Hong Kong students leaning more toward Taiwan for higher education: poll

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TAIPEI (CNA) — Hong Kong students have been gaining greater interest in pursuing tertiary education in Taiwan, according to a recent survey by a Hong Kong educational organization.

The survey of 1,308 Hong Kong students, who are scheduled to take university entrance exams this year, found that 30 percent of them are considering Taiwan schools, an increase of 8 percentage points from 2019, according to the poll results released Sunday by the Hok Yau Club.

Among those interested in Taiwan schools, 49 percent said they were taking into consideration Taiwan’s proximity to Hong Kong and its similar culture, while 37 percent cited Taiwan’s political system, compared with 17 percent last year, the Hok Yau Club said.

Meanwhile, the percentage of Hong Kong students who are considering pursuing higher education in mainland China has dropped 5 percentage points from last year to 15 percent, the lowest since 2016, the organization said.

It said 69 percent of the students who are not considering China had cited disapproval of the country’s political system, up 32 percentage points from last year.

The 1,308 students were surveyed between December 2019 and February 2020 and will be sitting the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) examination this year, according to the Hok Yau Club.

Hong Kong students’ choice between Taiwan and mainland China for tertiary education has been influenced by recent social movements, such as the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, as indicated by the weighting of the political systems of both sides in the decision making process, the organization said.