Mainland students seeking Hong Kong places
By Yang Meiping

A view of the Victoria Harbor of Hong Kong. (File photo: Xinhua)

Some Hong Kong universities have seen more applicants from the Chinese mainland in the past year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, admissions officials told a news conference in Shanghai on Tuesday.

Danni Shen, student recruitment counsellor of the University of Hong Kong, said it had admitted more students than last year via its mainland admissions scheme due to an increase in outstanding applicants.

Two freshmen had top scores in gaokao, the national university entrance examination, and about half had won prizes in national competitions.

“Many mainland students seeking overseas education turned their eyes to Hong Kong as the pandemic is prevailing in foreign countries while Hong Kong is restoring its social order,” she said. “We also see more mainland students applying via the international admissions scheme.”

Shen said the 2020-21 academic year admission channels have opened, and the university had seen “joyful progress” in inquiries and applications.

“Besides the pandemic influence, the increase in the mainland program also attributed to our special admission procedure,” she said. “Mainland applicants can apply for the Multi-faceted Excellence Admissions Scheme, in which they can take part in interviews before gaokao, and outstanding applicants can have bonus points in admission or get conditional offers. Some of this year’s freshmen secured their enrolment via this scheme though they accidentally had dissatisfying gaokao scores.”

The City University of Hong Kong admitted 259 mainland undergraduates this year, 29 more than its plan. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology had a plan of 190 but admitted more than 200.

The admissions officials said their universities are delivering classes both online and offline to meet different student demand, depending on developments of the pandemic.

The universities said their admission plans for mainland students remain the same for the new academic year.