Nursing the hot choice in university chaseLocal | Jane Cheung 27 Jul 2021
Nursing courses have become one of the most popular university choices for Hong Kong students, with thousands competing to get into the short-handed profession, even amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The bachelor's program in nursing is one of the top four courses among the SAR's government-funded universities.
It is listed as one of their first three options by greatest number of applicants.
The fiercest competition is at the University of Hong Kong, which has 1,251 applicants in band A fighting for 210 places, meaning six students are competing for one position.
Coming close behind was the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, with around 1,000 band A registrations competing for 193 places - a five-to-one ratio.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong had 934 band A applicants vying for 217 places, or a four-to-one ratio.
The situation has become apparent with 17,733 students - 42.2 percent of Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education examination takers - achieving the minimum requirements to get into the eight government-funded universities and settling on their choices of program through the Joint University Programmes Admissions System over the weekend.
Four local universities offer the nursing program via JUPAS.
Although the course is not among the top five band A choices at the fourth one, the self-financing Open University of Hong Kong - to be renamed the Hong Kong Metropolitan University on September 1 - it is the most popular option under the Study Subsidy Scheme for Designated Professions. The scheme aims to subsidize students for specific industries with "keen demand for human resources," according to a mission statement.
Over 2,180 people have applied for the Open University's 325-place general nursing program, and there are 817 applicants for 125 places in its psychiatric nursing program.
Among 365 bachelor degree programs in JUPAS, some of the toughest competition is for animation and media arts at the Hong Kong Baptist University.
It offers only 13 places, but has 480 band A applications.
Another popular program at Baptist University is film and television, which has 499 band A applicants fighting for 20 places.
To get into one of the eight government-funded universities, DSE takers must have achieved level 3 or above in Chinese and English.
They must also achieve a level 2 or above in mathematics, liberal studies and an elective subject.
With 15,000 undergraduate places in the eight universities backed by the University Grants Committee, only 12,000 to 12,500 seats are reserved for DSE students applying through JUPAS.