According to the data from the Immigration Department, 43,732 foreign students entered Hong Kong last year, 4% more than the 41,895 students who arrived in 2019, when Covid-19 first arrived, and 24% more than 35,330 students who arrived in 2020.
As 43,945 students entered the city in the first nine months of this year alone, it is anticipated that the number of non-local student entries this year will surpass the record set last year.
2-year visa for top university graduates
Hong Kong has also implemented a talent-attracting measure with a 2-year visa for top university graduates.
The University of Hong Kong Korean Student Association (HKUKSA) reported that the largest worry among its members was the termination of bursary programmes that assisted international students with paying the rent for private housing. This situation is addressed with this 2-year visa.
Government data also revealed that from 41,289 in 2019 to only 13,821 in 2021, the number of visas issued to foreign employees under the General Employment Policy had decreased to a third of pre-pandemic levels. In the first nine months of this year, the policy only issued visas to 9,502 expats.
The University Grants Committee (UGC) stated that academic institutions in the city have a global reputation that helps them draw exceptional students from around the world. The organisation is allocating approximately HK$20 million (US$2.5 million) between 2022 and 25 to promote the “Study in Hong Kong” brand.
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