A melting pot amalgamating the Eastern and Western cultures, Hong Kong is a vivid and globally connected cosmopolitan comprising an incredible mix of a scintillating countryside and soaring skyscrapers! Home to internationally revered universities imparting quality education to students across the globe, the city is rapidly becoming an education hub and is also emerging as an attractive destination for start-ups and corporations given its proximity to China as well as Asian markets. If you are planning to study in Hong Kong but don’t know where to begin, we are bringing you all the essentials through this blog, be it its leading academic institutions or the admission and visa application process, costs and scholarships!
This Blog Includes:
Why Study in Hong Kong?
To begin with, there are many reasons why you should opt to study in Hong Kong owing to the amazing exposure to educational and professional possibilities it offers! So, let’s take a look at the prominent pointers that make this city an attractive study destination!
Striking Blend of Modernity & Traditions
With its history rooted in the Chinese culture and facing its share of hardships with the advent of the British Empire, Hong Kong has triumphantly emerged as a perfect mix of economic and modern competitiveness while still grounded in its ancient traditions. While the flashy skyscrapers and modern madness of this cosmopolitan will initially catch your eye when you come to study in Hong Kong, what’s hidden behind is a culture with its roots in the rich Chinese traditions, serene Daoist temples and picturesque countryside that brings everything to a full circle thus making it an unmatched living experience for international students!
Being a competitive financial and corporate hub, the economy of Hong Kong is amongst the most resilient ones in the world. Further, its economy is mainly based on free trade, minimum government intervention, and low taxation principles. The city has also nurtured a vibrant entrepreneurial climate owing to its regulatory efficiency as well as openness to global commerce. So, deciding to study in Hong Kong can bring you to this husting world filled with a plethora of possibilities to thrive in your chosen career field.
Global Education Hub
Having been ranked 10th in the QS Rankings for Student Cities in 2019, Hong Kong has established itself as a well-known education hub. 4 of its universities at the top in Asia while 5 globally acclaimed institutions, this metropolis attracts a massive flocks of aspirants from around the world coming here to study in Hong Kong. Plus, offering quality education at relatively lower costs, state-of-the-art infrastructure and higher employability rate has what made it a choicest city for international students!
High Academic Standards
The government of Hong Kong keeps the education to the uppermost portion of its prioritization. Thus, an enormous amount of funding has been provided by the government to reduce the cost of education. If you study in Hong Kong you’ll have access to innovative training programs, increased student engagement which has accountability to the government and is the responsibility of government at the same time. This raises the academic level up to high standards.
Efficient Public Transports & Assurance of Safety
Another prominent feature about Hong Kong is its public transportation system which is well-connected across the other cities through metros, ferries, trams and buses. You will find lesser private vehicles than public forms of transportations which is what makes it effortless to travel throughout the city and to the neighbouring regions as well. Further, the crime rates are also lowest amongst other bustling towns across the globe and the government authorities also pay extra attention towards discrimination against international visitors. Also, one interesting fact you must know while planning to study in Hong Kong is that you can simply get an octopus card issued from an MTR service centre and use it throughout the city for travel, food and other expenses.
The academic institutions in Hong Kong provide a plethora of scholarship schemes to international students every year like Government Grants, Graduate Student Scholarships, PhD Scholarships, Student loans, amongst others. Offered on a competitive basis, these scholarships examine the academic records as well as the financial need of the applicants wanting to study in Hong Kong.
Lesser Chance for Language Barriers
Though Cantonese is the regional language with Mandarin being the commonly spoken one, English is spoken frequently by the people in Hong Kong. Estimated around 46% of the population that speaks English, the language will not be much of a barrier plus you can also avail the chance to learn Cantonese dialect from the locals while studying in Hong Kong!
Cost of Studying in Hong Kong
While gearing up to study abroad, the most important thing everyone ponders upon is the overall costs. Providing a higher standard of living and quality education, your budget to study in Hong Kong can be approximated as quite affordable when compared to other top study destinations like the US and the UK. Further, the tuition fee can largely vary as per your program as well as if the institution you have chosen is public-funded or self-financed. You can also opt for different scholarships for Indian students that are offered by the universities in the city to equip them with the necessary financial aid (scroll down to the next section to know about scholarships). Take a look at the following table which provides a basic overview of the study-related costs you can expect while studying in Hong Kong:
|Types of Costs||Estimates (Annually)|
|Tuition Fees (Dependable |
upon the program)
|HK$90,000 – HK$265,000 [830,000-24,46,000 INR]|
|Accommodation costs |
(also elaborated in the
HK$15,000 – HK$45,000 [139,000-4,16,000 INR]
HK$96,000 – HK$180,000 [886,000-16,62,000 INR]
|Living Expenses||Around HK$50,000 [462,000 INR]|
|Miscellaneous expenses |
(food, travel, etc.)
|Around HK$15,000 [138,000]|
Note: The above-mentioned costs have been listed from the official portal of the Education Bureau of the Hong Kong Govt. The costs might vary as per your chosen program, institution and other factors.
