Hong Kong (SAR)

Why study a PhD in Hong Kong (SAR)

Browse all PhD programmes in Hong Kong (SAR)

  • Sep-Aug Academic Year
  • 3 Listed Institutes
  • 14000 Int. Students
  • 87000 Students
  • 7401941 Population

Study in Hong Kong (SAR)

Over the years, universities in Hong Kong (SAR) have been focusing on promoting quality higher education by welcoming talents, upholding academic freedom, respecting institutional autonomy, supporting collaboration, and promoting academic exchanges.

Hong Kong aspires to further develop itself as a regional education hub with world-class universities and quality institutions, through diversification and internationalisation. Universities focus on offering bilingual students a broad knowledge base, a global outlook, as well as the ability to think critically and creatively, and the ability to work independently and collaboratively.

Over 3,700 overseas companies have based their Asia-Pacific operations, employing over 200,000 people.

Find the best information about what it’s like to study in Hong Kong, including degree course offers, career opportunities, student life, living costs, and more.

Why study in Hong Kong?

1. Top-ranked universities

Universities in Hong Kong are among the best educational institutions in both Asia and the world.

The University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology — these are only a few examples that are present every year in prestigious global university rankings.

Hong Kong universities stand out especially when it comes to Business studies, offering a wide range of academic programmes whose quality is at the highest level.

2. English is an official language

You don't need to worry about language barriers if you've decided to study in Hong Kong. Together with Chinese, English is an official language. Almost 50% of the population speaks the English language, so it shouldn't be too hard to ask for help and make friends.

3. Scholarships for everybody

The high quality of education provided by Hong Kong universities comes at a price: tuition fees range between 11,500 and 34,000 USD per academic year, which isn't exactly affordable for everyone.

Luckily, there are numerous scholarships available to international students. Some of them are offered by the local government, others by educational institutions or public/private organisations.

If you meet the requirements, don't hesitate to apply. After all, it's free money that can make your study experience a lot easier.

4. Hong Kong is a bridge between the East and the West

If you really look at it, Hong Kong is a blend between Eastern and Western cultures. This is reflected in the lifestyle, architecture, official languages, administrative processes, and so on.

It also means diversity is at home here, so internationals from all over the world shouldn't find it too difficult to integrate and quickly find their own rhythm.

5. Plenty of things to see and do

Hong Kong isn't only a great place for studies, but it's also an exciting place to live in. There are numerous attractions and activities to explore.

You can visit the Victoria Peak, amuse yourself at the Hong Kong Disneyland, jump into wild rides at the Ocean Park, take pictures of the Tian Tan Buddha statue, travel with the famous Peak Tram, and witness the beauty of Hong Kong's Symphony of Lights.

Which universities to attend in Hong Kong?

Here are a few universities in Hong Kong we recommend:

Admission requirements

Institutions in Hong Kong enjoy a high degree of autonomy in admission of students, and admission requirements may vary between different institutions. Some institutions will invite applicants to attend interviews. You are advised to read the course information provided by institutions carefully and contact the institution(s) you intend to apply for if you need further advice and clarification.

Generally, the main documents students should provide include the following:

  • A secondary school graduation certificate;
  • Proof of satisfactory results in your country's Leaving or Aptitude exams;
  • If English is not your mother tongue, you will need to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or equivalent exams.

Of course, you should contact the admission office of institutions for more detailed information. For more information regarding the higher education admission process visit: http://studyinhongkong.edu.hk/en/apply-to-study/admission-requirement.php

Academic degrees

The Government strives to provide multiple study pathways for secondary school leavers, with multiple entry and exit points. Some of them will study bachelor's degree programmes. Some will choose to study sub-degree programmes. Upon graduation, they can pursue study in top-up degree programmes and obtain their undergraduate qualifications.

Apart from undergraduate programmes offered, students can also choose a wide diversity of sub-degree programmes, various continuing and vocational programmes that best suit their interests and ability.

There is also a wide array of taught and research postgraduate programmes for students who have graduated from their undergraduate studies to choose from.

