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Introduction of the Fourth Matching Grant Scheme

The UGC warmly welcomes the introduction of the $1 billion Fourth Matching Grant Scheme by the Government. We believe this newest round of the 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. Most importance of all, the general public will appreciate the Government has continued its commitment to investing in education, and to further develop Hong Kong as a regional education hub.

Following the funding approval of the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr07-08/english/fc/fc/papers/f07-36e.pdf on 30 November 2007, the Fourth Scheme will be opened for applications from 1 January 2008 and will last for fourteen months up to 28 February 2009. New donations paid to the eight UGC-funded institutions and two self-financing local universities, namely the Open University of Hong Kong and the Shue Yan University, during the period are eligible for matching, pursuant to the principles and rules of the Scheme.

The same basic principles and matching rules of the Third Scheme have been adopted for UGC-funded institutions in 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 twelve 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 twelve-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 well prepared themselves for the challenges brought about by this new round of Matching Grant Scheme. Community leaders and philanthropists are also ready to show their care for the future of higher education in Hong Kong by making generous promises and pledges. Hence, we look forward to another successful round of the worthwhile initiative and anticipate a full allocation of the $1 billion matching grants when the Fourth Scheme concludes in February 2009

UGC Secretariat
30 November 2007