Finding a suitable accommodation that fits your budget is another chief factor you need to consider while getting ready to study in Hong Kong. Generally, there are two types of accommodation you can choose from:
- University Accommodation: If your institution offers the option of living in on-campus housing then you must opt for it as it is the best cheapest option for the international students who want to study in Hong Kong. You will need to spend around HK $5K-$20,200 (47,000- 18,65,000 INR) per semester.
- Reach Out to Agencies: If you are not getting a place at a university to study in Hong Kong, then there are numerous agents who will be happy to help you in exploring accommodation options. Before opting for anything, we would advise you to think about the pros and cons carefully because some places in Hong Kong can be quite expensive while shared spaces and other affordable rentals can easily fit into your prepared budget.
The price of the house may vary according to the room size. Here’s what you will need to pay for different rooms monthly. But remember! This is just an average chart, the prices may vary as per your location and the owner.
|Small Room||HK $3.5K – 4.5K |
|Average Room||HK $5K – $6K |
|Large Room||HK $6K – $8.5K |
Scholarships to Study in Hong Kong
Now that you are aware of the costs you can expect while pursuing higher studies in Hong Kong, the next step is to explore the array of scholarships that are on offer for international students. The financial aid schemes offered to those wanting to study in Hong Kong are mainly either government-funded, provided by private organisations or university-specific scholarships. Here is a list of some of the major scholarships for Indian students that you must explore while planning to go for higher education in this cosmopolitan hub:
- Full Tuition Scholarship to Students from India for Graduate Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University
- Hong Kong Baptist University: Full Scholarships plus Living Allowance for Business Master’s Degree
- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government Scholarship
- Chinese University of Hong Kong BEA Inspiring Student Scholarships
- M+/Design Trust Research Fellowship for International Students in Hong Kong
- The Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme
- The Self-financing Post-secondary Education Fund
- Fully Funded Susan Yuen Fellowship & Research Foundation Diploma Scholarships in Hong Kong
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The admission requirements for the students depends on the institution and the program. However, you need to keep a check on these things:
- The applicants are selected on the basis of merit of an individual.
- Some may even invite applicants for the interviews and the best performers at the interview are taken.
- In general, the marks you have earned in your previous institution must be satisfactory according to the needs of the institution in which you want to apply.
- If English is not your native language, get the TOEFL, IELTS, or any other equivalent certification.
Visa Process to Study in Hong Kong
To apply for a student visa in Hong Kong, the first and foremost prerequisite is that you need to apply for an educational institution in the city and once the university or college has confirmed your admission eligibility, you can begin your visa application. On the other hand, for mainland Chinese residents, they are allowed to simply request for an entry permit from the Immigration Department rather than applying for a full-fledged visas. Here is the essentials of the visa process you need to follow to obtain a student visa in Hong Kong:
Get A Sponsor
Before applying for the student visa to study in Hong Kong, you must first have a local sponsor. Your sponsor can either be an educational institution or an individual who is above the age of 18 who is financially capable to fund your program. If your chosen university or college can not sponsor you directly, they will possibly assist you in finding a suitable sponsor so its important to reach out to them for the same. Afterwards, a ‘declaration by financial sponsor’ needs to be submitted to move on to the next step.
Understand the Types of Student Visa
Once you have found a suitable sponsor, the next step in the process is to familiarise yourself with the types of visa you can choose from to study in Hong Kong. Generally, the type of student visa depends upon your chosen program and its duration. Here is a list of different programs for which the provided student visa might vary:
- Full-time Postgraduate programs
- Part-time Graduate/Postgraduate Programs
- Full-time and Long-term Graduate Courses
- Short-term Graduate and Postgraduate Programs
- Bachelor level or advanced level Exchange Study Programs
Fill Out Visa Application Forms
Now that you have a sponsor as well as a chosen student visa type, you can start with filling the necessary forms available at the immigration portal of Hong Kong. You can download the forms from here. Further, remember that as an applicant, you need to complete the form ID 995A and your sponsor is required to complete form ID 995B.
Along with the duly filled application form for the visa to study in Hong Kong, you will be required to provide the following documents:
- Awards, certificate, and transcripts.
- A photocopy of your letter of acceptance to any Hong Kong University.
- Have a photocopy of necessary travel documents.
- One passport size photograph.
- Proof that will show whether you are financially able to support your education or not.
- Application from one of your parent/guardian authorizing the sponsor to be your guardian.
- Photocopy of your English proficiency test result.
- Photocopy of your passport
- Photocopy of the payment receipt
Moreover, your sponsor also need to provide certain documents which are as follows:
|An undertaking by the sponsor that he/she is prepared to provide necessary accommodation to the candidate during his/her period of study in the HKSAR (if the applicant is under the age of 18) [For both cases, if the sponsor is an institution or an individual]|
|If the sponsor is an individual, they need to enclose the following documents:|
-Photocopy of their Hong Kong Identity Card
-Photocopy of their Travel Document (If they are a non-local resident of Hong Kong)
-Proof of their Financial standing (such as bank statements, tax slips, etc.)
