Outbound

Government Subsidy (Need-based and Non-Need-based)
[2019/20 Academic Year]

On 11 Mar 2020, the University announced suspension of all university-supported travels to destination outside of Hong Kong until further notice. Funding applications for upcoming study abroad programs are on hold.

There are four schemes available for 2019/20:

  • Subsidy on Exchange for Post-secondary Students (SSE)
  • Subsidy on Exchange to "Belt and Road" Regions for Post-secondary Students (SSEBR)
  • Non-means-tested Subsidy on Exchange to “Belt and Road” Regions for Post-secondary Students (Non-means-tested SSEBR)
  • Non-means-tested Mainland Experience Scheme for Post-secondary Students (Non-means-tested MES)

About

These are established and funded by the Education Bureau, HKSAR Government, to subsidize local and non-local undergraduate students, to participate in outbound learning programs.

The scheme details outlined below apply to programs falling in:

  • 2019/20 Academic Year
    (Application itinerary start date of study abroad program falls between 1 Sep 2019 and 31 Aug 2020)

Eligibility

Student Eligibility

SSE and SSEBR

  • Local students enrolled in full-time locally-accredited undergraduate programs at HKUST at the time of application and throughout the duration of the subsidized outbound program; and
  • Receiving means-tested student financial assistance from Student Finance Office (SFO) or whose family is receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) from the Social Welfare Department (SWD)

Non-means-tested SSEBR

  • Local students enrolled in full-time locally-accredited undergraduate programs at HKUST at the time of application and throughout the duration of the subsidized outbound program

Non-means-tested MES

  • Local and non-local students enrolled in full-time locally-accredited undergraduate programs at HKUST at the time of application and throughout the duration of the subsidized outbound program

Program Eligibility

Covers participation in the below HKUST programs:

Total Funding For Each Student

  • Each eligible student can receive 1 SSE award and 1 Non-means-tested MES award can throughout your UG studies.
  • For SSEBR and Non-means-tested SSEBR, each eligible student can receive EITHER 1 SSEBR award and 1 Non-means-tested SSEBR award OR 2 SSEBR awards in maximum throughout your UG studies. The total amount across the 2 awards is capped at HK$60,000 discounted by your highest percentage of full grant rendered by SFO throughout your UG studies.

How to Use the Funding

Below outlines the main difference between SSE, SSEBR, Non-means-tested SSEBR and Non-means-tested MES.

  • Program duration:
    SSE: Programs 14 days or longer
    SSEBR: Programs 5 days or longer
    Non-means-tested SSEBR: Programs 5 days or longer
    Non-means-tested MES: Programs 5 days or longer
    • Program destination:
      SSE: Any destination
      SSEBR: Destinations on the "Belt and Road" region list (except Macao, Mainland China and Taiwan)
      Non-means-tested SSEBR: Destinations on the "Belt and Road" region list (except Macao, Mainland China and Taiwan)
      Non-means-tested MES: Mainland China

      Special Note:

      You cannot apply for SSE/SSEBR/Non-means-tested SSEBR/Non-means-tested MES more than once for outbound programs in the same country/economy.

      Exceptional case (1) If you received SSEBR award to support study abroad program in Mainland China before Academic Year 2019/20: Starting from Academic year 2019/20, you can apply for Non-means-tested MES for study abroad program in Mainland China, but you cannot apply for SSE to support the study abroad program in Mainland China.
      Exceptional case (2) If you received SSE award to support study abroad program in Mainland China before Academic Year 2019/20: Starting from Academic Year 2019/20, you can apply for Non-means-tested MES for study abroad program in Mainland China.

Calculating the Amount of Funding For Each Activity

  • Students should apply for funding of an outbound program from either SSE or SSEBR or Non-means-tested SSEBR or Non-means-tested MES. 
  • The maximum award amount for each activity is calculated by adding up the amounts under table (a) and table (b) below, then discounted by the student's percentage of full grant approved by SFO. For 2019/20 SSE and SSEBR applications, in individual cases where the level of student finance approved by SFO is lower than 50%, the financial assistance level to be adopted in the calculation of the maximum amount of subsidy for the student under SSE and SSEBR will be adjusted upward to 50%. The final award may be adjusted downwards after considering the actual program costs and any other funding (other scholarships/HKUST Study Abroad Sponsorship/HKUST Short-Term Study Abroad Allowance, etc) received by the student.

