The HKSES aims to support local students to pursue studies at world renowned universities outside Hong Kong, with a view to grooming a top cadre of talents with global vision, international network and world-class education, thereby contributing to enhancing Hong Kong’s competitiveness as Asia’s World City in a globalised knowledge economy.
The scheme also seeks to support those students who have excellent academic achievement but lack the financial means to study at top-notch universities outside Hong Kong.
To be eligible for the HKSES, applicants are required to meet the following two criteria –
(i) have right of abode or right to land, or have entered Hong Kong on One-way Permits; and
(ii) have resided in Hong Kong continuously for three complete years immediately prior to the commencement of the academic programme outside Hong Kong.
In other words, students entering Hong Kong on student or dependant visas will not be eligible for the HKSES. Besides, if an applicant is engaged in full-time education or employment outside Hong Kong anytime during the three-year period immediately prior to the commencement of the academic programme outside Hong Kong, he/she will not be considered as having met the residency requirement set out in (ii) above.
For undergraduate programmes, only students receiving/received their formal school education in Hong Kong are eligible. This would cover all Hong Kong students who receive/received senior secondary education in Hong Kong, including those studying/studied local (e.g. Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education) and non-local (e.g. International Baccalaureate) curricula in Hong Kong.
For postgraduate programmes which may cover those of master’s and doctoral degrees or equivalent levels, students who have obtained their undergraduate qualifications either in or outside Hong Kong are eligible, provided that they meet the criteria set out in (i) & (ii) above.
Scholarship and Bursary (2024/25 Academic Year)
Up to 100 scholarship offers would be made per cohort. All awardees will receive a non-means-tested scholarship to cover their tuition fees, subject to a ceiling of HK$300,000 per annum, whichever is lower.
In addition, a means-tested bursary will be granted to students who may need additional support to pursue their studies, subject to a ceiling of HK$200,000 per student per annum, for covering living and other study-related expenses.
The value of the award will be correspondingly reduced if an awardee also receives other awards to finance his/her same study outside Hong Kong.
For those applicants who eventually receive scholarship from other sources covering the tuition fee in full, they may still be considered for being awarded a Scholarship Title under the HKSES (without any monetary benefit) as a token of the Government’s recognition of their outstanding achievements. The same set of assessment criteria for other HKSES awardees will be applied to this kind of awardees.
Once awarded, the scholarship will last for the normal duration of the concerned programme in respect of undergraduate studies. For postgraduate studies, the scholarship will last for the minimum years required to complete the programme in respect of doctoral degree programmes and up to two years in respect of other postgraduate programmes (e.g. master’s degree programmes). It will be renewable annually subject to the provision of an annual report with satisfactory documentary proof of the awardees’ good academic performance and compliance of terms and conditions set out in the scholarship offer letter during the scholarship period.
Means Test for Bursary
The Student Finance Office (SFO) of the Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency will assist the Education Bureau in conducting the means test for students who apply for the means-tested bursary. The same means test formula of the SFO as applicable to local tertiary students with five tiers of financial assistance based on the result of the means test will be adopted. There will be five levels of bursary, i.e. 100%, 75%, 50%, 25% and 15% for different Adjusted Family Income groups. The resulting amount will then be further reduced by the percentage (i.e. 100% (no assistance), 80%, 60%, 40%, 20% and 0% (no reduction of assistance)) set out against the net asset value per family member of the applicant.
In view of the fact that awardees will be away from Hong Kong during their studies, the means test will be conducted only once throughout the study rather than on an annual basis, unless the awardees encounter significant changes in their family circumstances which warrant reassessment. Nevertheless, awardees receiving the bursary may be required to undergo counter-checks during their studies.
Undertaking to return to work in Hong Kong
Awardees (including those awarded with Scholarship Title only) would be required to complete the specific study programmes and undertake to return to Hong Kong upon graduation to work for at least two years or a period equivalent to the duration of receiving the scholarship, whichever is longer. However, the HKSES Secretariat will have the flexibility to decide, upon application on a case-by-case basis, whether the requirement to undertake to return to and work in Hong Kong could be suitably deferred or waived under exceptional circumstances.
The Advisors to the HKSES advise the Government on matters relating to the implementation of the Scheme.
- Professor Gilbert FONG Chee-fun, M.H.
- Mr. Patrick YEUNG Pui-choi
- Dr. KAM Pok-man, B.B.S.
- Ms. Melaine LEE Kam-ha
- Ms. LO Po-man
- Professor LUI Yu-hon, M.H.