-Undertaking that they are ready to financially support the candidate during the duration of their study program in Hong Kong
Submit all the documents and the visa fees to India’s Chinese Embassy. However, if you want an alternative, you can send your documents to the CEDARS (Centre of Development and Resources for Students.
After submitting your application to the Chinese embassy or the CEDARS office, you will receive an acknowledgement letter. Subsequently, CEDARS will send your application and official visa documents to the Hong Kong Immigration Department (HKID). Basically it takes 6 to 8 weeks for visa processing after which the HKID will alert and inform you about the results of your application. Once you get approved, CEDARS will confirm your mailing address via email. Now, if you are going to apply online, you will have to wait for the visa label delivery and if you are not, then you will have to collect your visa label in person.
Top Universities to Study in Hong Kong
Home to renowned academic institutions in Asia as well as across the globe, the universities and colleges in Hong Kong are mainly classified into public-funded and self-financed institutions. While exploring your options to study in Hong Kong, it is important that you find a suitable institution that offers programs in your chosen field of interest and can equip you with the necessary exposure you need. To help you sort out the same, we have created a list of major universities in Hong Kong as ranked by THE World University Global Rankings and QS World University Rankings 2021.
|University||THE Global |
|THE Hong |
Kong Rankings 2021
|University of Hong Kong||#39||#25||#1|
|The Hong Kong University |
of Science & Technology
|The Chinese University of Hong Kong||=56||#43||#2|
|City University of Hong Kong||#126||#48||#4|
|Hong Kong Polytechnic University||#129||#75||#5|
|Hong Kong Baptist University||#351-400||#264||#6|
Now, let’s get to know more about some of these top-ranked institutions in further detail:
Hong Kong University
Amongst the oldest higher education institution in the territory, Hong Kong University was founded in 1911 and is a public research university with a faculty comprising of many top-performing scholars from the city as well as across Mainland China and around the world. It is internationally connected with 340 prominent academic institutions spread across 43 countries. Having a total of 9 faculties and departments, the university offers an array of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Dental Surgery, Law, Architecture, Urban Studies, Education, Arts, Sciences, Nursing, Pharmacy, Economics, Business Administrations, Biomedical Sciences, Engineering, Management, Public Administration, amongst others.
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Founded in 1991 primarily as a research-focused university, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is home to more than 15,000 students from 80 countries around the world. It has designed flexible courses varying from traditional major degrees to joint-school, interdisciplinary, dual-degree as well as joint-university programs. Offering around 300 core courses for those aspiring to study in Hong Kong, the institution is world-renowned for its bachelor’s and master’s programmes in Humanities, Science and Technology, Social Analysis, Global Business, Quantitative Finance, Risk Management and Business Intelligence.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Established as a federation along with New Asia College, Chung Chi College and Uniter College in 1963, the Chinese University of Hong Kong is appraised as of the most prominent international universities in Asia. At present, its campus is situated in the Tolo Harbour. Degrees provided by CUHK are taught in the English language. Students and scholars of CUHK carry out research in more than 100 research institutes and 5 national laboratories. It offers a varied range of specialised degree programs in fields like Anthropology, Cultural Management, Philosophy, Linguistics, Theology, Chinese Medicine, Risk Management Science, Journalism and Communication, amongst others.
City University of Hong Kong
With an aim to work towards sustainable development, the City University of Hong Kong came into being in 1984 and is home to a 2000-strong teaching and research faculty. It is amongst the choicest option amongst those planning to study in Hong Kong owing to its prospective 130 courses offered at the associate, undergraduate as well as postgraduate level. You can explore an array of programs in copious specialisations such as creative media, environment, energy, engineering, science, social sciences, liberal arts, business, and law. Further, it also avails joint-degree programmes in association with Columbia University, National Taiwan University and Leuphana University.
Hong Kong Baptist University
HKBU is a Christian education heritage and publicly-funded tertiary liberal arts university. A At present, the university has five main campuses namely, Ho Sin Hang Campus, Shaw Campus, University Road Campus, Kai Tak Campus and Shek Mun Campus. Spread across a total of eight schools, it is another renowned name in the list of top universities to study in Hong Kong and one can choose from varied-level courses ranging from undergraduate, associate, taught master’s, research master’s to higher diploma programmes in an array of disciplines like Social Sciences, Visual Arts, Communication, Business, Chinese Medicines to name a few. It boasts of a dual focus on research as well as teaching and has remained committed to academic excellence which is what has brought amongst the top higher learning institutions in Asia.
Thus, we hope that this blog has provided you with the key essentials of pursuing higher studies in Hong Kong. Structuring a unique student-oriented education system, Hong Kong is becoming a choicest destination for overseas education. If you have been gearing up to study in Hong Kong and don’t know where to begin, reach out to our expert counsellors at Leverage Edu and we will guide throughout the admission process of your chosen course, helping you curate impressive SOPs and LORs and ensuring that you smoothly sail your way towards your dream university in Hong Kong.