Hong Kong City University

Applying to universities in Hong Kong

The academic year in Hong Kong has just two semesters, one from early September to late December, and a second from mid-January to May. Hong Kong’s university application deadlines vary, but are usually between December and May, for courses starting the following September.

Applicants for undergraduate degrees will be expected to have completed secondary education and gained satisfactory results in their country’s leaving exams (such as A-levels, Baccalaureate or SATs). Public universities in Hong Kong teach in English, and proof of proficiency in English is also required for non-native speakers; this means taking an exam such as the IELTS or TOEFL.

Once you’ve been offered a place, the university should arrange a local sponsor for your visa application. You’ll have to submit a visa application form, as well as providing proof of identity, evidence of your academic qualifications and a financial statement (either of your own finances or those of someone who is supporting you).

The Immigration Department is also likely to request details of where you intend to live while you study in Hong Kong, so it’s best to arrange this well in advance, either through the university or independently. Most visas need to be renewed annually; remember to do this in good time (at least four weeks before the expiry date).

Tuition fees, living expenses & funding

Tuition fees in Hong Kong vary depending on the course and the university. As of May 2014, the government website StudyinHongKong.edu.hk estimates international tuition fees for most courses to be between HK$90, 000 and HK$265, 000 per year (approx. US$11, 500 to 34, 000). Another major cost is accommodation. The government guidance here is to allow HK$15, 000 to 45, 000 per year (US$1, 900 to 5, 800) if planning to stay in a university-owned student hostel, or HK$96, 000 to 180, 000 (US$12, 600 to 23, 000) for a privately rented one-bedroom flat. Additional living expenses are estimated at around HK$50, 000 (US$6, 400) per year.

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