Famous for being the city with the largest amount of skyscrapers in the world and having teeny-tiny apartments, Hong Kong is often a dream destination for international students. Along with Beijing and Shanghai, Hong Kong is among the most popular cities in China. It is known for being a multicultural spot with great opportunities for both graduates and students.

Friendly immigration policies, different islands to visit, a Disneyland park, countless companies, and dozens of universities are only a few of the reasons why studying here can be a life-changing experience. You will notice that many characteristics of their higher education system are similar to those in the Western world. Also, getting a degree at a quality university in Hong Kong is quite affordable when compared to tuition prices in other countries. In this article, we will be looking at cheap universities in Hong Kong!

Affordable Schools in Hong Kong for International Students

1. Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)

Founded in 1963, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) was established by merging three smaller colleges. It is the third-best university in Hong Kong, according to the QS University World Ranking and the Times Higher Education World University Ranking, in which CUHK has 46th and 53rd places respectively.

With over 20,000 students, CUHK is the biggest university here. It is organized into nine colleges to which students are affiliated. They receive assistance through them and residences, clubs, organizations, and services are distributed according to these colleges.

This cheap university in Hong Kong has eight faculties of business administration, medicine, law, arts, engineering, education, social science, and science. These offer more than 70 undergraduate programs. Most of them are available in English. Click here to explore all of your options.

CUHK offers student residences with over 8,000 places and its own system of transportation. It also has seven libraries, several research centers, an art museum, an art gallery, and a museum of climate change.

To learn how to apply and the requirements you must submit, visit the admissions section, the prospective students’ section, and their FAQ page.

Tuition fees for international students are 145,000 HKD (around 18,500 USD) per year. These are paid in two installments. Although they don’t have financial aid available for international students, all admitted students are automatically considered to receive a scholarship. Visit the fee calculator to learn more. 

2. City University of Hong Kong (CityU)

The City University of Hong Kong (CityU) started as a polytechnic institution. It received university accreditation in 1994. It is the 52nd best in the world according to the QS World University Ranking, and the 110th best according to the Times Higher Education World University Ranking.

It is divided into five colleges of engineering, science, business, liberal arts, and social sciences, and veterinary medicine and life sciences. It also has five schools of energy and environment, data science, law, creative media, and graduate studies. Click here to see which programs are offered.

It has 20 research centers, two research institutes, different laboratories, and student residences.

Check their admissions section to learn how to apply and the required documents. There’s more information available in their FAQ section.

Tuition fees for bachelor’s degree programs are 140,000 HKD (17,850 USD approx.) per year. There are many scholarship options for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Contact them to learn more.

3. University of Hong Kong (HKU)

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) started as a medical school in 1887, which makes it the oldest higher institution in Hong Kong. It became a fully accredited university 24 years later, in 1911.

It is considered to be the best university in Hong Kong and one of the best in the world. It ranks as the 25th best according to the QS World University Ranking and the 36th best according to the Times Higher Education World University Ranking.

With nearly 30,000 students, HKU has ten faculties of arts, dentistry, architecture, engineering, education, business and economics, science, social sciences, medicine, and medicine. Check the programs available here and learn more about their curriculum structure here. They also have 20 student residences.

Admissions are highly competitive at HKU. Every year, this cheap university in Hong Kong receives over 40,000 applications, and around 16,000 of them are students from outside Hong Kong. They also organize talks and information sessions abroad every year. Check their calendar to see if they’ll have one in your country.

Tuition fees for international students are 171,000 HKD (21,800 USD approx.) per year. If you need financial aid, check the scholarships available for you. Get more information by contacting them.

4. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)

Established 28 years ago, in 1991, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is currently considered as the second-best in Hong Kong. It also has a great reputation outside China. It ranked as the 32nd best in the 2020 QS World University Ranking and the 41st best in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Ranking.

Over 15,000 students receive education at one of HKUST’s schools. These are of humanities and social sciences, business and management, science, engineering, and graduate studies. Visit the page of each school to see the programs available.

The university has a huge library, sports facilities, 18 catering outlets, and ten student residences for undergraduate students.

Visit their admissions section to learn more about applications and requirements. Click here to see the admissions process and the qualifications you must have.

Tuition fees for international students are 140,000 HKD (17,850 USD approx.) per year. Regarding student residences, you’ll pay between 13,460 HKD (1,715 USD approx.) and 23,770 HKD (3,030 USD approx.) per year, depending on the type of room you choose. To get information about financial aid, scholarships, and insurance, click here.

5. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)

Originally established in 1937, Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) was fully accredited in 1994. It is considered the 91st best in the world according to the 2020 QS World University Ranking, and the 159th best according to the Times Higher Education World University Ranking.

In terms of the student population, it is one of the biggest universities in Hong Kong, with nearly 30,000 students. Around 5,000 of them are from outside Hong Kong.

It is divided into six faculties of construction and environment, applied sciences and textiles, health and social sciences, humanities, business, and engineering. It also has two schools of hotel and tourism management and design.

