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Hong Kong sets up education centre in India

R1.4 million in scholarships on offer

education Updated: Dec 22, 2010 09:20 IST
HT Horizons Correspondent

A delegation from Hong Kong comprising luminaries from the field of education was recently in Delhi to announce the opening of their country office and build deeper ties with India. It also met HRD minister Kapil Sibal.

“The setting up of the India office signifies that both India and Hong Kong are important to each other. We hope to establish long-term relations with India. Though we do not have plans yet to set up a university in India, we are currently aiming at collaboration at the institutional and student level. We are also looking for student collaboration at the research exchange level and hope to attract students at the undergraduate and postgraduate level,” said Raymond Wong, permanent secretary for education, Hong Kong SAR.

Hong Kong is an international city, where institutions teach in English while offering Chinese language and cultural environment. The country has world-class institutions (two universities among the top 50 in QS 2010 rankings and four among 150 in the Times ranking).

Non-local graduates are allowed to stay in Hong Kong for 12 months after graduation. They can stay on after that if they find a job in Hong Kong. There are 9300 international students in publicly-funded universities in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is host to 130 Indian students (based on the number of visas issued).

Hong Kong is much closer to India than western countries. One can reach it in six hours. Five airlines run direct flights. Tuition fees are anything between US$9000 to US$13000 a year.

As far as financial support is concerned, the government has set up scholarships for overseas students. There is a HK$1 billion government scholarship. “We have established a $1 billion HKSAR Government Scholarship Fund for outstanding local and non-local students. Non-local recipients receive government scholarship of HK$80,000 (around R470,000). We have also launched the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme to attract the best students from around the world to pursue their PhD programmes in Hong Kong. Successful applicants will receive HK$240,000 (around R1.4 million) a year in stipend plus other research-related allowances,” he said.

Wong was accompanied by deputy secretary for education, Dr Catherine K K Chan, and representatives from eight institutions: the City University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Baptist University, the Lingnan University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Institute of Education, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the University of Science and Technology and the University of Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong looks at India as an important strategic partner to increase our talent pool. It also looks at developing the tertiary sector in the years to come.” It recently set up the India office and is looking at recruiting good students from India and furthering research collaboration, said John A Spinks, senior advisor to the vice chancellor of the University of Hong Kong.