I would like to thank members of the Panel on Education and the House Committee for supporting the resumption of the second reading debate of this Bill without recourse to a Bills Committee. This will enable the Bill to be passed in the current legislative session so that the Hong Kong Shue Yan College can launch the degree programmes in September this year, and, as the Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung pointed out, the Bill is an important step towards the development of private universities in Hong Kong.
2. The Post Secondary Colleges (Amendment) Bill 2001 proposes that a post secondary college registered under the Post Secondary Colleges Ordinance may award degrees, subject to the prior approval of the Chief Executive in Council. The Chief Executive in Council has approved in principle that the Hong Kong Shue Yan College may offer accredited degree programmes. The College may, upon passage of the Bill, offer degree programmes starting from this September. This will enable the College to become the first degree-awarding private college in Hong Kong, representing an important step towards the development of private universities in Hong Kong.
The Post Secondary Colleges (Amendment) Bill 2001 has passed through Committee without amendment. I move that the Bill be read the third time and do pass.