Mainland students enrolled in eight local education institutions, including Hang Seng Management College, may not have their degrees recognised back home, after it was revealed that the schools had been violating Education Bureau regulations by taking in Chinese students. The Bureau, however, denies that this was due to a lack of monitoring or oversight on their part.

The Education Bureau issued a letter to higher education institutions in Hong Kong last month, saying that they already informed them last year of the amendment of regulations related to the intake of students, Apple Daily reported. Under the regulations, only 12 of the 20 higher education schools are allowed to accept mainland students for undergraduate and master degrees. This is because the eight schools not on the list only registered with the Post Secondary College Ordinance after the agreement with the mainland, meaning they are not covered by it.

The OUHK, which is recognised by the Education Bureau. Photo: Wikicommons.

The only 12 schools recognised are the eight statutory universities, as well as the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, Hong Kong Shue Yan University, the Open University of Hong Kong, and Chu Hai College of Higher Education.

According to Apple Daily, the students will not be asked to withdraw from their studies and return to the mainland, but their degree may not be recognised back home.

The Education Bureau reminded the eight institutions that they should not advertise programs to mainland students prior to obtaining approval from the bureau and recognition from mainland authorities, and that they have contacted the schools to have a better understanding of its policies. It denied that the situation arose from a lack of monitoring on the bureau’s part, or an erroneous issue of student visas by the Immigration Department.

Hang Seng Management College. Photo: hsmc.edu.hk.

A spokesperson from the Hang Seng Management College, which allegedly violated regulations, told Apple Daily that they will follow the new directions issued by the Education Bureau, but have yet to respond as to how they will deal with the current students. The Hong Kong College of Technology, Hong Kong Nang Yan College of Higher Education, Vocational Training Council and Tung Wah College all admitted to taking in mainland students.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.