Research opportunities

Higher education institutions in Hong Kong also provide quality research. They emphasize inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration in research activities.

The Hong Kong Government established the Research Endowment Fund in 2008, which provides a stable source of funding for research conducted by the higher education sector in Hong Kong.

To attract both outstanding local and non-local students to pursue PhD studies in Hong Kong, The Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme was launched in 2009. The scheme provides a monthly stipend and a conference and research-related travel allowance per year will be provided for a period up to three years. Additional support is possible for students who need more than three years to complete their PhD degree.

Study language

Hong Kong is an international city where both English and Chinese are official languages and English is used as teaching medium in most university courses. Students are able to learn authentic Chinese at the higher education institution they are enrolled in.

English language preparation for studying in Hong Kong

Develop your academic English language skills in order to meet the English language requirements at universities in Hong Kong offering degree studies for international students. Choose an English language school anywhere in the world and pick your preferred English exam preparation course from diverse language course options.

The certificates generally accepted by the universities in Hong Kong are:

Curriculum

Higher education institutions in Hong Kong adopt international standards in curriculum design and quality assurance, and their qualifications awarded are internationally recognized. Academic freedom and a highly internationalized campus broaden student’s gained knowledge and expose them to different learning perspectives.

Living in Hong Kong (SAR)

Let's take a closer look at tuition and living expenses in Hong Kong (SAR):

Tuition fees

For international or non-local students, tuition fees at Hong Kong universities range between 11,500 and 34,000 USD per year. To support your study costs, you can always apply for scholarships and other types of financial aid.

Living costs

On average, foreign students need around 450–650 USD per month to live in Hong Kong. This budget can go up and down depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.

Here's a breakdown of the average living expenses:

  • accommodation (hostel/student residence hall): 160–485 USD/month
  • accommodation (rent apartment): 1,050–1,900 USD/month
  • monthly utilities: 180–200 USD/month
  • food and groceries: 200–350 USD/month
  • books and study materials: 100–120 USD/month
  • monthly transport pass: 53 USD
  • other monthly expenses: 160 USD

Tips and tricks for international students in Hong Kong

  • Save money and dive into local culture — eat in a Cha Chaan Teng, the Chinese answer to a café. Service is basic, but the food is delicious, and you can't beat the prices. Besides, you can have your meals at the campus student canteens, and the price is low. Having meals there can save much.
  • Although credit cards issued overseas are mostly accepted in Hong Kong, overseas card issuers may charge foreign transaction fees, making credit card payment more costly.
  • Having inherited ancient Chinese heritage and experienced a period of Western colonial influence, Hong Kong is a multifaceted city where English and Cantonese, Feng Shui and football, towering skyscrapers and historical sites exist side by side.
  • You can relax at a sidewalk café, take up Tai Chi, or go hiking in one of our stunning country parks.
  • Hong Kong is also known as a shopper's paradise.
  • State-of-the-art telecommunications and internet system enable you to contact your friends and family, order a meal, and get high speed downloads.
  • Hong Kong is the perfect entry point to the exciting Chinese mainland.
  • To the north, the rural New Territories are home to vast country parks, ancient villages, tranquil wetlands, and diverse wildlife.
  • Over 200 outlying islands have largely retained their natural character and are accessible to the adventurous people.

About Hong Kong (SAR)

Hong Kong is a small but dynamic city located to the southeast of the Mainland China, adjoining the province of Guangdong. It forms a triangle with Macau to the west and Guangzhou to the Northwest in the Pearl River Delta.

Hong Kong spreads over 1,104 square kilometers. Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon peninsula are at the core of the city, surrounding famed Victoria Harbour, one of the world’s most renowned deep-water harbours. This is where you can see Hong Kong's celebrated skyline and experience urban dynamism at its utmost.

Currently, the city’s population is over 7 million. People of Chinese descent comprise the vast majority of the population. The Chinese majority forms the core of the local culture. Yet Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan city with a significant foreign population. There are about 500 ,000 people from different parts of the world living here for education, employment, business, etc. Indonesian, Filipinos, British, American, Thai, Indian, Japanese, Australian, Pakistani and Nepalese form the majority foreign population here.

