Skip to main content Skip to search
Print this page

Post-Secondary Education: Overview

Hong Kong provides multiple and flexible pathways for local students to pursue post-secondary education.


Publicly-funded Programmes

There are eight degree-awarding institutions funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC), which provide 15 000 first-year first-degree places, including:


  • City University of Hong Kong (CityU)
  • Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU)
  • Lingnan University (LU)
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)
  • The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK)
  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)
  • The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)
  • The University of Hong Kong (HKU)


As one of the world’s most competitive cities, Hong Kong is home to some of Asia Pacific’s very best universities in terms of their teaching and research achievements. According to the QS Asia University Rankings 2010, among the eight institutions funded by the UGC, three institutions, The University of Hong Kong (first place), The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (second) and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (fourth) are in the top five in Asia and in the top 50 in the world. Another two institutions (City University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University) are also within the top 200 in the world.


As these institutions admit students at their own discretion, prospective students may refer to the institution websites for admission criteria. For students with Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) results, they may apply through the Joint University Programmes Admission System (JUPAS). The Government also provides financial assistance to qualified students in need through the Student Finance Office (SFO). Outstanding local and non-local students can also be awarded scholarships through the HKSAR Government Scholarship Fund.


Some of these publicly-funded institutions, such as City University of Hong Kong (CityU), The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and the Vocational Training Council also provide a number of publicly-funded sub-degree programmes.


Self-financing Local Programmes

To provide more opportunities to young people access to post-secondary education, the number of sub-degree level and above programmes offered by self-financing institutions has increased significantly.


Please refer to the Information Portal for Accredited Post-secondary Programmes (iPASS) for programmes of full-time sub-degree, bachelor’s degree and top-up degree programmes not covered by JUPAS. 


The Government has been making great effort to promote the development of the self-financing post-secondary sector through a basket of support measures including land grant at nominal premium, interest-free start-up loans, a HK$3.5 billion Self-financing Post-secondary Education Fund to provide scholarships and support quality enhancement efforts of institutions; inject HK$3 billion into the Research Endowment Fund for self-financing tertiary institutions to engage in research; and student finances.


Performing Arts Programmes

The publicly-funded Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts offers programmes from Diploma to Master Degree level in dance, drama, film and television, music, theatre and entertainment arts as well as Chinese traditional theatre.


Continuous Learning Programmes

Lifelong learning is gaining popularity as more and more people seek to upgrade their academic qualifications in pursuit of better career prospects or personal interest. The Government has summarised a full list of non-local courses registered or exempted under the Non-local Higher and Professional Education (Regulation) Ordinance (Cap. 493) and provides the information for course providers as well as advice for students when enrolling in these course.


Academic Research

The Government encourages academic research in the higher education sector. It provides funding to the University Grants Committee (UGC)-funded institutions annually. The UGC-funded institutions receive recurring funding through block grants and earmarked research grants approved by the advisory body, Research Grant Council, on a competitive basis. For details of the various funding schemes administered by RGC, visit:


To further strengthen Hong Kong’s research capacity and competitiveness, an $18 billion Research Endowment Fund (the Fund) was established in 2009 to provide stable research funding for the eight UGC-funded institutions. The Fund supports theme-based research which benefits the long-term development of Hong Kong. Such themes identified for the UGC-funded institutions to work on include promoting good health (infectious diseases, genomic medicine, stem cells and regenerative medicine), developing a sustainable environment (water pollution and water treatment, sustainably built environment, organic photo-voltaic and light emitting diodes and air quality) and enhancing Hong Kong’s strategic position as a regional and international business centre. The Fund is administered by the RGC.



Last revision date: 21 January 2013
This website is IPv6 EnabledLevel Double-A conformance, W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0Valid HTML 4.01 Strict