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Sub-degree Programmes


Q1. What disciplines and sub-degree programmes are covered under the Study Subsidy Scheme for Designated Professions/Sectors (SSSDP)?
A1. In consultation with relevant Bureaux, we have determined the disciplines, sub-degree programmes and number of subsidised places under SSSDP for the cohort to be admitted in the 2024/25 academic year. The sub-degree programmes supported by SSSDP fall under six disciplines that have been identified to have keen manpower demand, namely Architecture and Engineering, Computer Science, Creative Industries, Health Care, Sports and Recreation and Tourism and Hospitality. For details, please refer to the programmes overview.
Q2. Which institutions will participate in the SSSDP for sub-degree programmes? 

In the 2024/25 academic year, participating institutions include Caritas Bianchi College of Careers, HKCT Institute of Higher Education, HKU SPACE Po Leung Kuk Stanley Ho Community College, Hong Kong College of Technology, Hong Kong Metropolitan University  (including Li Ka Shing School of Professional and Continuing Education), Saint Francis University, Tung Wah College and YMCA College of Careers.

Q3. What are the eligibility criteria for SSSDP sub-degree programmes?

Eligible programmes must meet the following requirements –

  • the programmes must be full-time locally accredited self-financing sub-degree programmes; and
  • the programmes are included in a list of designated programmes nominated by relevant bureaux for the purpose of nurturing necessary talent in support of specific industries with keen demand for human resources.
Q4. Who are eligible for the subsidy?

The subsidy is applicable to local students who have attained –

  • Level 2 or above in five Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) subjects including English Language and Chinese Language;
  • Diploma of Applied Education / Diploma Yi Jin; or
  • Diploma of Foundation Studies awarded by the Vocational Training Council.


The participating institutions are permitted to admit local students with other relevant qualifications subject to a ceiling of 50% of the subsidised places of the designated programmes.

Q5. If a student meets the HKDSE requirement using combined certificates, is he/she eligible to receive the subsidy?
A5. If the relevant institutions accept applicants to use combined certificates in fulfilling the admission requirements, then these students are eligible for the subsidy.
Q6. Are non-Chinese speaking students covered under the SSSDP for sub-degree prorgammes?
A6. The SSSDP covers non-Chinese speaking students. Students should make reference to the admission requirements of the related institutions on alternative Chinese language qualifications.
Q7. How is the subsidy under SSSDP for sub-degree programmes administered?

The unit subsidy is administered by a two-tier arrangement. In the 2023/24 academic year, the annual subsidy amounts for non-laboratory based sub-degree programmes and laboratory-based sub-degree programmes will be up to $22,480 and $39,140 respectively.


In the 2024/25 academic year, the annual subsidy amounts for non-laboratory-based sub-degree programmes and laboratory-based sub-degree programmes will be adjusted upward to $22,910 and $39,890 respectively according to the movement of the Composite Consumer Price Index.


The subsidy is tenable for the normal duration of the programme concerned (i.e. two years) and will be disbursed to the participating institutions based on the actual enrolment of eligible students for the downward adjustment in tuition fees.

Q8. Are the tuition fees of SSSDP programmes regulated?
A8. Tuition fees of the programmes should generally be set with reference to the existing fee level with adjustments allowed for price movement in accordance with the Composite Consumer Price Index announced by the Government and enhancement in teaching and learning if needed with full justifications. The actual tuition fees payable by students should reflect the subsidy under SSSDP.
Q9. How are the subsidised places under SSSDP for sub-degree programmes being allocated?

The subsidised places are allocated according to existing admission arrangement of the self-financing sub-degree programmes, i.e. through direct admission by institutions. Students can apply for admission to the designated sub-degree programmes directly through the institutions concerned. Please approach the institution(s) concerned for the details about admission and relevant arrangements including the eligibility for subsidy and tuition fees payment etc.


Candidates sitting for the HKDSE Examination in the current academic year may also lodge advance applications through the Electronic Advance Application System for Post-secondary Programmes (E-APP) before the announcement of HKDSE Examination results for most of the full-time locally accredited sub-degree and undergraduate programmes that are not covered under the Joint University Programmes Admissions System (JUPAS).

Q10. Can students admitted to the subsidised places under SSSDP apply for student finance?
A10. Students in need who are admitted to the subsidised places under SSSDP can apply for student financial assistance from the Student Finance Office of the Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency in respect of the actual amount of tuition fees payable (i.e. tuition fees payable after deduction of the subsidy).
Q11. Are SSSDP students required to work in designated sectors after graduation?

SSSDP aims to increase the supply of subsidised places, nurture talent in support of specific industries in broadening and diversifying study opportunities, and offer more opportunities and wider choices for senior secondary graduates to pursue higher education. We encourage those students from the subsidised programmes under SSSDP to pursue careers in those related sectors after graduation. However, we would not impose any restriction in this regard.

Q12. Is the list of subsidised programmes the same every year?
A12. The programmes and number of subsidised places under SSSDP will be subject to annual review in consultation with relevant bureaux taking into account the social and economic development in Hong Kong and the needs of the industries.
Q13. SSSDP has expanded to cover designated sub-degree programmes in the 2019/20 academic year onwards and current students of the designated programmes will also receive the subsidy from the 2019/20 academic year onwards. Who would be considered as current students?
A13. Current students refer to all eligible students who commenced in a designated programme before its inclusion under the SSSDP.
Q14. How will the subsidy be disbursed?
A14. Students being offered and accepted the subsidised places only need to pay the tuition fees net of subsidy on a pro rata basis. Students (or their parents/guardians) have to submit a declaration form when they accept the offer of a subsidised place. Subsidy will be disbursed to the relevant institutions based on their actual enrolment of subsidised places.
Q15. Are non-local students covered under the SSSDP?
A15. Non-local students are not covered under the SSSDP.

Last Review Date: 01/03/2024