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Hong Kong: Destination Guides

Five reasons to study in Hong Kong with Prof. John Spinks

From job prospects to education quality, Professor John Spinks from the University of Hong Kong speaks to us about the benefits of studying in Hong Kong.

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Being from the UK, you could have forgiven Professor John Spinks for struggling to adapt to what is undoubtedly a very different cultural environment when he moved to Hong Kong in 1977. However, to say he has thrived would be an understatement. Consistently moving up through various roles at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), Prof. Spinks is now the Senior Adviser to the President of the institution and the perfect person to ask for reasons why international students should go to the country for their degree.


Here’s some of his top reasons:


The quality of education is growing

With HKU being ranked consistently in the top 50 universities in the world, and among the top 5 in Asia, it genuinely is a prestigious institution to attend. But it is not just HKU that is flying the flag for Hong Kong in the rankings, five universities featured in the QS World University Rankings top 100 are from Hong Kong.


The institutions are improving so much that they can now begin to rival those of the more ‘traditional’ higher education providers, such as the UK and the USA.


“Perhaps the best feedback I received was from an Indian father of a very talented student who wanted to join HKU rather than go to the U.S. as was her father’s wish.” Says Prof. Spinks, “After many email discussions and phone calls to me, he eventually decided to accept his daughter’s wish to join HKU.”


“A year later, his daughter was in some difficulty… but she recovered to be one of the best graduates of the year, going on to complete an MBA in HEC Paris, and now working in Hong Kong for one of the top multinational consultancies in the world. Just after she graduated, the father emailed me again to say that the decision to send her to HKU had been the best he had ever made.”


Brilliant employment prospects

Not only will you finish your studies with an internationally recognised degree, but you could even go on to start your professional career in Hong Kong too.


“The Hong Kong government is predicting a serious shortfall of talented graduates over the next few years, so the employment prospects are likely to continue to be excellent for both local and foreign students”, explains Prof. Spinks.


“The rapidly developing Asian economies bring with them not just more jobs, but more chances of rapid promotion. HKU’s graduate employment rate of nearly 100% for the last 11 years is second to none, and is as good a guarantee as is possible of being the best place in the world to start your career.”


So, if you are hoping for a job after your studies, it seems Hong Kong may be a good place to look.


Study alongside some great minds



A lot of the best work you will do at university is group work, so imagine the possibilities of what you could create if you were surrounded with some of the best minds in your age group! Pretty exciting, right?


“HKU’s real claim to fame… is its students.” Prof. Spinks says. “They are as talented as any around the world, as evidenced by how successful they are in our partner universities. We attract by far the best from Hong Kong, and take in increasing numbers of highly talented students from Mainland China and around Asia.”


International opportunities

HKU was recently ranked number 3 in the world for its international outlook, which in itself is a reason for overseas students to get excited about the prospect of studying there. But, it has gone beyond that to offer two additional educational experiences outside Hong Kong for each student during their time at the institution.


Not only is this an impressive thing to talk about on your CV, it also opens up your world view to see a variety of different cultures.


“Even in the last year, students took up around 6,800 such opportunities – for a class of around 4,000, that is a significant international component to a Bachelor’s degree, and one that appeals in particular to students coming from other Asian countries and beyond”, explains Prof. Spinks.


Away from HKU, other universities such as Hong Kong PolyU provide international study opportunities as part of their offering, and the country is a brilliant base to explore the rest of Asia from, with China, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines all nearby.



Favourable economy for starting your own company

Not only are there lots of successful companies in Hong Kong looking for university graduates to join their ranks, but there are also lots of opportunities to start your own company.


“Hong Kong, in particular, has one of the best economies in the world for setting up your own company, and a business culture to be able to do this easily and quickly. Even undergraduates do this”, says Prof. Spinks.


With your training and teaching still fresh in your mind, not to mention lots of new skills, finishing a degree can be the perfect time to start up your own company. You are surrounded by other people in a similar situation to you in that they are young, ambitious, and full of ideas – so why don’t you team up with them and give it a go?!


“One of Hong Kong’s significant advantages is that graduates are nearly all entitled to stay in Hong Kong and work after graduation.  Within just another three years, they can apply for permanent residency, opening the door to a community that is predicted to have a significant shortfall of talented workers in the future”, Prof. Spinks says. 


So, you are welcome to stay in the country after you finish your degree and the economy is set up to aid new companies and help them flourish. Can it get any better? It sure can.


“One student… sat in the evenings with his brother and friends in a hall of residence in HKU as a break from his undergraduate studies, working on an idea for an internet start-up. The company came to be called 9GAG. It is currently valued at over US$900 million, is one of the top five most followed brands in the world, and engages more than 100 million people a month”, Prof. Spinks tells us.


If you want to follow in the footsteps of the creators of 9GAG, have a look at HKU’s page here.


Or, have a look at starting your study abroad adventure with some other universities in Hong Kong.