  • Case Study 1: Exchange in Hungary for 1 term

    Amy will go Hungary for an 120-day exchange. She received 30% government grant for her study. She applied for SSE, therefore the maximum SSE award amount is:

    (HK$25,000+HK$8,000) x 50%
    =HK$16,500

    Level of student finance approved by SFO for Amy is lower than 50%, hence the financial assistance level is adjusted upward to 50%. The actual subsidy amount to be granted to Amy may be adjusted downwards from the cap of HK$16,500, after considering the actual program costs and any other funding received by Amy. 

  • Case Study 2: Exchange in South Korea for 1 term and Brunei for 1 term

    Tom will go South Korea for an 120-day exchange. He received 70% government full grant for his study. He applied for SSEBR, therefore the maximum SSEBE award amount for his South Korea exchange is:

    (HK$25,000+HK$3,000) x 70%
    =HK$19,600

    The actual subsidy amount to be granted to Tom for his South Korea exchange may be adjusted downwards from the cap of HK$19,600, after considering the actual program costs and any other funding received by Tom. 

    Tom received SSEBR HK$19,600 for his South Korea last year. This year, Tom received 100% government full grant and will go Brunei for an 28-day exchange. Since the highest percentage of full grant rendered by SFO throughout Tom's undergraduate studies is 100%, therefore Tom still has HK$40,400 (i.e. HK$60,000-HK$19,600) in his SSEBR "pocket" for his second SSEBR application. The maximum SSEBE award amount for his Brunei exchange is:

    (HK$6,000+HK$3,000) x 100%
    =HK$9,000

    The actual subsidy amount to be granted to Tom for his South Korea exchange may be adjusted downwards from the cap of HK$9,000, after considering the actual program costs and any other funding received by Tom. 

Table (a)

Program
Destination
SSE SSEBR Non-means-tested
SSEBR
Non-means-tested
MES

Asia except from Macao, Mainland China, Taiwan

HK$3,000

HK$3,000*

HK$900*

N/A

Middle East

HK$3,000

HK$3,000*

HK$900*

N/A

Mainland China

HK$3,000

N/A

N/A

HK$900

Macao, Taiwan

HK$3,000

N/A

N/A

N/A

Africa

HK$7,000

HK$7,000*

HK$2,100*

N/A

Europe and Oceania

HK$8,000

HK$8,000*

HK$2,400*

N/A

North America

HK$9,000

N/A

N/A

N/A

Central and South America and Caribbean

HK$15,000

HK$15,000*

HK$4,500*

N/A

*Note: Only listed destinations are eligibile for SSEBR and Non-means-tested SSEBR.


Table (b)

Program
Duration
SSE SSEBR Non-means-tested
SSEBR/MES

5-13 days

N/A

HK$3,500

HK$1,050

14-28 days

HK$6,000

HK$6,000

HK$1,800

29-90 days

HK$10,000

HK$10,000

HK$3,000

91-180 days

HK$25,000

HK$25,000

HK$7,500

Over 180 days

HK$45,000

HK$45,000

HK$13,500

To Apply

Application Procedures

  • Complete and submit an online application on the HKUST MyStudyAbroad system
  • Students participating in HKUST-organized outbound programs (incl. exchange) should complete and submit your SSE/SSEBR/Non-means-tested SSEBR/Non-means-tested MES application before the outbound program starts.
  • Students participating in Term-time Study Abroad Opportunites/Summer Study Abroad Opportunities/Summer Language Abroad Opportunities/Winter Study Abroad Opportunities should first register your participation with HKUST. OGL will notify you of your successful registration upon verifying the submitted information. You should proceed with your SSE/SSEBR/Non-means-tested SSEBR/Non-means-tested MES application at that time.
    For instructions on registering your participation, please refer to section "General Questions" on the FAQ page at https://studyabroad.ust.hk/outbound/finances-support/financial-support/faq.

Required Documents

  • The latest approval letters (i.e. "Notification of Result") from the Student Finance Office (SFO) in respect of the means-tested grant and loan application (applicable to mean-tested subsidies application only).
  • Proof of acceptance to the outbound program if the program is not organized by HKUST.

Timeline

  • As funding for each subsidy scheme is limited, applications will be considered while funding is available. Students are encouraged to apply early. HKUST reserves the right to cease accepting applications before the deadline or to decline applications should funding become exhausted.

