The Education Bureau proposed the establishment of “Enhancement and Start-up Grant Scheme for Self-financing Post-secondary Education” on 5th June to aid self-financing tertiary institutes in opening costly self-financing sub-degrees or bachelor degrees programmes that are in demand. The PTU welcomes the proposal as it responds to parts of the demands for aiding self-financing institutes the PTU has been raising. The PTU requests the government to expand the funds and to cover a wider variety of programmes and coverage.
The PTU has been striving for a one-off funding or loan from the government to aid the enhancement of self-financed tertiary education, especially in assisting institutes in opening courses that are costly but in demand. The proposed scheme aims at subsidising self-financing sub-degree and bachelor degree courses, including the enhancement of teaching facilities, purchase of equipments, and assistance for teaching staff, and is very welcomed by the PTU. However, the proposal also makes it clear that the projects such as campus renovation and building dormitories will not be covered. Some self-financing institutes are unable to provide dormitories at the moment due to the lack of land or funds. Some courses, if they are to commence, would also require campus renovation to add laboratories or mock wards. The PTU hopes the government can consider expanding the proposal and increasing the funds to cover projects such as building dormitories and renovations required by adding new courses.
On the other hand, the PTU urges the government to expand the scheme to cover a wider variety of courses in addition to technology, logistics, creative industry, engineering, architecture, and medicine. In the long run, the PTU believes the government should provide proportionate assistance to other non-professional courses such as humanities and sciences by subsidising the expansion of libraries, for instance.
The government currently plans to allocate 1.26 billions to the grant scheme. The PTU hopes the government will seek supplementary provision to further assist self-financing institutes that cannot benefit from the scheme at this time. With regards to the upper limit of $42 million dollars, the PTU suggests a broader set of criteria in the approval process as long as the institutes manage to put the subsidy to good use.