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Latest Country Updates
Oct 23, 2023

Hong Kong’s DSE candidates studying foreign languages will have to sit exams provided by different overseas bodies from 2025

All foreign-language courses under DSE from 2025 will use papers provided by relevant bodies, such as Alliance Francaise, after previous supplier withdraws. Urdu and Hindi will be suspended from that year, with only the former returning in 2026.

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Oct 20, 2023

Hundreds of students expected to sit Hong Kong’s DSE university entrance exams across the border, as schools apply for new status

At least four mainland schools catering to Hong Kong pupils have applied to be Diploma of Secondary Education exam centres, according to principal. One school head estimates a few hundred pupils on the mainland will sit the exams, as institutions await whether candidates will be able to do so locally.

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Oct 16, 2023

One-third of students who sat Hong Kong university entrance exams appeal results

The exam authority said over 16,600 candidates who sat in this year’s university entrance exam have applied for papers to be checked or marked again, 1.7 per cent more than last year.

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Jun 6, 2023

Hong Kong schools lost 33,600 students in last academic year amid emigration wave, 10 per cent more than in 2020-21

Official figures show total number of students who left local education system exceeded 64,000 in last two years. But school representatives say exodus may have peaked and they expect number of departures to decrease this year.

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Jun 2, 2023

Second week of Hong Kong’s DSE exams springs no major surprises after tough first round

About 47,500 DSE candidates started elective exams this week, with science and finance-related subjects at fore. Educationalist say chemistry may have presented tougher challenge because of new question types.

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May 17, 2023

Hong Kong pupils breathe sigh of relief after core subject DSE exams end, but some say parts too tough

Core subject DSE exams in Chinese, English, maths and liberal studies over for university hopefuls. Some pupils say some parts of exams too hard, with maths and English papers singled out as more challenging than previous years.

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May 10, 2023

44,000 DSE pupils take last ever liberal studies test under Hong Kong’s university entrance exams

Questions about city’s plastic shopping bag charge and quality of life for elderly residents appear in final exam. Controversial subject soon to be scrapped to make way for revamped syllabus under ‘citizenship and social development’.

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Jan 27, 2023

Universities in Hong Kong will require students to pass national education courses before graduating

Universities in Hong Kong will require students to pass national education courses before graduating. Broadcasting national achievements on campus and voluntary walking tours among additional initiatives planned by universities to foster identity among students.

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Jan 12, 2023

Hong Kong schools cut more than 40 Form One classes amid student population drop

Reduction in classes for 2022-23 academic year marks 20 per cent increase compared with the previous one. ‘The [Education Bureau] should seriously consider opening up our schools to other regions,’ Tang Fei, secondary school principal and lawmaker, says

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Oct 28, 2022

A third of 2022 HKDSE students apply for results recheck

Out of the 2022 Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exam candidates, 15,815, or 33 percent of students, applied for their results to be rechecked and remarked.

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Sep 27, 2022

Hong Kong tells schools to ramp up national education as more ‘key calendar dates’ added for campus activities

Hong Kong schools have been strongly advised to plan more national education activities to foster better understanding of Chinese history among students under the latest government guidelines, sparking concerns that teachers will be overloaded.

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Sep 22, 2022

Hong Kong education authorities reject survival plans by 2 under-enrolled secondary schools

Hong Kong education authorities have rejected survival plans proposed by two under-enrolled secondary schools, with one set to close its doors in 2026, while the other will operate with fewer subsidies in the coming academic year.

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Sep 8, 2022

Percentage of Hong Kong pupils getting secondary school place at 1 of their top 3 choices hits record high

Education Bureau says 49,448 eligible Primary Six children joined the secondary school places allocation system for 2022-23 academic year. Satisfaction rate is the highest since 2007 when a revised allocation system was implemented.

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Aug 23, 2022

Secondary schools in Hong Kong close ranks to appeal for class size reduction amid fall in pupil numbers

All secondary schools in city say class numbers should be frozen and sizes reduced as pupil numbers decline. Teachers’ groups accuse government of failure to act in the face of ‘incessant and significant’ drop in pupil numbers.

