Postgraduate studentships (PGSs) are a form of financial support provided to full-time research postgraduate (RPg) students to ensure that they do not need to be concerned with looking for other sources of income to support themselves. Full-time RPgs should devote full efforts to their studies.
Awards given are based on academic merit, English language proficiency, and the suitability of the RPg students for the proposed program of study, as is the selection of applicants for admission to postgraduate studies.
The work of graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) is an integral part of the training for all full-time RPg students regardless whether they are recipients of postgraduate studentships or scholarships. It helps prepare them for teaching-related work they need to undertake
The maximum PGS amount in the 2018/19 academic year is HK$16,660, except for awardees of the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme and the Asian Future Leaders Scholarship Program, and full-time PhD students who have passed their qualifying examination and have done well in their work. The actual PGS rate a student receives is determined by the home department. The PGS rate, subject to annual review, may be adjusted upward or downward. The PGS rates for an academic year are normally announced in Spring Term of the previous year.
For details, please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Postgraduate Studentships.
The University administers various scholarships and awards on behalf of individual and corporate donors. Most are offered to students on the strength of academic merit and the recommendations of a School or department. Other scholarships may have conditions specified by the donors. Details are available at the Scholarships and Financial Aid Office website.
Students who have the right of abode in Hong Kong or have resided or have had their home in Hong Kong continuously for three complete years immediately prior to the commencement of their studies, are eligible to apply for financial aid from the Student Finance Office (SFO) of the Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency. Holders of student visas are not eligible to apply for any financial aid from SFO, irrespective of their number of years of residence in Hong Kong.
Full-time students are eligible to apply for the Tertiary Student Finance Scheme (TSFS), and the Non-means-tested Loan Scheme for Full-time Tertiary Students (NLSFT). Part-time students are eligible to apply for the Extended Non-means-tested Loan Scheme (ENLS).
(i) Tertiary Student Finance Scheme (TSFS)
Under this scheme, means-tested awards are offered in the form of grants and/or loans. Grants are given for tuition fees and academic expenses while loans are for living expenses. The level of financial assistance is related to the applicant’s family income and financial status. Grants need not be repaid; loans are to be repaid at a relatively low interest rate within a specified period after graduation or upon leaving the University.
(ii) Non-means-tested Loan Scheme for Full-time Tertiary Students (NLSFT)
NLSFT is to complement TSFS to provide financial assistance in the form of loans. This scheme offers loans up to the amount of tuition fees to applicants who do not apply for assistance or who fail to receive assistance from TSFS. It also allows students who receive assistance from TSFS to obtain loans up to the difference between the maximum assistance and the amount they receive under TSFS. Loans awarded are not means-tested. Students have to repay the loan at a cost recovery interest rate within a specified period after graduation or upon leaving the University.
(iii) Extended Non-means-tested Loan Scheme (ENLS)
Under this scheme, non-means-tested financial assistance is provided to students studying part-time, in the form of a loan up to the amount of tuition fees. Students have to repay the loan at a cost recovery interest rate within a specified period after graduation or upon leaving the University.
Application forms and further details are available at the SFO website or the Scholarships and Financial Aid Office website. Students with financial difficulties are urged to apply for government assistance as soon as it is open for application.
Students with additional financial needs may apply for loans and bursaries administered by the University. In general, these funds are used to supplement, but not substitute for, government financial assistance. Details of loans and bursaries are available here.