Hong Kong Universities See Drop In Mainland Applicants

June 22, 2015

NewsStandOnline.Net (22-June-2015): Some universities in Hong Kong have seen a sharp decline in the number of Chinese mainland applicants they receive as those universities become increasingly “politicized,” Hong Kong reported recently.

Applications to some Hong Kong universities dropped significantly from last year, though admission quotas and tuition remain unchanged.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University received applications from 2,300 mainland students this year, a decline of 34 percent from last year. A total of 556 Chinese mainland students applied to the Hong Kong Polytecnnic University, a drop of 40 percent over the previous year. Other universities are showing similar statistics.

Hong Kong Universities See Drop In Mainland Applicants

Universities in Hong Kong have long been popular with students from the Chinese mainland, as Hong Kong universities often boast a quality education with international exposure alongside relatively lower costs than Western educational institutions.

Mervyn Cheung Man-ping, chairman of the Hong Kong Education Policy Concern Organisation, was quoted by Ta Kung Pao as saying that Hong Kong schools have lost appeal partly because tensions between the special administrative region and the Chinese mainland have risen in recent years. These tensions have resulted in online wars of words and a number of street scuffles.

Cheung also added that universities on the Chinese mainland prioritize academic study and students there are more inclined to focus on their studies and future careers than on politics, while some Hong Kong universities have tended to place more emphasis on politics and political campaigns than study in recent years.

Apart from political tensions, Professor Joshua Mok Ka-ho, vice president of research and development at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, said parents from the Chinese mainland are concerned that their only children, most of whom were born after China began to implement its one child policy in the 1980s, may not get along with their Hong Kong peers.

The appreciation of the Hong Kong dollar and the depreciation of currencies in Japan, Europe and Australia, some of the preferred destinations for Chinese students seeking an education overseas, have also contributed to the decline in applications, Mok said.