed for the extra hostels, he added. Deputy secretary for education Catherine Chan Ka-ki said the bureau was working closely with the Joint University Programme Admissions System to decide what student profiles - which will form part of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education, and will count towards university entrance - should include. 'And it has started talks with the Federation of Continuing Education in Tertiary Institutions on how the articulation of associate degree students to full-degree programmes will be changed to fit in with four-year degrees.' Project Yi Jin, the vocational programme for Form Five school-leavers, would continue but a consultation would be held on how to modify the curriculum so that it was suitable for students leaving Form Six, she added.