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Introduction of the Third Matching Grant Scheme

The UGC warmly welcomes the introduction of the $1 billion Third Matching Grant Scheme by the Government. We believe this Third Scheme will not only help sustain institutions' momentum in securing private donations but also continue to build up the philanthropic culture of the community, fostered by earlier rounds of the Matching Grant Scheme.

Following the funding approval of the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council "Discussion Paper for Finance Committee FCR(2006-07)12" on 26 May 2006, the Third Scheme has been opened for applications from 1 June 2006 and will last for nine months up to 28 February 2007. New donations paid to UGC-funded institutions during the period are eligible for matching, pursuant to the principles and rules of the Third Scheme.

The same basic principles and matching rules of the Second Scheme have been adopted for this new round, i.e. relaxations of matching provided in the Second Scheme to promote internationalisation and donations for capital projects will continue. The matching ratio is $1 to $1 up to the "floor" amount of $45 million to facilitate smaller/younger institutions with less fund-raising capabilities to secure a reasonable share of government matching grants; and $1 (matching grant) for $2 (donation) over and above the "floor" until a ceiling of $250 million of matching grant is reached.

Furthermore, the "floor" amount will be set aside for matching by each institution as a guaranteed minimum in the first eight months after the Scheme is open for application. Requests from institutions over and above this "floor" amount will be matched on a first-come-first-served basis until the available funds are exhausted. By the end of the eight-month period, funding under the guaranteed minimum which has yet to be matched by the concerned institutions will be opened up for application by all institutions- also based on the first-come-first-served principle.

We understand that institutions have prepared themselves for the challenges brought about by this new round of Matching Grant Scheme. Hence, we look forward to another successful round of the worthwhile initiative and anticipate a full allocation of the $1 billion matching grants by end February 2007.

UGC Secretariat

Monday, June 12, 2006