Unlike the publicly-funded sector, the self-financing sector offers a wider variety of programmes in terms of nature (ranging from non-credit-bearing interest classes to credit-bearing professional courses), learning outcome (from craft level to doctoral degree level), mode of delivery (from purely distance learning, blended learning to face-to-face programmes), and duration (from a few hours to a few years), etc. These programmes target at different types of students including full-time and part-time students, school leavers and working adults with different learning objectives and exit outcomes. The sector is characterized by its flexibility, diversity and responsiveness, and these attributes enable the sector to complement the publicly-funded sector in launching new courses and adapting existing ones in a timely manner, thus enabling Hong Kong to nurture the necessary talents to compete in the fast-changing, globalised knowledge-based economy.
Secondary school leavers may apply for University Grant Committee-funded programmes and undergraduate programmes operated by the Open University of Hong Kong under the Joint University Programmes Admissions System (JUPAS).
Full-time locally-accredited self-financing and subvented sub-degree and bachelor’s degree programmes not covered by JUPAS are listed in the Information Portal for Accredited Post-secondary Programmes (iPASS).
For the 2016/17 academic year, there are about 139 full-time locally-accredited self-financing undergraduate programmes and 293 sub-degree programmes. Apart from local post-secondary programmes, students could also pursue Yi Jin Diploma Programme, non-local courses and various continuing and vocational programmes.
Graduates of sub-degree programmes may articulate to full-time locally-accredited publicly-funded senior year places of first degree or self-financing top up degree programmes. Details of the programmes could be found at iPASS.
Graduates of undergraduate and other equivalent programmes could pursue locally-accredited postgraduate programmes as set out in the Qualifications Register, including Self-financing Post-graduate Programmes offered by UGC-funded Institutions as well as other post-secondary institutions.
Launched in February 2012, current Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) candidates may use the Electronic Advance Application System for Post-secondary Programmes (E-APP) to lodge advance applications for full-time locally-accredited post-secondary programmes not covered by the JUPAS.