2019/20 Academic Year

Application
Round
Application
deadline
Decision
announced by

Round 1
(Programs in Fall 2019)

28 Feb 2019

15 Apr 2019

Round 2
(Programs in Fall 2019)

30 Apr 2019

14 Jun 2019

Round 3
(Programs in Spring 2020)

31 Jul 2019

13 Sep 2019

Round 4
(Programs in Spring 2020)

31 Oct 2019

13 Dec 2019

Round 5
(Programs in Spring 2020)

26 Jan 2020

28 Feb 2020

Round 6
(Programs in Winter 2019)

26 Dec 2019

10 Jan 2020

Round 7
(Programs in Spring-special term 2020, Summer 2020)

28 Feb 2020

15 Apr 2020

Round 8
(Programs in Summer 2020)

30 Apr 2020

15 Jun 2020

Award Disbursement

For study abroad/exchange programs organized by HKUST

  • Awards for successful applicants are disbursed to students' bank accounts normally 6-8 weeks after the date of decision announcement. Please ensure that the correct personal bank account information is recorded in your SIS record.

For Winter Study/Summer Study/Summer Language Abroad Opportunities

  • Awards for successful applicants are disbursed after completion of the study abroad program. Students must submit proof of program completion issued by the host institution (such as transcript or certificate of completion) AND complete a study abroad report.  Awards will be disbursed approximately 6-8 weeks after satisfaction of the above items.
  • Awards for successful applicants are disbursed to students' bank accounts. Please ensure that the correct bank account information is recorded in your SIS record.

Terms

  • Outbound programs are only eligible for the government subsidies if:
    • It comprises substantive teaching and learning elements; and
    • It is organized and/or endorsed by HKUST; and
    • If the activity is not organized by HKUST, the host institution must be a recognized education institution either in Hong Kong or in the destination.
    • Notes:
      • Internships and volunteer work are not eligible programs.
      • Priority is given to credit-bearing or award-bearing programs.
      • In considering program eligibility, HKUST will take into account the safety of the program destination, referencing from travel advice and outbound travel alerts for the destination.
      • The program duration counts from the commencement date to the completion date of the official program period.  It excludes the travel time back and forth between Hong Kong and the program destination.
    • Each student will only be eligible for assistance under the SSE once, SSEBR twice# (student is NOT eligible for Non-means-tested SSEBR if the student has received SSEBR twice, see section Total Funding for Each Student), Non-means-tested SSEBR once# and Non-means-tested MES once in maximum throughout their study in program at the same level of study in Hong Kong, irrespective of the amount of subsidy received. For the avoidance of doubt, students are only eligible for subsidy under SSE once, SSEBR twice# (student is NOT eligible for Non-means-tested SSEBR if the student has received SSEBR twice), Non-means-tested SSEBR once# and Non-means-tested MES once during their sub-degree and undergraduate studies. Applicants need to declare to HKUST that they have not received any subsidy under SSE, SSEBR, Non-means-tested SSEBR and Non-means-tested MES during their previous study at programs at the same level as that of their current program in order to become eligible.

      # For SSEBR and Non-means-tested SSEBR, each eligible student can receive EITHER 1 SSEBR award and 1 Non-means-tested SSEBR award OR 2 SSEBR awards in maximum throughout your UG studies. The total amount across the 2 awards is capped at HK$60,000 discounted by your highest percentage of full grant rendered by SFO throughout your UG studies.

    • Students may receive subsidies from other sources (including Government, private source, HKUST Study Abroad Sponsorship, HKUST Short-Term Study Abroad Allowance etc.) to cover expenses in connection with the same study abroad activity.
    • Students who have previously received assistance from other scholarships or support schemes wholly or partly funded by the Government are eligible.
    • Priority should be given to those who have not received any subsidy under scholarship / sponsorship / subsidy schemes wholly or partly funded by the Government.
    • HKUST reserves the right to terminate and/or claim repayment of the disbursed award should the students withdraw from the program and/or HKUST, fail to complete the program, violate HKUST or host institution regulations, and/or provide false and/or incomplete information in the application.
    • Once students are issued the award, they are obliged to attend any activities connected to the Scheme before or after the period of program participation.  The University reserves the right to claim repayment of the award if students are absent from such activities.
    • As the subsidies are funded by an external body, terms and conditions may change from time to time as required by the external body.

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