Hang Seng University of Hong Kong makes minimal fee increase pledge
- Institution’s president says they do not want to strip less well off students of their chance at a place
- The school was recently upgraded from a college to a private university
Hang Seng University of Hong Kong will not raise its tuition fees significantly in the near future after it was promoted from a college to a university, its senior management said on Wednesday.
“We will continue to put our students first. We understand that some of them come from less well off families and we do not want to strip them of their chances,” the university’s president Professor Simon Ho Shun-man said.
However, Ho admitted fees would see some adjustments in line with the inflation rate.
“We try to break even year-on-year and can guarantee we will not transfer the costs and expenses of the school onto our students but, of course, since we are not funded by the government we will charge just slightly more than other public universities,” Ho said, adding it currently charged about HK$80,000 (US$10,200) a year and future prospective students would pay a similar amount.
Including Hang Seng, the city now has 11 degree-awarding post-secondary institutions classified as universities, which also provide business and financial programmes.
The school’s council chairman Dr Moses Cheng Mo-chi insisted it still held an advantage against the others because of its connection with the city’s business community.
“Besides those from the academic arena, the management of our university also comes from the business field so they are very close to what the industry needs. That can be reflected into the design of our curriculum. [Many business leaders] will give lectures to bring in what is really happening in the business community,” Cheng said.
The school also pledged to be flexible when it came to admissions.
“We look beyond the candidates’ grades and Diploma of Secondary Education examination (DSE) scores, but rather their portfolio,” Ho said.
“The change starts from us. We want to turn around the exam-oriented culture. As long as the students are able to prove they’re fit for this school during interviews, that they are passionate and courageous, we will not stress about scores.”
When asked about academic freedom and autonomy, Ho said the school respected students’ voices but they must speak or act in a lawful matter and not disrespect others.
“Just like if it’s my birthday, I would not sing Happy Birthday in the middle of a lecture because that will cause a scene and disturb classmates,” he said.
Ho did not address how the school would handle the matter of Hong Kong independence if it arose on campus.
The school will present its first batch of Hang Seng University graduates in 2019, while alumni will get a letter proving the school upgraded to a university in October 2018.