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Life Planning Information Website - Education Bureau

Secondary six graduates may pursue their studies overseas in such countries as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, the United States of America, New Zealand, and Switzerland and so on. Local and overseas institutions and colleges regularly hold exhibitions in Hong Kong for students to learn more about their studies, including the Education and Careers Expo organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

Applications for admission to overseas institutions in Hong Kong can be made through admission counsellors, institutions of higher education in various countries or institutions themselves. Students may enquire about the relevant courses, attend seminars or exhibitions for further information.

If students study in other overseas countries, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, the United States of America, New Zealand  and so on, the requirements of different universities are different. Students may refer to the following basic information:

Application Requirements of Different Overseas Region

Overseas Region Application Requirements
The United Kingdom
  • The Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSEE) has been incorporated into the score matching system of the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) of the United Kingdom. Its performance level is similar to that of the United Kingdom General Certificate of Education Advanced-level Examination (GCE A level). Please refer to the UCAS webpage for details of the UCAS score matching system.
  • Students must have a certain standard of English. For a bachelor's degree, students should generally obtain level 4 or above in English Language in the HKDSE, or a score of 6. 0 or above on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • Students may also choose to enrol in International Diploma, Higher National Diploma, Foundation Degree or International Foundation Courses and then pursue top-up local university courses. Students are generally required to apply to individual institutions in advance.
Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
  • The HKDSEE has been recognized by a number of overseas universities.
  • Students must have a certain standard of English. For a bachelor's degree, students should generally obtain level 4 or above in English Language in the HKDSE results, or a score of 6. 0 or above in the IELTS, or a score of 5. 5 or above in the TOEFL. Students can also enrol in foundation courses or other courses in university, and then pursue the top-up local university programme.
  • Students can enquire from individual institutions about the admission requirements of the relevant university programmes.
The United States of America
  • For four-year institutions, standardized tests like SAT or ACT are mostly required. For the list of test-optional schools or test-blind schools, please visit
  • For community colleges, they typically have more flexible admissions processes than four-year institutions and often do not require standardized test scores for admission. Check the website of the community college that you plan to attend for specific testing requirements of that institution.  
  • Students must have a certain standard of English. For a bachelor's degree, students should generally obtain a score of 6. 0 or above in the IELTS, or a score of 5. 5 or above in the TOEFL.
  • Every institution has their own requirements and may not align exactly with the above. HKDSE results are normally not required as the application deadline for most U.S. Schools is before March. Instead, your school transcripts, academic records, personal statements will be taken into consideration.

Application Method

There are three main channels through which applicants can enrol in overseas institutions of higher education: 
(1) Submit the application directly to the institutions through the Internet or by post; 
(2) Submit the application through a further education consultant or agency; or. 
(3) Submit the application directly to the institutions at the Education Promotion Exhibition. 

Students may prepare the application form, submit academic qualifications and other relevant documents to the institution for consideration.

Visa Application 

Applications for student visas can be made either through the following channels or with the assistance of further study counsellors:

Related Webpage of Different Overseas area

Overseas area Related Webpage
The United Kingdom
 The United States of America
New Zealand


Financial considerations

Students are advised to search the relevant institutions' courses on the Internet and discuss with their families whether they can afford their courses, including tuition fees and living expenses. Some countries and regions allow overseas students holding student visas to work part-time in their spare time, no more than a certain number of hours per week, then students can reduce part of the financial burden.

Psychological preparation / living adjustment

Overseas students can know the local weather, time difference, transportation, accommodation, medical treatment, local environment and culture in advance, make adequate preparation, and learn to integrate themselves into the new living environment.

General Information about Places of Study

The United Kingdom



The United States of America

New Zealand



Recognition of Non-local Qualifications

Recognition of non-local qualifications awarded by granting institutions outside Hong Kong for study, employment or registration in Hong Kong is at the discretion of the relevant education institutions, employers or organisations. The Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ) offers the only Qualifications Assessment (QA) service in Hong Kong to assess non-local educational qualifications awarded by non-local granting bodies to individuals. The outcome of each assessment is a professional opinion on whether the non-local qualification meets the standard of a particular level of qualification in Hong Kong which the individual can use for employment or further study purposes. Starting from 8 January 2018, you can access our online application platform via the HKCAAVQ website’s quick link QA i-Portal. More details can be found here (link). Students who wish to further their study outside Hong Kong should take due account of the learning outcomes and quality of delivery of the educational programmes concerned which are key assessment criteria in the qualifications assessment conducted by HKCAAVQ.

General Information

Students intending to further their studies in Mainland China/ outside Hong Kong, please refer to general information about places of study, FAQs and Education Bureau Circular Memorandum No.64/2022 for information search prior to making decisions. For further information, please contact the designated consulting organisations.

Points to note when applying for a study programme outside Hong Kong

To conduct information search prior to making decisions on further education outside Hong Kong;

To be cautious when making applications, especially if the proceedings involve depositing a large down-payment as registration or tuition fees;

To consult respective Consulates or Commissions of the countries concerned and consulting organisations before making application for admission;

To find out whether you will be at liberty to move to another institution in the same country should you so wish, and in what circumstances any fees paid would be refundable;

To note that the only organisations authorised to provide immigration facilities for entry to countries outside Hong Kong are the respective immigration services or Consulates in Hong Kong; and

To pay attention to the epidemic situation of Coronavirus Disease 2019 and epidemic prevention policies / vaccination requirements of relevant countries.

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