Mainland universities come to the fore

Overseas-education | Crystal Wu 9 Nov 2021

Mainland China may not be the first place that comes to mind for studying abroad, but it can also be a good option for Hong Kong students, says Renmin University of China student David Yu.

"Tier-one cities in the mainland possess similar traits in terms of the urban landscape, way of life and others. But Beijing stands out for its abundant resources and its special position in politics," said Yu.

"Many companies and non-governmental organizations have their China head office in Beijing."

And while the most resources and collaborations are with Beijing's more prestigious universities like Peking and Tsinghua universities, some are accessible to other undergraduates in the city.

Hong Kong students get the upper hand when it comes to studying in the mainland. "They make available internship positions in government-owned companies, organize free trips and hold feasts and parties just because you are a Hong Kong student. We have so many more opportunities and benefits than mainland people could ever dream of," Yu said.

One of the advantages of studying so close to home is that students can use their DSE examination results to apply directly to mainland universities.

"The procedure contains the application, interview, screening and finally, admission. You can pick four schools and four subjects for each. The order should reflect your preference."

Some universities might have their own requirements though, so it is crucial to check with the individual university's admissions before application.

Some prestigious mainland universities would also take recommendations from Hong Kong secondary schools. "Usually, each school has a quota of two to three students, and will pick students as they see fit."

A good resume gives you a higher chance of being selected by your own school and by the universities.

"Universities like Tsinghua favor students with a clear goal, dedication and tons of awards or whatever that can back up the major you choose," said Yu.

"So not only should you be good enough on your grades, but you should be preparing for a long enough time to accrue awards and experience."

Hongkongers who studied at a secondary school in the mainland can take the designated examination for students from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

While mainland universities put emphasis on examination results, Yu believes that there is more to life than doing well academically.

"Most of the time, people are recognized not solely for the profession, but for their added value. I develop my added value through operating student associations, attending Model United Nations and reading."

Yu finds his experience with the Hong Kong Student Association of Beijing Higher Education Institute to be the most fruitful, as he made friends and encountered political officials. He also acquired an internship through the students' association, which helped him find out "what I wanted to do with my life."

He added: "Studying in the mainland schooled me well. I guess I'll still be thankful for the years I spent here when I'm no longer a student.

"The whole landscape is grander and different in the mainland, and chances are waiting for you. As an experienced hand, I highly recommend you guys come over and see for yourselves."

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