Mainland students enhance campus diversity

Karen Lai

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In addition to the scholarship admission scheme, students from mainland China can also apply for fee-paying undergraduate programmes in Hong Kong starting this year. In the latest round of admissions, 58 fee-paying students from the mainland have been accepted. This marks another step forward in the University's policy of recruiting mainland students, up to a ceiling of 4% of its first-year student population, under a Hong Kong government policy.

As of 2003, the eight UGC-funded universities in Hong Kong are permitted to admit high school graduates whose household registration is in the province of Guangdong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, or Fujian, or in the city of Beijing, or Shanghai. High school graduates can choose two programmes at each of their four selected universities. Students from the mainland will pay the same tuition fees as locals.

Through the China Scholarship Council (CSC), a non-profit institution affiliated with the Ministry of Education, CityU received nearly 200 applications. The applicants' National Joint Entrance Examination results, announced at the end of June, formed the basis of selection. "We give high priority to mainland recruitment," said Dr Emily Cheng, Associate Head of the Admissions Office. The recruitment campaign included a special website, advertisements, posters, CDs and tailor-made application guides. "Working closely with the CSC, we launched promotions in March in order to recruit the best possible students."

More than 60% of these fee-paying students are enrolled in the Faculty of Business, with the rest scattered among the faculties of science and engineering, humanities, law, and creative media. To help them adjust to the local curriculum, they will take a one-year preparation programme at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) before arriving at CityU in September 2004 for their three-year Bachelor's degree programmes. "We worked closely with the SJTU to tailor the programme with emphasis on the specialized subjects required by their chosen programmes," said Ms Helen Lam, Executive Officer I of the Admissions Office. English, Mathematics, Computer Applications and Cantonese training will be highlighted.

"With new students coming from different parts of China, we will have a truly multifarious learning environment," Dr Cheng said. "Diversity on campus facilitates students, local and non-local, to learn more languages and how to interact with others." By accepting more students from outside Hong Kong, the University steps up its intended role as a bridge for cultural exchange between China and the world.

Since 1999, the University has recruited 19-30 students from top mainland universities each year through the Hong Kong Jockey Club scholarship admission scheme. After completing their degree programmes, they may choose to work in Hong Kong, or opt for further studies.

In July, the Admissions Office held interviews at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Fudan University, to help finalize the 25 recipients of the 2004 scholarships.

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