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Grads eye opportunity to enter a HK university
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More high school graduates are considering attending university in Hong Kong.They feel that attractive scholarships, the high quality of education and a chance to experience a different culture presents a good opportunity.

At Fudan University's Handan campus, nearly 800 local high school graduates have attended an admission interview for Hong Kong University since Monday.

Candidates have already passed the national college entrance exam and a HKU written test. HKU applicants in the mainland exceeded 10,000 students this year, more than double last year's 4,848 applicants. The university's admission quota rose 40 students to 300, HKU officials said.

"Most of the applicants are elite high school graduates with outstanding performance in the national college exam," Cui Jijia, an official with HKU's Shanghai office, said via telephone yesterday.

Elite freshman from the mainland will be awarded a scholarship ranging from HK$30,000 (US$3,862) to HK$100,000 this year, as HKU has set aside a total scholarship budget of HK$55 million for first year students.

Besides HKU, Hong Kong Baptist University is holding admission interviews for students from Shanghai, Guangdong and neighboring Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology will also start interview sessions in Shanghai today.

One HKU applicant, who identified himself as Tang, said it was a good opportunity that may provide access to jobs in Hong Kong in the future.

"I'll choose HKU if I receive an offer from both a local school or HKU," Tang said.

The eight universities in Hong Kong are expected to enroll more than 1,300 mainland students, officials said.

Xiong Bingqi, professor of Jiao Tong University, said the loss of top university students could hurt schools.

"To a large extent, a university's success in scientific research relies on the contribution of high-quality students," said Xiong.

(Shanghai Daily July 5, 2006)

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