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Targeted Taught Postgraduate Programmes Fellowships Scheme

Background

The UGC introduced the Targeted Taught Postgraduate Programmes Fellowships Scheme (TPgFS) on a pilot basis for five cohorts starting from the 2020/21 academic year to attract meritorious local students to pursue further studies in priority areas conducive to the development of Hong Kong and to encourage universities to establish more innovative and multi-disciplinary programmes that are beneficial to society.

Number of fellowship

The scheme provides a maximum of 500 fellowships for the first cohort (i.e. 2020/21 intake) of students and 1000 thereafter during the pilot period.

Amount of fellowship awards

Under the TPgFS, awardees are required to pay a minimum tuition fee of HK$42,100, which is the prevailing rate of the UGC-funded programmes, and the remaining balance will be subsidised by the fellowship subject to a cap of HK$120,000 for each student for the whole programme, regardless of the mode of study and actual study period.

For example, if the total tuition fee of a programme exceeds HK$162,100, the remaining balance after deducting the maximum amount of fellowship (i.e. HK$120,000) shall be borne by the student. If the total tuition fee of a programme is HK$162,100 or below, the student will only need to pay HK$42,100 as tuition fee, with the remainder covered by the fellowship.

Noting that some students may opt to take more credits than required, the TPgFS will only cover the tuition fees for the list of courses in relation to the prescribed graduation requirements of the eligible programmes. The remaining balance arising from additional academic credits out of the prescribed graduation requirements and/ or for elective courses which are not on the programme course list would be borne by the students. Please contact universities direct for further information.

To avoid "double benefit", students received financial support from other public sources for the purpose of meeting tuition fee expenses would not be eligible for the TPgFS. Students received such financial support from other sources (e.g. education subsidies from a private company or foundation) should declare and provide relevant details to the universities. If the sum of such financial support and the fellowship award would exceed the tuition fee level, the amount of fellowship awards should be reduced to ensure that the awardee would not receive financial support in excess of the tuition fee to safeguard the effective use of public money.

Criteria for selection of fellowship recipients by universities

The universities would invite suitable candidates newly admitted to the eligible programmes to apply for the TPgFS in each cohort. The scheme will adopt a merit-based approach in selecting the most outstanding students to pursue designated taught postgraduate programmes. The applicants are required to be admitted to the universities and submit their application to the universities with a proposal expounding on how they can contribute to the priority areas of Hong Kong after completing the programme concerned. Applications for the fellowships will be assessed by the universities based on a rigorous and holistic approach, subject to the following criteria:

  1. applications are open to local students of eligible programmes only (for the definition of non-local student, please refer to Q3 of "Frequently Asked Questions");
  2. students admitted to the existing TPg programmes before respective academic year but not yet completed their study should not be considered for that cohort onwards;
  3. students awarded with other government scholarships for pursuing the same programme, including the Continuing Education Fund, will not be considered to avoid "double benefit". Nevertheless, students provided with financial assistance in the form of loans from the Government (e.g. Extended Non-means-tested Loan Scheme under Student Finance Office) to settle the tuition fees for the TPg programme are still eligible to apply.
  4. both full-time and part-time local students of eligible programmes can apply for the fellowships; and
  5. the award of the fellowships will be based on merits taking into account the students' academic achievements, professional qualifications, relevant working experience and achievements in other areas as well as the proposals submitted by the students with special attention to their personal statements on how they can contribute to the priority areas of Hong Kong after completing the programme

On the basis of the above principles, each university may devise its own admission procedures and additional requirement for assessing the fellowships, and will assess the applications independently with its own admission procedure in which the UGC would not intervene under the principle of institutional autonomy.

Selection of eligible taught postgraduate programmes

A Working Group, comprising overseas academics and experts who are well experienced in the relevant fields and with no conflict of interest, was established in 2019. The universities have nominated suitable programmes under the seven priority areas for the Working Group's consideration in accordance with the following set of criteria:

  1. relevance to the specific priority area;
  2. the manpower requirements and market demand presented by the universities prove that the programme can attract meritorious students;
  3. the capability of the programme in nurturing talent and supporting the high value-added and diversified development of Hong Kong, as well as its social impact;
  4. the university's previous experience in offering relevant programmes;
  5. the long-term sustainability of the programme; and
  6. the multi-disciplinary collaboration.

List of eligible taught postgraduate programmes

Universities are invited to nominate suitable TPg programmes under the seven priority areas for the UGC's consideration in accordance with a set of criteria. The eligible taught postgraduate programmes should be directly related to one or more of the following seven priority areas in the 2022/23 academic year:

  1. "STEM" (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics);
  2. Healthy living and caring community;
  3. Sustainable city and regional development;
  4. Hong Kong's strategic position as a regional and international business centre;
  5. Emerging research;
  6. Creative industries; and
  7. Culture, heritage and humanities.

You can find the allocation of different cohorts at the following links:

  1. The first cohort (i.e. 2020/21 intake) (Click here)
  2. The second cohort (i.e. 2021/22 intake) (Click here)
  3. The third cohort (i.e. 2022/23 intake) (Click here)
  4. The forth cohort (i.e. 2023/24 intake) (Click here)

Universities' websites on the scheme

The eight UGC-funded universities have established the dedicated websites on the details of eligible TPg programmes under the Targeted Taught Postgraduate Programmes Fellowships Scheme and the respective application procedures:

  1. City University of Hong Kong
  2. Hong Kong Baptist University
  3. Lingnan University
  4. The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  5. The Education University of Hong Kong
  6. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  7. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  8. The University of Hong Kong

Frequently Asked Questions (Click here)

Publicity

As part of UGC's Story Bank, the implementation progress of the first cohort (i.e. 2020/21 intake) has been published in the Hong Kong Economic Times on 15 November 2021. Please click here for the article (Chinese Version Only).

Universities are also encouraged to step up the promotion of the Fellowships Scheme in order to attract more meritorious local students. Together with universities' own promotional efforts, it is hoped that the popularity of the Taught Postgraduate Programmes Fellowships Scheme would further enhance among prospective students.

Enquiries

For application arrangement, please refer to the universities' websites or contact the admission offices of the universities for details.

For enquiries relating to the scheme, please call the UGC's enquiry hotline at 2524 3987 or email to ugc@ugc.edu.hk.