The campus of this cheap university in Hong Kong consists of 20 interconnected buildings, research centers, sports facilities, and two student residences. They also are affiliated with 265 from around the world.

Visit their admissions section for non-local students to learn more about the process and requirements. Everything is done online. We also suggest you download their student handbook, where they have details about every aspect of the university.

Tuition fees for both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are 140,000 HKD (17,850 USD approx.) per year. In case you are a part-time student, fees are calculated per credit. Each credit costs 4,670 HKD (600 USD approx.). If you need financial assistance, click here to see the scholarships available.

6. Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU)

The Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) started as a college with Christian roots and then became a university in 1994. It ranked as the 261st best university in the world according to the 2020 QS University Ranking and between the 401st and 500th best universities according to the Times Higher University Ranking.

HKBU has six campuses throughout Hong Kong, where over 10,000 students receive an education. It has 11 research institutes and 25 research centers.

HKBU also has an International College that grants associate’s degrees and post-secondary diplomas for those who want to start there and then transfer to a university.

The university is divided into faculties and schools. It has three faculties of science, arts, and social sciences. These three schools of business, communication, and Chinese medicine. There’s also an academy of visual arts. Click here to see the programs available. In case you are interested, they offer double degree programs.

Visit their admissions page to learn more about requirements and applications. HKBU has four student residences available.

Tuition fees for undergraduate international students are 140,000 HKD (17,850 USD approx.) per year. Prices for graduate and postgraduate degrees depend on the program and the area. If need a hand with your payments, check their scholarships and financial aid pages.

7. Lingnan University of Hong Kong (LU or LN)

The Lingnan University of Hong Kong, also called LU or LN, was originally opened in 1889. It started as a Christian College, and since then, it has been changed and moved to different locations. It is currently ranked between the 591st and the 600th universities worldwide, according to the QS World University Ranking.

Lingnan University is the smallest in our list of cheap universities in Hong Kong, with a little more than 3,000 students. It is a liberal arts university that belongs to the Global Liberal Arts Alliance.

It has three faculties of arts, business, and social sciences. They also have ten student residences that can receive around 250 students each, and they are currently building more. This is why the university guarantees accommodation to all students during their whole undergraduate program.

They also focus on global learning. They are affiliated with 210 universities around the world, and 85% of LU students have the opportunity to go on exchange.

Tuition fees for undergraduate international students are 140,000 HKD (17,850 USD approx.) per year.  These fees are paid in two installments. Check their admissions section and their FAQ page to learn more. 

FAQS About Studying in Hong Kong

How are Universities in Hong Kong?

The history of Hong Kong and the rest of the cities in China have many differences. One of them is that Hong Kong was a British colony for over a century. This is why Hong Kong’s higher education system is similar to the British system.

Along with vocational and technical schools, Hong Kong has different universities. Less than 10  institutions have the accredited status of “universities”. The other schools grant post-secondary diplomas, associate’s degrees, technical degrees, and vocational certificates.  Many of them have a great reputation, which is why they’ve got high places in international university rankings.  

Bachelor’s degrees last for four years, master’s degrees last for two years, and doctorate degrees last between two and four years. Getting an associate’s degree or a post-secondary diploma is usually an option for those who aren’t admitted to universities. With one of these certifications, students can transfer to a university.

How Difficult is the Admissions Process at Universities in Hong Kong?

Most universities will require you to take exams in order to be admitted. They accept qualifications or examinations that comply with international standards, like A-Levels or ACT and SAT tests. The process usually includes interviews and each program tends to have additional requirements.

Besides academic requirements, you must complete the legal procedures, like getting a student visa.

In some universities, there are other admissions paths. For example, those who are 23 years old or older can be admitted if they have an exceptional ability in the desired field of study.

Can I Study in English at Universities in Hong Kong?

Although there’s a focus on studying in Chinese during the first stages of education, English is used during secondary education. Actually, English is one of Hong Kong’s official languages.  Most universities here are bilingual, so, you won’t have any problem finding a program in English that suits your needs.

If you’d like to study in English, you’ll have to prove your English proficiency in case you aren’t a native speaker.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Is Life in Hong Kong Expensive?

Hong Kong has its own currency. It is called the Hong Kong dollar (HKD). 100 HKD is around 13 USD.

Life in Hong Kong can be quite expensive if you don’t find a place in university dormitories. A one-bedroom apartment can cost between 12,000 HKD (1,500 USD approx.) and 17,000 HKD (2,170 USD approx.) depending on the area. Hong Kong is famous for its small apartments and rooms, so you may find a better deal if you for something smaller. You may find places for 1,000 USD outside the city center.

Regarding food, groceries can cost between 190 USD and 250 USD if you buy at local markets. Eating out can cost between 7 USD and 51 USD depending on the kind of restaurant you choose.

As for transportation, using the subway daily would cost 500 HKD (64 USD approx.).


We hope that this article on cheap universities in Hong Kong was useful. Do check out the Asia Scholarships Page for more information on studying anywhere in Asia.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

Share this article via

Leave A Comment