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Results of the Sixth Matching Grant Scheme Announced

The University Grants Committee (UGC) announced today (September 19) the overall results of the Sixth Matching Grant Scheme. The Scheme ran for two years from August 1, 2012 to July 31, 2014. All the statutory post-secondary education institutions and approved post-secondary colleges participating in the scheme, i.e. the eight UGC-funded institutions and nine non-UGC-funded institutions, have secured about $5.5 billion in donations under this sixth round, and the full matching grant amount of $2.5 billion has been allocated.

The Chairman of the UGC, Mr Edward Cheng, said, "We are very encouraged to see that the community has continued to respond to the Matching Grant Scheme with enthusiasm and generous support. The Scheme has been successful in cultivating a stronger philanthropic culture in the community towards investment in education, diversifying funding sources and securing additional resources for the provision of quality higher education. The UGC would like to thank the Government for the Scheme, and to congratulate all participating institutions on their success. The UGC would also like to thank all the donors who have generously made donations to the institutions."

From 2003 to 2011, the Government launched five rounds of Matching Grant Scheme, each of $1 billion, to help the higher education sector diversify its funding sources. The first three rounds were open to the eight UGC-funded institutions only. Two self-financing degree-awarding institutions, namely the Open University of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong Shue Yan University, were included in the fourth round while another self-financing degree-awarding institution, Chu Hai College of Higher Education, together with the publicly-funded Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, was included in the fifth round.

In view of the encouraging results of the previous rounds, the Government allocated $2.5 billion to launch the sixth round of the scheme, further extended to cover all statutory post-secondary institutions and approved post-secondary colleges for the benefit of students of both publicly-funded and self-financing, locally-accredited programmes at sub-degree level or above in these institutions. As a result, the Vocational Training Council, Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Centennial College, Hang Seng Management College and Tung Wah College have been included in this round.

Mr Cheng said, "We are pleased that the scheme has been extended so that students of all statutory post-secondary institutions and approved post-secondary colleges may benefit from the Scheme. We are happy to see that the smaller and younger institutions are gearing up their fund-raising capabilities to secure a reasonable share of the matching grants, while diversifying their funding sources to foster the emergence of a philanthropic culture among their donors."

Under the sixth round, matching grants were disbursed to each institution on a dollar-for-dollar matching basis up to the "floor" amount of $60 million, beyond which $1 was granted for every $2 donation, up to a "ceiling" of $600 million of grant on a first-come, first-served basis. Unlike past rounds of the Matching Grant Scheme which lasted for about one year, a longer duration for this round was allowed to provide more time for the institutions to identify and discuss with donors as well as to give new participating institutions more time to gear up their fund-raising capabilities and networks. The amount of matching funds was increased to $2.5 billion in this round to provide more resources to improve institutions' quality of education, and to cater for the increase in the duration and number of participating institutions and student beneficiaries. The final results are set out in the Annex.

Mr Cheng added, "Over the past six rounds of the Matching Grant Scheme, institutions have raised some $14.8 billion in private donations and a total of $7.4 billion of matching grants have been allocated. Institutions have achieved very encouraging results under the Scheme. We believe this will without doubt benefit the long-term development of the higher education sector in Hong Kong."

19 September 2014