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    Admission to Hong Kong Universities: When to Apply, Requirements, Process

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    Bhavya Rawal

    Study Abroad Expert


    Hong Kong is home to 22 degree-awarding institutions, offering programs of different levels - from sub-degree to doctoral. There are also a number of non-local educational courses available in Hong Kong, which are mostly conducted in collaboration with universities in countries like the UK and Australia.

    An international student planning to study in Hong Kong must have complete knowledge of the admission process, from selecting the right course to accepting the admission offer.

    Timeline for Admission to Hong Kong Universities

    Universities in Hong Kong each follow their own timeline for the admissions process, so one must look up individual universities to figure out when to apply. However, it is helpful to keep in mind that, every year, the admission gets over before the fall semester begins, which is in September.

    Academic Year in Hong Kong Details
    September-December Fall Semester
    January-May Spring Semester
    December-May Applications close for new academic year
    August/September Orientation for first-year students

    Admission Process to Hong Kong Universities

    A person seeking admission to a university in Hong Kong has to go through the following steps:

    1. Decide which program or institution you are applying for.
    2. Research the details of that particular course/university.
    3. Submit an online application to the university.
    4. Wait to receive an offer and then accept it.
    5. Apply for a student visa.

    International students may choose a program at any of the study levels available:

    • Higher Diploma / Associate Degree
    • Bachelor’s Degree
    • Postgraduate Diploma
    • Master’s Degree
    • Doctoral Degree

    These programs are offered in a wide range of subjects, and in public as well as self-financing universities.

    While some universities may give the options of fast-tracking the admission process, many universities have their admissions process in multiple stages spanning a whole year. For example, at the University of Hong Kong, the undergraduate admissions process is as follows:

    • Applications open in September.
    • Applications close for First Round Evaluation in November.
    • Results are announced in February or March.
    • Students must submit their official documents soon after.
    • Classes commence in September.

    Here applications are accepted even after the First Round, but they may not be given as much priority. Of course, other universities may have a shorter or longer admission process, but one must go through the details well in advance so that there is no hassle.

    Deadlines for Admission to Hong Kong Universities

    The application details of some of the top universities in Hong Kong are shown below.

    University Application Deadline
    University of Hong Kong (UG) 21 August 2021
    (PG) Varies according to program
    Chinese University of Hong Kong (UG) 13 January 2021
    (PG) Varies according to program
    Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (UG) 14 January 2021
    (PG) Varies
    City University of Hong Kong (UG) 4 January 2021
    (PG) Varies
    Hong Kong Polytechnic University 25 February 2021

    Requirements for Admission to Hong Kong Universities

    The eligibility criteria to get admissions to Hong Kong Universities is discussed below

    Language Requirements for Admission to Hong Kong Universities

    As English is one of the official languages in Hong Kong, educational institutions mostly have programs with English as the medium of instruction. Certain tests required to study in Hong Kong are taken as proof of proficiency in English.

    English Test Average Score Required
    IELTS 6.0
    TOEFL iBT 80
    SAT (Evidence-Based Reading & Writing) 500-600
    ACT (Reading and English) 23
    CAE 180

    Study in Hong Kong Without IELTS

    Indian nationals applying to Hong Kong universities have the advantage of being accepted without presenting IELTS or other English tests, if they meet score requirements for their Standard XII English exam. This would mean at least 75-80% from SSC, ISC or HSC boards in India.

    Tests Required for Admission to Hong Kong Universities

    There are not many subject-specific tests that have to necessarily be taken for admission to universities, but these may be required for certain courses like MBA in Hong Kong:

    GRE can also be used to apply for other programs, like MS in Hong Kong, but you will have to take a GRE Subject Test instead of the GRE General Test in that case.

    Payment of Fees to Hong Kong Universities

    The application fee is usually to be paid via Visa or MasterCard at the end of the online application form, with each university setting different mounts. The application fees are non-refundable, and are in the range of INR 2,827-3,770. After you are accepted to a university, you will also have to pay the fees for the first semester.

    Documents Required for Admission to Hong Kong Universities

    All students applying to higher education programs in Hong Kong must possess:

    • A valid identification document.
    • Academic transcripts from previous institution.
      • If you are joining a UG program, you must have a Class XII school-leaving certificate (AISSCE or ISC), a GCE-AL, or an IB Diploma.
      • If you are joining a PG program, you must have a UG-level qualification, which may even be proof of having completed one year at a recognized university.
    • Academic qualifications meeting the specific course requirements.
    • English Proficiency Test scores.
    • Relevant aptitude test scores.

    Additionally, you may be asked to submit documents like

    • CV or Resume
    • Letter of Recommendation
    • Statement of Purpose

    Different universities have different requirements, so it is best to verify which all documents are necessary with the particular university.

    Student Visa to Hong Kong

    The institution in which you have secured admission will usually sponsor your Hong Kong student visa, and will submit your application to the Immigration Department. You will need to provide the following documents:

    • A filled application form for Entry for Study in Hong Kong
    • A recent photograph
    • A scanned copy of your passport
    • Your acceptance letter at the university
    • Proof of financial support, like bank statements, salary slips, savings account passbook, Hong Kong scholarship letter, etc.
    • A consent letter signed by your parents and a guardian in Hong Kong, if you are under 18
    • Proof of accommodation in Hong Kong, if you are under 18

    You may also need to show your academic transcripts and test scores. Please note that the documents submitted must be valid for the duration of your study in Hong Kong. Once you obtain a student visa, it will be valid for up to six years.

    Reasons for Rejection of Application

    Hong Kong universities select students mostly based on academic merit and potential, so if you are found to be lacking in those terms, it will be difficult to get admission. The same would also affect your student visa application. You may be rejected if:

    • You do not have the required academic qualifications.
    • You do not have valid supporting documents.
    • Your SOP to Hong Kong universities is not written well.
    • You are too late to apply, i.e you apply in the last cycle and there are no more seats available.
    • You are found to be unable to pay for the duration of the study.

    Nearly 42,000 non-local students migrate to Hong Kong every year to pursue their higher education. So with the increasing competition it is necessary that you make the right preparations in order to get into the top universities.