There is evidence of human settlement in Hong Kong from Neolithic times. Several thousand years ago, people here were hunting, fishing and making exquisite rock carvings.

The city was a British colony from 1842 to 1997. China assumed sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997, since then the city was formally renamed as "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China".

Hong Kong's economy is characterized by free trade, low taxation and minimum government intervention. Hong Kong is one of the largest trading economies in the world. Hong Kong is also a major service economy, with particularly strong links to the Mainland China and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region.

Hong Kong's climate is sub-tropical, with temperatures dropping below 10 degrees Celsius in winter and exceeding 31 degrees Celsius in summer. It is warm, sunny and dry in autumn, cool and dry in winter, and hot, humid and rainy from spring to summer.

Universities, colleges and schools in Hong Kong (SAR)

Find PhDs Degrees in Hong Kong (SAR)

Recent international policies promote international university cooperation and student exchange between countries worldwide. High-quality study and PhD degrees are made more available to students in order to create a global educational network, achievable through student and staff mobility. Career and research oriented programmes support international student development.

University cooperation enables students study worldwide, for instance in Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States and provides ways of recognizing previous degrees. Different study options offer appropriate alternatives to students, depending on their preferred mode of study.

Many study programmes in Australia, Asia, Europe and North America are English-taught. The most popular international student destinations include the following countries: Australia, Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, the United States, and more. However, these are not the only countries offering English-taught education. The rest of the world is full of endless study choices, from highly ranked to smaller, more specialized, universities.

PhD (postgraduate) Degrees

If you want further education beyond the undergraduate level or if you want more personal development or a career in academia, you could obtain a PhD degree. PhD degrees are postgraduate programmes that usually follow a Master's, MPhil or MRes, but there might be additional requirements depending on the university. Students are required to do their own research in a chosen topic. With the help of a supervisor, you develop knowledge and analytical skills in a specific or multidisciplinary field and you carry out independent research. The duration of a PhD degree differs per country and institution. Sometimes your own research is accompanied by work for the department such as giving seminars or small group teaching.

PhD students are required to study on campus under close supervision, but there are universities that accept students enrolled into a part-time distance education PhD degree. Studying on campus can also be full-time as well as part-time, in which case the part-time variant is normally twice as long as the full-time study.

