The incoming government plans to give eligible secondary school graduates HK$30,000 to help them take degree courses at self-financing tertiary institutions. The new measure was announced by chief executive-elect Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor at a meeting with education representatives on Monday. The plan was later confirmed by a representative on Tuesday.
Last year, 24,611 Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) candidates met the minimum entry requirements for a subsidised public university degree course, but these universities can take in a total of only 15,000 young people each year.
This means many students end up taking tertiary programmes which they must pay for themselves.
Ng Po-shing, director of Hok Yau Club Student Guidance Centre, told Young Post that the new plan would benefit students who are faced with the cost of studying at a self-financing institution.
“Some Form Six students who meet the minimum requirements would be denied a place at a government-funded university due to the limited spots,” said Ng. “There are other options, such as self-financing tertiary programmes, but what worries them should be the pricey course fee. The new plan seems to be a good solution to this financial problem.”
Ng said the plan would boost manpower in sectors which need more professionals. “Most of these programmes are vocation-oriented and specialise in sectors such as engineering, logistics, creative industry and tourism. These sectors are short of manpower. So the financial subsidies will encourage more Form Six graduates to pursue careers in those related sectors and prepare them well for the workplace.”
With the new plan also promising better resources for these institutions, Ng hopes students will be able to benefit from improved facilities and programmes.