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Aug 23, 2022

Hong Kong to include Korean in DSE university entrance exam from 2025 amid K-Culture boom

French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Hindi and Urdu are currently offered as part of the foreign language category of the city’s university entrance exam. From 2025, students will be able to submit scores from the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK), which is a Korean language test for non-native speakers.

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Aug 3, 2022

Hong Kong students in mainland get to sit DSE exams from 2024

Mainland students can sit the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exams from 2024 and they can do the written tests needed to enter university from across the border. The Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority said yesterday it has received applications from schools in the mainland to participate.

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Jul 28, 2022

Hong Kong DSE 2022 changes to English exam draws mixed response from students

Changes to this year’s Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) English exams have drawn mixed responses from students, with some saying they struggled to finish the reading test due to the additional questions, and others welcoming the adjustments.

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Jul 19, 2022

Hong Kong to include Korean in university entrance exam

French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Hindi and Urdu are currently offered as part of the foreign language category of the city’s university entrance exam. From 2025, students will be able to submit scores from the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK), which is a Korean language test for non-native speakers.

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May 10, 2022

Hong Kong university entrance exams will go ahead as scheduled

Education chief Kevin Yeung says centres will be set up at the government isolation facility for exam candidates who are close contacts of Covid-19 patients or infected themselves.

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Apr 25, 2022

Hong Kong in-person classes from kindergartens to secondary schools to resume in stages until mid-May

Students will stagger return due to Covid-19, higher forms will be first to be back on campuses from April 19 for half-day classes. Full-day classes unlikely for primary schools and kindergartens so soon, says Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung.

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Hong Kong SAR, China


The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR) is at the gateway of the Pearl River Delta and Guangdong Province in China. The population of Hong Kong is over six million people. Hong Kong's ninety-nine year history as a British colony ended on July 1, 1997 when Hong Kong and the New Territories were returned to Chinese sovereignty. Hong Kong retains a high degree of autonomy in all areas except foreign affairs and defense. Its present free market system and lifestyle, including education, are to remain unchanged until 2047.

Hong Kong's historic role as Asia's major economic broker has been challenged by Singapore to the south and Shanghai to the north. The 1997 Asian economic meltdown impacted Hong Kong just as the British were changing the guard for the last time. A few years later SARS arrived with a further negative impact on Hong Kong's economy.


The Hong Kong education system, overseen by the Education Bureau and with roots in the British examination system, has restricted access to higher education. For example, since 1994, only a total of 14,500 places have been available for first year students at universities supported by the Hong Kong government. As a result the government has proposed short and long term education reforms.

Education reforms have included changing the medium of instruction (MOI) from English to mostly Chinese at the secondary school level, modifying the curriculum, expanding IT in education, creating additional educational opportunities for secondary school leavers and other management issues. Proposed reforms have included relying less on assessment by examination and restructuring the education ladder to six years primary, three years lower secondary, three years senior secondary and four years tertiary.

To expand educational opportunities for secondary school leavers, the Hong Kong government provided funds in 2002 to both public and private providers to establish associate degree programs on a fee-paying basis. Scholarship assistance was also available for students. A major goal for local students who enter the associate degree program is to gain admission to a Hong Kong university. Other students enroll in off-shore ordinary bachelor degree programs through the continuing education unit(s) of Hong Kong universities. A few apply for transfer credit to US four-year institutions.

Hong Kong has one educational system/district that is "governed" by two complementary but powerful governmental agencies including the University Grants Committee which has financial oversight of tertiary education as well as the Education Bureau that oversees the development of education policy at all levels.

The academic year of post-secondary institutions is from September to April or May. The majority of the programs operate on a two-semester system, while some programs are on a three-semester system. Please consult the individual institution's website for specific information.

The language of Instruction at most institutions, depending on the program, will be either English or Chinese.


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