Hong Kong has a strong British imprint as it was a part of the British empire for a long time. Massive skyscrapers that seem to kiss the clouds, swanky shopping malls, massive bridges that connect the various parts of the city and lots of tourists from all over the world who are busy clicking pictures - these are the images that come to our mind when we think of Hong Kong.
Most often than not Hong Kong gets overlooked by international students as a higher education destination because there is a misconception that all courses are taught in Chinese. This is not wholly true as courses are also offered with English as the medium of instruction. There are eight government-funded institutions, which offer courses in a variety of subjects. All institutions offer a Chinese language course to help foreign students learn the language quickly.
Scholarships for Studying in Hong Kong:
Some of the institutions offer scholarships for international students in partnership with some private organisations. Some popular scholarships are listed below with their brief descriptions.
HKSAR Government Scholarship Fund:
The HKSAR Government Scholarship Fund is for both local and international students studying in Hong Kong. Scholarship awardees can win up to HK $80,000 per year. Students who have an assured place in any of the following institutions are eligible to apply for this scholarship - City University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Institute of Education, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, HKAPA and the Vocational Training Council.
Scholarships for Students from India and Korea:
From the academic year 2012-13 ten scholarships have been earmarked for students from India and Korea who have enrolled in publicly-funded degree programmes in Hong Kong. The scholarship is tenable for the normal duration of the programme and renewable annually subject to satisfactory academic performance of the awardees.
The Talent Development Scholarship:
The Talent Development Scholarship or TDS offers students a chance to win a scholarship for showcasing their non-academic talents in sports, the arts, music, dance, etc. Students enrolled in a full-time degree course are eligible to apply to this scholarship. A scholarship amount of HK$10,000 is given to the scholarship awardees.
The Reaching Out Award:
The Reaching Out Award
(ROA) aims to support meritorious students enrolled in full-time publicly-funded programmes at degree or above levels to participate in learning, internship or service programmes and competitions conducted in Hong Kong and other countries. A scholarship amount of HK$10,000 is given to the scholarship awardees.
Students should monitor the website of the institution, which they plan to study in for information on scholarships available. The scholarships for international students are not that many in number when compared to scholarships available for students in the UK and the USA. Students should also note that though the classes may be taught in English; it is extremely important that they learn Chinese for day-to-day survival; plus the advantage of being fluent in Chinese increases their job prospects on completion of their course.
The Way Ahead:
The popularity of Hong Kong as a study abroad destination for students from India and neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is still in a very nascent stage. Things are bound to improve as the Hong Kong government is trying to boost the popularity of the region as a top-notch study destination by offering scholarships to deserving international students.