As the results of DSE are going to release soon, both students and parents might be nervous about the outcome. As the old saying goes – All roads lead to Rome! There are many choices for tertiary education. Other than continue to study in Hong Kong, parents may consider sending their children to further their studies abroad to broaden their horizons. Let’s compare studying in Hong Kong and abroad so that we can understand our choices more clearly!
Differences in Budget
According to the Joint University Programmes Admissions System (JUPAS), the tuition fee of UGC-funded programmes of the 8 universities in Hong Kong is around HK$42,100 per year, amounting to HK$168,400 for a 4-year programme. For self-funded programmes, tuition fees may vary from HK$70,000 to HK$80,000 per year. The students may also apply non-means-tested loans from the government1.
Tuition fees in foreign countries are higher – where universities in the U.K. may charge around HK$110,000 to HK$250,000 per year and daily living expenses may cost around HK$100,000 per year. Universities in Australia may charge HK$150,000 to HK$200,000 per year with similar living expenses in the U.K. Choices, around HK$100,000 to HK$150,000 per year. In the U.S. are even wider – tuition fees for public universities are lower, costing approximately HK$200,000 to HK$300,000 per year, whereas private universities charge higher tuition fees from HK$600,000 to HK$700,000 per year. Living expenses in the U.S. may cost around HK$100,000 to HK$200,0002 per year.
Studying abroad would be a good option if the family can provide sufficient financial support. However, as tuition fees abroad are high, in case of emergency where students are forced to suspend their studies, the loss will amount to several hundred thousands. In the market, there are insurance plans that specially designed for students who study abroad, such as StudyShield Insurance offered by Chubb via DBS, which offers study interruption compensation and education fund benefit of up to HK$300,000.
Fees for tertiary education2:
|Place||Tuition fee (HK$/year)||Living expenses (HK$/year)|
|Hong Kong||HK$40,000 - HK$80,000||-|
|The U.K.||HK$110,000 - HK$250,000||around HK$100,000|
|Australia||HK$150,000 - HK$200,000||around HK$100,000 - HK$150,000|
|The U.S.||public universities: HK$200,000 - HK$300,000|
private universities: HK$600,000 - HK$700,000
|around HK$100,000 - HK$200,000|
|Canada||HK$100,000 - HK$200,000||around HK$100,000 - HK$120,000|
Differences in Learning Environment
If students choose to study in Hong Kong, they can adapt easily to the learning environment where they could take part in numerous university activities and internship programmes. However, if one wants to polish their foreign language, pursuing tertiary education abroad will be a better option as they can expand their social circles while meeting people of different races and backgrounds. Moreover, studying abroad can train one’s time management skills so that one can juggle their studies, leisure, social life and part-time jobs, thus being a more independent person!
In addition, disciplines are more diversified in overseas universities. For example, aerospace engineering has been well developed in France for more than a hundred years and their graduates are all employed by first-tier international enterprises; hotel management in Switzerland is second to none and is highly recognised by international hotel management groups. In view of the rising demand for animal medication, pursuing a veterinary medicine degree in Australia which is recognised in Hong Kong would be a great idea, bringing advanced career opportunities.
Protection for Students Abroad vs. Travel Insurance
It used to be common practice for parents to purchase travel insurance plans for their children who studied overseas. However, most travel insurance plans are short-term and the insured amount for medication may not cover the entire span of the education for their children. The maximum insured amount was also greatly discounted for those aged below 18.
Yet, insurance plans such as StudyShield Insurance targeted at overseas education protects students aged from 10 to 30. The plan provides the same level of protection for students (insured) below 18 years of age. StudyShield Insurance offers overseas medical expenses coverage of up to HK$1,000,000 (hospitalisation and out-patient) and out-patient treatments of up to 25 times, aiming to protect students’ medical needs. In case of serious illnesses, StudyShield Insurance can also arrange compassionate visits for family members, easing parents’ monetary concerns.
In addition, travel insurance plans do not usually cope with academic challenges faced by the students(insured). But StudyShield Insurance emphasizes students’ needs. In case of severe accidents or illnesses that lead to hospitalisation or temporary disability, resulting in confiscation of tuition fees or even grade retention, a total of HK$100,000 study interruption compensation will be provided to ensure a stable learning environment. StudyShield Insurance also provides up to HK$300,000 in education fund benefits to cover accidental death or permanent total disability of specified insured parent/guardian, in case of accidents. These benefits aim to support the students to continue their studies so that students can study with a peace of mind and to lighten their worries.
Article source link: GoBear
1 Joint University Programmes Admissions System (JUPAS) Office (2019)
2 Ming Pao (21 June, 2018)