Hong Kong

Overview of Hong Kong Education System

The education system in Hong Kong is overseen by the Education Bureau. There are three main types of schools in the government system, namely government schools, subsidized schools, (for example, schools that are administered by charitable or religious bodies), and private schools.

The government provides 12 years of free schooling in Hong Kong – 6 years in primary school and 6 years in secondary school of which the first 9 years are compulsory. Most schools are co-ed schools, but there are still a number of single-sex schools available in the city.

Secondary Education

Medium of Instruction:

There are 524 secondary schools in Hong Kong. 497 are local schools and 27 are private or international schools. Secondary schools can be divided into CMI (Chinese as the medium of instruction) and EMI (English as the medium of instruction). There are approximately 112 EMI schools.

For more on the medium of instruction, visit the Education Bureau.

For a list of schools with English as the medium of instruction (EMI), visit The Association of English Medium Secondary Schools.

Structure and Curriculum:

For junior secondary school (Forms 1-3), students are required to study a wide range of subjects. In senior secondary school (starting at Form 4), students get to choose their specific area of study.

Public Examination:

Students take a public examination (HKDSE) at the end of Form 6. The four core subjects of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) are English, Chinese, Mathematics, and Liberal Studies. Students can choose 2 or 3 elective subjects from a list of 20 options.

Study Path in Hong Kong
Tertiary Education

There are 17 degree-awarding higher education institutions in Hong Kong that provide 15,000 undergraduate places for approximately 18% of Hong Kong’s high school graduates.

Eight institutions funded by the public through the UGC:

Eight self-financing institutions:

The publicly-funded

For more information on Hong Kong’s secondary education and university education system, visit Education Bureau.

Undergraduate admission is very competitive because the number of available seats is less than the number of students who can fulfill the entry requirements. Studying for an Associate Degree or higher diploma is an alternative option which provides students who failed to be admitted to university via public examination (HKDSE) with an opportunity to study for an undergraduate degree later.