Hong Kong is a vibrant city that is the perfect destination for any students looking to study internationally. A city that blends the East and the West, the transition to living in Hong Kong is pretty seamless for those moving from western countries. As a former British colony, until the handover to China in 1997, English is one of the two official languages spoken in Hong Kong.
Most residents have a basic understanding of the language, and it is very easy to get by knowing no Cantonese here! In addition, if you are considering starting your career in Hong Kong after your studies, you will find that English is commonly used in the government, business and legal sectors.
Its connection to China is one of the reasons for Hong Kong becoming an increasingly popular study destination for international students. Predicted to grow to become the largest economy in the world by 2025, securing a career in China is likely to be a lucrative decision.
Another factor in Hong Kong’s appeal to international students is the diversity that it offers. It is well known for its skyscrapers and bustling streets, but it has much more to offer. Hong Kong has several beautiful beaches located a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of its Central district, and it also boasts a number of mountains with breathtaking hikes! Popular weekend activities in Hong Kong include junk boat trips with friends, barbecues by the beach and boozy weekend brunches – something for everyone!
Hong Kong is well-known as an international hub, and it welcomed 21,000 international students in 2013. If you are looking for a real international experience, and are keen to make friends from all over the world, then Hong Kong could be the perfect study destination for you.
University Education in Hong Kong
The quality of education in Hong Kong has improved dramatically in recent years. Thanks to the introduction of several enhancements in 2012, Hong Kong universities now offer four-year courses for undergraduates putting the higher education system there in league with the top universities of the UK and US. It is also known to recruit high-quality staff and students.
An additional advantage of studying at a tertiary level in Hong Kong is the emphasis that is placed on whole person development. The universities here recognised the importance of developing students’ skills and experience and have embedded a focus on internships, overseas opportunities, social activities, community involvement and research opportunities, in addition to the traditional classroom teaching and lecture hall education typically associated with learning at this level.
Hong Kong University: HKU has a QS Global World Ranking of 25th in the world and is the top university in Hong Kong. There are approximately 20,000 students, 8,000 of whom are international. The university has been voted the number 1 institution for dentistry for two consecutive years and was also voted as 7th in the world for its education department.
Located on Hong Kong Island, the university is well-known for its focus on research. All courses at HKU are taught in English. The university also offers dual degree programs that can be studied at HKU and other leading institutions around the world, such as UCL (University College London) and Geneva’s Graduate Institue of International and Development Studies.
Honk Kong Polytechnic University: Hong Kong PolyU has a QS Global World Ranking of 106th in the world. PolyU offers a wide range of programmes of study, including applied sciences, business, design, hotel and tourism management, fashion and textiles and engineering. There are over 5,000 international students currently studying at the university.
Baptist University: Founded in 1956, the Baptist University is well-renowned for its commitment to whole person development. There is an international team of scholars who care for and support those studying at the institution. Most courses at HKBU are taught in English. Tuition fees for the university are very competitive in comparison with international tuition fees at other institutions. There are approximately 2,500 international students, and the university has been ranked 277th in the world.
HKUST (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) Business School: Currently ranked at number 31 in the QS World University Rankings, HKUST offers world-class learning to those interested in pursuing studies in global business, economics, finance, management or accounting. The university also boasts a strong undergraduate exchange network, for which it has links with 120 global partners that are spread across 27 countries!
Lingnan University: Established in 1967, it is a liberal arts college. It has a relatively small community of students, with high teacher to student ratio. At present, there are 3,000 students in total at the university, around 400 of whom are international. Most courses at the university are taught in English, although a small minority are taught in Cantonese or Mandarin. One main benefit of Lingnan University is that it offers on-site university accommodation to students beyond just the first year of study. Priced at USD$570 per term, this is a bargain for accommodation in Hong Kong!
Many university courses in Hong Kong are offered in English, giving you a wide choice of study in this popular student destination.
Costs of Studying in Hong Kong
Living costs in Hong Kong are high. In fact, in the rankings of the world’s most expensive cities, Hong Kong frequently features in the top ten. However, since the rise in tuition fee costs in the UK in recent years, Hong Kong tuition fees are now comparable to what you would expect to pay in the UK.
There are also multiple grants available for international students. In fact, Hong Kong universities are desperate to recruit the brightest students from around the world, so if your grades are high, you are in with a good chance of securing some additional funds.
All Hong Kong universities will provide you with hall accommodation in your first year. Although you will still need to pay for this, the cost will be significantly lower than the standard Hong Kong rent – and it also gives you the opportunity to meet and mingle with fellow students as you settle into your new home city.