The Non-local Higher and Professional Education (Regulation) Ordinance (Cap. 493) provides for the regulation of non-local higher and professional education courses conducted in Hong Kong.
The objective of the Ordinance is to protect Hong Kong consumers by guarding against the marketing of non-local higher and professional education courses conducted in Hong Kong which do not meet the registration criteria. It also enhances Hong Kong's reputation as a community which values higher academic and professional education.
All courses conducted in Hong Kong which lead to the award of non-local higher academic qualification or professional qualification are regulated by the Ordinance through a system of registration/exemption from registration. For a course which will lead to multiple non-local higher academic qualifications or non-local professional qualifications , such as intermediate awards (which include exit awards), those parts of the course leading to different non-local higher academic qualifications or non-local professional qualifications are also regulated courses that have to be individually registered or exempted from registration under the Ordinance.
Subject to compliance with section 8 of the Ordinance, non-local courses conducted in collaboration with the following local institutions of higher education are exempted from registration:
"Purely distance learning courses" are conducted solely through delivery of mail, transmission of information by means of telecommunication or sale of materials in commercial outlets. To avoid restriction of the freedom of expression including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds guaranteed under Article 16 of the Bill of Rights Ordinance, "purely distance learning courses" are not required to register. However, operators of such courses are encouraged to apply for registration in order to demonstrate that the courses also meet the registration criteria under the Ordinance.
The public may check the registration or exemption status of non-local courses in one of the following ways:
The registration or exemption of a non-local course under the Ordinance does not carry with it any indication or implication whatsoever that this confers any particular standing to the course or comparability to a local degree programme. The recognition of any qualification for employment purposes is a matter within the discretion of individual employers.
The list of locally accredited non-local courses is available from the Qualification Register http://www.hkqr.gov.hk/HKQRPRD/web/hkqr-en/search/qr-search/.
Qualification requirements for civil service posts are normally set with reference to qualifications obtainable under the local education system or from local institutions. Candidates holding non-local qualifications may also apply and will be considered for appointment if their qualifications are assessed as comparable in standard to the entry qualification requirements of the posts being applied for. For further details, please refer to the webpage on Qualifications Assessment on Civil Service Bureau's website at http://www.csb.gov.hk/english/recruit/qual/333.html.
An advertisement of a registered course should bear the registration number of the course. For an exempted course, it should be stated clearly that the course is an exempted course. In addition, all advertisements of registered courses or exempted courses should contain the statement which reads "It is a matter of discretion for individual employers to recognise any qualification to which this course may lead".
To ensure registration criteria are met continuously, operators of registered courses have to submit annual returns to the Registrar of Non-local Higher and Professional Education Courses (the Registrar) for scrutiny. They are also required to notify the Registrar in writing of any change in content of the course or arrangement for payment and refund of fees and charges within 1 month of such change.
Members of the public are welcome to contact the Non-local Courses Registry of the Education Bureau for more information.
Address: Room 603, 6/F
14 Taikoo Wan Road
Telephone no.: (852)2520 0255 or 2520 0559
Facsimile no.: (852)2520 0061
E-mail address: email@example.com