Nearly 1,000 Hong Kong students have been admitted to Chinese mainland universities this year without taking a previously mandatory joint entrance exam, Minister of Education Yuan Guiren said.
Sixty-three mainland universities were authorized last November to receive Hong Kong applicants, who do not now have to take the entrance exam. Previously, the exam was jointly run by 205 mainland universities, and a requirement for Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao students was to take the joint exams when applying for mainland universities, Yuan said.
A total of 971 students out of 4,247 applicants from Hong Kong were admitted to mainland colleges this year after passing independent exams held by each university for the first time, he said.
“Hong Kong students should be treated the same as their mainland counterparts,” Yuan said, adding the government provided a scholarship for 30 percent of Hong Kong students studying on the mainland.
Universities accepting Hong Kong students are entitled to a government subsidy of 8,000 yuan ($1261.83) per student each year, he added.
“We are exploring ways to improve the system to attract more Hong Kong students,” said Yuan.
An increasing number of Hong Kong high school graduates have chosen to further their study at mainland universities.
Jinan University in South China’s Guangdong province, one of the 63 universities approved to admit Hong Kong students who do not have to take joint exams, receives about 3,000 Hong Kong applications each year, according to school authorities. Currently, there are 5,000 Hong Kong students on its campus, the most of all mainland schools.