Donald Tsang, the chief executive of Hong Kong, believes that it is crucial to increase the investment in academic research in tertiary Hong Kong institutions to compete in the intense global scenario.
To be able to compete at the global level, he proposed to inject US$643 million (5 billion HK dollars) into the Research Endowment Fund. Tsang also announced that 3 billion HK dollars would be injected into the development of self-financing tertiary institutions, on a competitive basis.
The remaining 100 million dollars goes to the Research Grants Council to promote and provide stable research funding institutions. While presenting the policy for 2011-12 to the Legislative Council, Tsang announced that the government would sign a Supplement VIII of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement. The government setup dedicated liaison units in Chongqing and Fujian to strengthen and deepen its multi-faceted co-operation.
The Research Endowment Fund was setup in 2009. About US$2.3 billion dollars were assigned to this fund. With this help, the government took the initiative to introduce the Theme-based Research Scheme. The aim was to finance the research projects of strategic importance for the city’s development.
More specifically, the plan is to introduce as many colleges and training centers as possible. Tsang has proposed many measures to promote, develop, and introduce several types of colleges. Proposals to expand the multiple study pathways for Cuisine College, the youth college as well as the construction workers training center are in the pipelines. He has also proposed enhanced support to students with special educational needs, as well as a proposal to develop electronic textbooks.
To help Hong Kong to compete with the mainland market, Tsang has proposed a dedicated fund of US$1 billion. There are elaborate plans to encourage Hong Kong enterprises to build their own brands, by developing the strengths of Hong Kong. It is all for the development and establishment of the Hong Kong economy, trade and culture. The policy is keen on building Hong Kong into an international educational center, as it provides the ideal environment to attract quality students from overseas.
Hong Kong has many top quality univer- sities and a rich history in meritorious stu- dents. This city not only produces talented local youngsters, but it also welcomes such talent from all around the globe. The gov- ernment of Hong Kong has set up US$129 million in scholarship funds, which are available to both local and foreigners. There are many other scholarships available, such as the Ph.D. Fellowship Scheme for students from around the world.
Tsang was also interested to raise the attending rate of higher education among young people. He wanted to see continuous improvement in providing quality and diversified education to the younger generation of Hong Kong. He has proposed a fund of 2-5 billion HK dollars (US$300-650 million) for development and self-financing of post secondary education. Tsang has also announced that students will have the opportunity to participate in Chinese mainland learning and exchange activities.
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