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Information for Students

Important Notes : To protect yourself, we advise you that you –

(1)     see if the non-local course that you plan to enroll in appears on the List of Registered Courses or List of Exempted Courses.

(2)     ensure the course name is shown in the offer letter and receipt of your payment.

(3)     refer to the Information for Students below to understand more about non-local courses in Hong Kong .




The Non-local Higher and Professional Education (Regulation) Ordinance (Cap. 493) (the Ordinance) and its subsidiary legislation, i.e. the Non-local Higher and Professional Education (Regulation) Rules and the Non-local Higher and Professional Education (Appeal Board) Rules, came into operation in June 1997. The Ordinance provides a legislative framework to regulate the standard, advertisements, payment and refund arrangements of non-local courses of higher education conducted in Hong Kong by non-local institutions or professional bodies.





The objective of the Ordinance is to protect local consumers by guarding against the marketing of non-local courses in Hong Kong which do not fulfil the registration criteria. It also enhances Hong Kong's reputation as a community which values higher academic and professional education.







Local consumers who plan to enrol in any non-local higher academic or professional courses are strongly advised to -



choose courses which are registered or exempted;


verify the registration/exemption status of the courses by checking the lists of registered and exempted courses at this site or making enquiries to the Non-local Courses Registry (the Registry)'s hotlines (Tel: 2520 0255, 2520 0559);


take notice that 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";


not to pay any fee or charge before it is sure that the course is registered or exempted under the Ordinance;


check the payment arrangements and refund policy before making payment;


obtain receipts from the course operator when making payment, and the receipts should contain details such as name of the operator, name of the course and the service(s) paid for, amount of the fees/charges, etc.; and


keep all receipts and course information issued by the course operator since some of them may serve as a contract with the operator.



The registration/exemption from registration of a course is an assurance that the institution offering the course is a recognised body in the home country. It also assures that effective measures are in place to ensure the standard of the course offered locally is comparable to that of the home course and is recognised as such by the institution, the relevant accreditation authority (if any) and the academic community in the home country. Registration/exemption from registration of a course under the Ordinance, however, does not on its own confer 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 and educational institutions. 


As regarding appointment to the Civil Service, 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




Operators of non-local courses registered/exempted under the Ordinance could also seek local accreditation by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ) under the Hong Kong Qualifications Framework (QF).  Details about the QF are available at QF website


The accreditation conducted by HKCAAVQ benchmarks the non-local courses against Hong Kong’s education system and non-local courses accredited by HKCAAVQ enjoys similar status to locally-accredited programmes, and the qualification can be placed on the Qualifications Register (QR) and recognised under the QF.  For a list of locally accredited non-local courses, please visit the QR website at





Local consumers are reminded that purely distance learning courses are not required to be registered/exempted under the Ordinance but operators of such courses may choose to do so to demonstrate that they meet the registration criteria.


Local consumers who plan to enroll in any non-local higher academic or professional courses to be conducted via distance learning mode are strongly advised to check with the course provider/operator on the course details, in particular the qualifications to be obtained, the payment arrangements and refund policy before making payment.





Enquiries about the operation of the Ordinance can be addressed to -

The Registrar
Non-local Courses Registry
Education  Bureau
Room 603, 6/F

14 Taikoo Wan Road

Taikoo Shing
Hong Kong

Hotlines: (852)2520 0255, 2520 0559
Fax: (852)2520 0061


Last revision date: 02 July 2019
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