Hong Kong is a pretty popular destination for students. To start off, it’s a multicultural city with people from all over the world. It has world class institutions in the University of Hong Kong(HKU) and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology(HKUST) both of which rank amongst some of the best in the world. Education is less expensive when compared to countries like the US and the UK. It’s no surprise why more and more students are flocking to Hong Kong for their studies.
I myself decided to apply to these universities due to their reputation in teaching, graduation outcomes, high standard of research and the wide variety of courses they offered both in physics and beyond.
I will be guiding you on the basic steps when applying to universities in Hong Kong(particularly HKU and HKUST). In my experience, Hong Kong universities are some of the simpler ones to apply to.
Step 1: The first step, as always, is to get some idea of what you want to study. Different programmes have different requirements as given here. Remember that requirements for HKU and HKUST are pretty strict. Work hard to ensure your grades meet the requirements. Otherwise, it is most likely that you do not get an offer.
Step 2: Create your application account on the university’s admissions portal(HKU/HKUST). Main-round admissions to HKU for the following year start in September and close mid-November. However, late-round applications are open till the start of July on a rolling basis. As for HKUST, applications for Fall 2019 opened on the 17 September, 2018. Applications for the early-round closed on 15 November and main-round closed on 7 January, 2019. Expect a similar pattern for every year.
Step 3: Start keeping your documents ready. The main documents which they require are your predicted grade list, a recommendation letter from at least one teacher and a personal statement as to why you want to study what you want at their institute. Other than that, there are certain supporting documents(e.g. high school transcripts, grade 10 and 12 diplomas, etc.) you need to upload. These documents can be uploaded only once you have paid your application fee(approx. HKD 450-500).
Step 4: Once you have submitted your application, your job is to wait. They will email you in case anything is missing from your application. Be sure to provide everything as soon as you can. Universities start sending out their decisions from late-January through April so check your email regularly!
Step 5: In case you receive your (conditional) offer, you will be required to pay a deposit of HKD 20,000 to reserve your place at the institution. Pay the deposit once you are (more or less) sure you will be attending. The amount will go towards your tuition fee once you start. For now, you are (somewhat) set. In case you receive a conditional offer, work hard to ensure you meet the conditions given in the offer.
Step 6: Visa applications open sometime in May. In general, it is possible to apply through the university. Do not delay your visa application. It can take up to ten weeks(not including postage time, etc.). Also, begin your application for student halls/colleges when they open. At HKU, first-year non-local students are guaranteed a place at a student hall. At HKUST, first and second-year non-locals are guaranteed a place. Rent in Hong Kong is extremely expensive. A month’s rent is sometimes enough for a year’s stay at a student hall.
I hope I have covered everything in this article. If you feel I have missed out on anything, feel free to contact me. Thanks for reading.