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Education/Training (EDS) Market in Hong Kong and Macau






Hong Kong Students in the U.S.





Macau Students in the U.S.





Source: Open Doors Report, Institute of International Education

With 8,104 Hong Kong students studying in the U.S. during the 2013/14 academic year, Hong Kong ranked as the 17th leading origin of international students in the U.S. 72 percent of these are undergraduate students, while 12.3 percent are graduate students.

Hong Kong’s education system, which went through a major restructure in 2009/10, is now more in line with the American system than the British system, i.e. three years of junior secondary is followed by 3 years of senior secondary. This leads to the HKDSE (Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education) exams where students gain admission to a range of post-secondary, vocational and tertiary courses offered by local schools based on their examination results.

As the number of places available for undergraduate degrees is substantially less than the number of students who fulfill the entry requirements for university within Hong Kong, the popular options are to study abroad, or to attain an Associate Degree or a Higher Diploma, and then proceed with a degree course later on.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

The most popular fields of study are Business/Management (24.8 percent of total fields of study), Social Sciences (16.4 percent), Fine/Applied Arts (10.2 percent), Engineering (7.4 percent), Math/Computer Science (6.6 percent), and Physical/Life Sciences (6.2 percent).

Apart from four-year colleges, there is an emerging market for two-year community colleges with comparatively lower admission requirements and tuition fees. Hong Kong students tend to be more interested in community colleges with guaranteed transferable credits to universities.

A number of U.S. education institutions have found success in developing partnerships with local schools to open Hong Kong branch campuses for undergraduate and graduate programs.


Many high school graduates believe that a U.S. education will boost their job prospects in Hong Kong, and local parents are beginning to recognize the academic excellence of colleges outside the Ivy League. This is the result of an increasing number of American institutions attending Hong Kong education shows and vigorously promoting themselves to Hong Kong schools and students. Ideally, new-to-market schools should try to meet with high school counselors and students face-to-face to gain exposure and raise their profile. Word of mouth is also a significant factor in college choices. A growing number of colleges and universities are increasingly relying on their Hong Kong alumni network as an additional channel to reach potential students as well as donors.

Hong Kong parents employ education agents to search for appropriate schools and provide other related services. U.S. schools should consider partnering with several agents in Hong Kong who are capable of promoting their schools and recruiting students. The U.S. Commercial Service in Hong Kong can provide pre-screened meetings with agents and high schools via Gold Key Services.

Partnering with local schools in joint degree programs, or faculty or student exchanges, is an effective way to increase visibility and gain recognition. However, these higher education institutions take into consideration the uniqueness of the program and sometimes the ranking of the partner school.

Web Resources

Trade Shows:

The Association of Boarding School Fair (To be confirmed)
Dates: October 31, 2015
Venue: Shangri-la Kowloon, Hong Kong
Organizer: The Association of Boarding Schools/Institute of International Education
Tel: (828) 258-5354 / (852) 2603-5771
Fax: (828) 258-6428 / (852) 2603-5765
Website: http://www.boardingschools.com / http://www.iiehongkong.org

Education & Careers Expo 2016
Dates: January 28-31, 2016
Venue: Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center
Organizer: Hong Kong Trade Development Council
Tel: (852) 2240-4275
Fax: (852) 2824-0026
Website: http://www.hktdc.com/hkeducationexpo

Hong Kong International Education Expo
Dates: May & July, 2016 (Exact dates to be confirmed)
Venue: Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center
Organizer: Neway Trade Fairs
Tel: (852) 2561-5566
Fax: (852)2811-9156
Website: http://www.newayfairs.com


Education Bureau
Email: edbinfo@edb.gov.hk
Website: www.edb.gov.hk

U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong
Public Affairs Section
Email: hkeducationusa@state.gov
Website: http://educationusa.state.gov

For more information about this industry sector, please contact:

Ms. Maria Lo, Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2110-8647
Fax: (852) 2845-9800
Email: maria.lo@trade.gov

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