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UGC welcomes the Policy Address initiative to increase university places significantly

The University Grants Committee (UGC) warmly welcomes the Chief Executive's initiatives to increase the number of publicly-funded undergraduate places in the UGC-funded institutions, as announced in his Policy Address today (October 13). The UGC pledges to work closely with the higher education institutions to put such additional places to most effective use. In relation to this, Chairman of the UGC, Mrs Laura M Cha, made the following statement:

"The Committee and I are extremely pleased with, and grateful for, the double good news in the Chief Executive's Policy Address on increasing the number of publicly-funded undergraduate places. Most significant is the 4,000 additional publicly-funded senior year undergraduate places - doubling the current provision - which will be phased-in for articulation by sub-degree graduates from 2012/13 onwards. This is a most timely initiative. We are very pleased that the Chief Executive has taken decisive action to address our concern about the availability of adequate articulation opportunities for our students."

"I am also pleased with the increase in first year first degree places. This will help our institutions to introduce changes and new programmes."

"This is a substantial Government investment in higher education, and a very significant boost to the entire post-secondary sector. This will benefit all school-leavers by enhancing their access to and progression opportunities within the post-secondary education system."

Mrs Cha said that the UGC would work hand-in-hand with the eight UGC-funded institutions in the academic planning process for the 2012-15 triennium, with a view to forming recommendations to the Government on how best to put the student places, including these additional ones, to most effective use. She said, "We and the institutions will go through a strategic and robust process in deciding how best to allocate these places for the overall benefit and interest of Hong Kong. The additional places will allow us to be more responsive to students' needs and aspiration, and facilitate the strategic development of the individual institutions and the sector."

The Chief Executive announced today the proposal "to increase publicly-funded first-year-first-degree places to 15 000 for each cohort from the 2012-13 academic year". He also announced that, taking into account the views of the University Grants Committee, "senior year intake places should be doubled progressively to 4 000 each year to provide more articulation opportunities for sub-degree graduates."

Ends/13 October 2010