Discover other countries

Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a very popular study destination. Internationals choose this beautiful country because Dutch universities are some of the best in Europe, the living standards are high, foreigners are always welcome, and you get to live in one of the happiest and safest countries in the world. The Netherlands is also renowned for innovative technologies and engineering solutions, which is reflected in the wide range of Engineering degrees offered by universities. English is spoken by around 90% of Dutch citizens, so forget about language barriers. Also, bike lanes and the “cycling culture” will help you to stay fit and healthy, and there are diverse job opportunities and internships for international students.
Czech Republic
Czech Republic
In the Czech Republic, you will enjoy top-quality education and research, especially in subjects like Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The number of English-taught degrees offered by Czech universities is constantly growing. This is a response to the numerous international students attracted by academic opportunities and great living standards at reasonable costs. The Czech Republic is among the safest countries in the world, according to the Global Peace Index, and it allows you to travel around Europe easily. While out of class, you can visit local attractions like the Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, the local spas, and hot water springs, etc.
Finland
Finland
Finland is an excellent choice for all internationals and especially for EU/EEA students who can study at local public universities for free. The beautiful Nordic country has one of the best education systems in the world and ranks among the safest and happiest nations in the world. You can also choose from over 400 English-taught programmes. In your spare time, you can explore the breathtaking Finnish nature and landscapes, as well as the numerous lakes that give the country the nickname ‘The Land of a Thousand Lakes.’ From here, you can easily travel to neighbouring countries like Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, or Estonia.
Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is among the top countries in the world in terms of quality of life, peace, safety, and development. It represents an appealing blend of beautiful landscapes, English-speaking environments, and a strong, welcoming, and rich culture — of which the Irish people are very proud. International students also enjoy the full support of Irish universities, which hire and train staff that are able to help with accommodation, studies, visa details, or any other challenge.
Norway
Norway
Norway is a paradise for anyone who wants to study abroad for free. Public universities don’t charge any tuition fees. This policy applies to all international students, regardless of their nationality. The academic standard is very high, and professors are easy to approach, always willing to go the extra mile for their students. Additionally, classes are organised in small groups, which further improves learning and cooperation. You can choose from a wide range of English-taught programmes, and you don’t need to worry about language barriers outside of classes either, because most Norwegians speak English as a second language. Internationals should find it easy to adapt to Norway’s society, which is based on equality and fair opportunities — reflected both in the legal system and in people’s behaviour.
Sweden
Sweden
Sweden is a very ambitious, eco-friendly, and visionary country. For example, by 2040, it aims to produce all its energy from renewable sources. Universities play an important role in achieving development goals, thanks to their world-class research facilities. If you’re from the EU/EEA, you can study at public universities for free. As a student, you will discover and easily adopt the three main values of Swedish society: freedom, equality, and sustainability. These values are reflected in every aspect of the local society, and you’ll quickly learn to appreciate them. Language barriers are also almost non-existent since around 80% of Swedes speak English.
Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland has one of the most advanced free-market economies, which is reflected in the high living standards and the satisfaction of people living here. In terms of higher education, Swiss universities are constantly ranked among the best in Europe, and they shine in areas like Business, Tourism, Culinary Arts, and Engineering. When compared to Western universities, tuition fees in Switzerland are affordable, and all studies — especially PhD programmes — are world-class. You’ll have the opportunity to develop in a multilingual environment and try learning international languages like German, French, or Italian. If you settle down here, the unemployment rates are low, and salaries are well above the European average.
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Universities in the UK are some of the most highly regarded in the world, and for good reasons. Some of the world's most highly regarded research takes place in British universities, which are regularly featured in international rankings. While studying in the UK, you will be able to develop in a highly multicultural environment with high chances of pursuing lucrative careers after graduation. The teaching in the UK is designed to encourage new idea generation, encouraging individual research and group cooperation, through class discussions and creative assignments.
Canada
Canada
Canada is one of the most popular study destinations in the world due to its high focus on the quality of its universities and its emphasis on attracting international students who can later immigrate. Canadians are very welcoming to international students and they invest a lot into making sure students are safe, treated fairly, and enjoy their stay in the country. Study in one of the strongest economies in the world while enjoying a high living standard and a flexible study environment. Classes have smaller student groups ensuring everyone gets the attention they need, and encouraging group assignments and debates.
United States
United States
The United States is home to some of the most prestigious universities and colleges in the world. With over 150 universities featured in international rankings, the U.S. has some of the best business schools, medical schools, and engineering schools. Universities and colleges in the U.S. are well known for academic flexibility and ways to customize your study experience with optional studies and extracurricular activities. Depending on where you will be studying, you will be able to visit iconic places like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Goldengate Bridge, The Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Disney's Magic Kingdom Park, and much more.
Israel
Israel
Israel attracts international students through high standards of education and a wide range of English-taught degrees. Local universities shine in areas like Technology, Sciences, Business, and Entrepreneurship. In fact, Israel is a renowned land of innovation, having earned itself the nickname ‘Start-Up Nation’. While living and studying here, you will discover a wonderful culture developed throughout 4,000 years of history; different cultural influences are noticeable everywhere, especially in Israeli food, art, and history. In major cities, English is widely spoken, so communication shouldn’t be a problem. In your spare time, you can visit one of the over 400 nature reserves and 80 national parks.
Australia
Australia
By studying in Australia you will take advantage of the great student environment both inside and outside classrooms. In addition to some of the best business and engineering schools in the world, you will be able to explore a greatly developed country that still retains its wild side with its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and the Great Outback, with over 500 national parks. Many Australian universities provide internships and work placements, preparing students early on for the job market.

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