Hong Kong universities have seen substantial increases in the number of foreign applications for the 2012-13 academic year, according to numbers released last month.
The University of Hong Kong saw a 42 percent increase in foreign applicants compared with the preview year, while the Chinese University of Hong Kong saw a nearly 50 percent increase, according to e-mailed replies from those universities.
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology said in a statement last month that the number of foreign applications had grown 55 percent.
Hong Kong university applicants are divided into three categories: local, foreign and mainland Chinese, whose numbers are capped at 20 percent of all school places. H.K.U.S.T. said that the number of applications from mainland China had also grown, by 53 percent.
“We have a number of excellent universities in Hong Kong, so international students and parents are now beginning to realize the opportunities for higher education here,” John A. Spinks, senior adviser to the vice chancellor of the University of Hong Kong, said in an e-mail. “Many students, particularly those from Asian countries, are choosing to stay in Asia because of the enhanced job opportunities after graduation predicted from the economic growth forecasts.”
Kar-Yan Tam, H.K.U.S.T.’s associate provost and dean of students, said in an e-mail that the school marketed itself through Facebook, roadshows and encouraging student ambassadors from different backgrounds to introduce themselves to prospective applicants.