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[Archive] Assessment of Mainland academic qualifications

LCQ2: Assessment of Mainland academic qualifications

 

Following is a question by the Hon Yeung Yiu-chung and a reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Professor Arthur K C Li, in the Legislative Council today (July 9):

Questions:

Regarding the assessment of academic qualifications obtained in the Mainland, will the Government:

(a) list the respective numbers of qualifications assessments conducted by the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation ("HKCAA") on bachelor's degrees obtained in the Mainland by residents of Hong Kong, the Mainland and other regions, in each of the past three years; and inform this Council of the number and percentage of cases in which the relevant qualifications were assessed and recognized as equivalent to local bachelor's degrees, and the names of the Mainland universities concerned;

(b) list the respective numbers of Mainland professionals and talents admitted to Hong Kong in each of the past three years, broken down by the Mainland universities which conferred the bachelor's degrees on them; and inform this Council of the details of whether HKCAA's assessment of the qualifications of each applicant; and

(c) inform this Council whether it has drawn up a specific and clear policy on recognized qualifications obtained in the Mainland and will publish a list of recognized Mainland universities with their relevant programmes; if it has, of the relevant details; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:

Madam President,

(a) According to figures provided by the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation ("HKCAA"), it has in the past three years processed 640 qualifications assessment cases that involved qualifications obtained in the Mainland, comprising 186 in 2000, 245 in 2001 and 209 in 2002. Since the HKCAA does not require the applicants to declare their nationalities, no breakdown is available in this respect.

When assessing a person's overall educational attainment, the current practice is for the HKCAA to consider in totality all the qualifications declared by the applicant. As the assessment is not meant to be a comparison of individual institutions or their programmes, the number of Mainland qualifications that are considered equivalent to local degrees is not available. The HKCAA has not conducted any comprehensive assessment to compare individual qualifications conferred by Mainland tertiary institutions with relevant qualifications awarded by the local institutions.

(b) The Admission of Talents Scheme ("Talents Scheme") and the Admission of Mainland Professionals Scheme ("Professionals Scheme") were launched in December 1999 and June 2001 respectively. By mid-June 2003, the Immigration Department has approved a total of 279 Talents Scheme applications and 310 Professionals Scheme applications. Applicants are required to have a good educational background, meaning in most cases a relevant degree. The Immigration Department, however, has not conducted any survey on the institutions attended by the talents and professionals admitted to Hong Kong. Applicants normally hold graduation certificates issued by nationally recognised degree-awarding institutions.

The Talents and Professionals Schemes do not require the applicants to undergo qualifications assessment by the HKCAA. In case of doubt over the authenticity of the qualification documents, the Immigration Department will approach the China Academic Degrees & Graduate Education Development Center at Tsinghua University for advice.

(c) At present there is no formal arrangement for the HKSAR Government to recognise in general academic qualifications conferred outside Hong Kong, including those awarded in the Mainland and in other countries. The private sector, tertiary institutions and professional bodies may decide for themselves whether to accept academic qualifications awarded in the Mainland and other countries for enrolment or recruitment purposes.

End/Wednesday, July 9, 2003

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