According to a report by the China Business Post, many outstanding high school graduates in China are seeking opportunities for college education in Hong Kong after a loss of prestige by Chinese academic institutions, including Beijing (Peking) University and Qinghua (Tsinghua) University. The report said the University of Hong Kong sent out their first batch of interview notifications on June 30 to approximately 3,000 applicants from inland China. This number has almost doubled since last year. Meanwhile, several other universities in Hong Kong have been promoting themselves in inland China.
The report attributed the phenomenon not only to the aggressive recruiting activities of Hong Kong universities, as they repeatedly poached distinguished professors from mainland China, but also to the substantial scholarships that they offer students.
Recently, the reputations of the prestigious Chinese institutions, Beijing University and Qinghua University, have been in question, although the two universities have been well known for more than a century. Some even fear the two universities will not retain their status as top universities, while some others think they are unworthy of the names.
The report also mentioned difficulties that graduates from Beijing University and Qinghua University must confront after graduation. Some students may find a job, but the salary is inadequate. Some cannot get a good job due to less competitive majors. On the other hand, graduates of Hong Kong universities are in high demand in the job market.
In addition, some universities in Hong Kong also provide generous scholarships to attract students from inland China.
According to the China Education Online, a high school graduate named Li Qingxi from Chengdu City in Sichuan Province, selected the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to study Computer Science, after they offered her a scholarship of HK$390,000 (US$50,184) per year, even though she got accepted to four famous universities in mainland China.
The Head of Beijing University was quoted by the China Business Post as saying that the brand names of Beijing University and Qinghua University are invaluable in representing their education quality. They cannot use money to attract students like the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
However, Chinese society still recognizes and celebrates students capable of achieving admittance to the traditionally prestigious Chinese universities. A town in Dongguan City, Guangdong Province, offered a reward of 500,000 yuan ($62,534) to any high school graduate in the town who could obtain admission to Beijing University or Qinghua University.