Hong Kong

Need expat info for Hong Kong?

Connect with fellow expats in Hong Kong
Join exciting events and groups
Get information in our Hong Kong guides
Exchange tips about expat life in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Universities: How It Works

While Hong Kong is a popular expat destination, it is also a great place to pursue higher education. There is a variety of universities in Hong Kong with great study programs. This guide will tell you more about tuition and fees, admission requirements, and the application process.
The City University of Hong Kong is only one among many institutions of higher education in Hong Kong.

Degrees and Student Exchange

Universities in Hong Kong offer you the same internationally-recognized academic degrees as universities in lots of other countries, including associate degrees, bachelor degrees, master degrees, and doctoral degrees in various fields. In the past, it took three years to complete your undergraduate studies and obtain a BA or BSc. However, the Hong Kong government has administered a comprehensive reform of the education system which was concluded in 2012.

As a result, undergraduate university degrees now require 4 years of study. You can learn more about Hong Kong’s education reform in our article on schools in Hong Kong. MPhil degrees and PhD research programs usually take another three or four years and require you to teach a certain number of classes per week. You can also attend one of the various postgraduate programs. They take between one and two years of studies if you are enrolled on a full-time basis.

As a foreign student, you may attend a Hong Kong university either as a visiting student or a full degree student. Furthermore, all universities in Hong Kong have cooperation agreements with universities around the globe. If you are currently attending one of these partner institutions, you may come to Hong Kong as an exchange student for a semester or two without having to pay additional tuition fees. Some Hong Kong universities offer special international degree programs in cooperation with universities from the United Kingdom, Australia, and other countries. Participants get the chance to study at both universities during the duration of their degree program.

An International Student Body

Hong Kong universities are becoming increasingly popular with foreign students. The vast majority of foreign students in Hong Kong still hail from mainland China. However, the number of students from other countries is steadily increasing. After all, studying at one of Hong Kong’s renowned universities can greatly enhance your job opportunities in Hong Kong and abroad.

It is really not necessary to be fluent in Chinese to study at one of Hong Kong’s universities. While there are usually some courses in Chinese, all universities use English as the main language of instruction. Only the Chinese University of Hong Kong is a truly bilingual university where both languages are used for teaching. Furthermore, most universities help to make your everyday life in Hong Kong easier by offering beginner’s courses in Mandarin and Cantonese.

Hong Kong’s academic year consists of two semesters, one starting in early September and ending around Christmas in late December. The second semester usually lasts from mid-January to May. Most universities schedule orientation sessions for first-year students in the second half of August. If you are looking for more information on universities and studying in Hong Kong, check the Hong Kong Higher Education Website and have a closer look at the websites of the universities listed on the previous page.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.