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Cities to study in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a large city-state located on the southern coast of China, one of two “Special Administrative Regions” of the People’s Republic of China (Macau is the other). Enclosed on all sides by the Pearl River Delta and the South China Sea, Hong Kong is famed for its majestic skyline and deep bountiful harbor. Although Hong Kong only consists of a mere 426 square miles of total land area, it is shared by a population of 7 million, making it one of the most densely populated regions in the world, with a whopping 16,567 people per every square mile.
Following the First Opium War that spanned from 1839-1842, Hong Kong became a colony of the British. For a brief time during the Pacific battles in World War II, the island was occupied by Japan, but save for those brief years, the country remained under British control and direction until 1997, at which time China resumed control.
Of the roughly 7 million people in Hong Kong, 95 percent are of Chinese descent, primarily the Cantonese, Chiu Chow and Taishanese people. The remaining 5 percent of the population is made up of a wide variety of ethnicities, including people from Pakistan, Nepal and Vietnam, as well as British, Americans, Japanese and Koreans who came to the region to work in the city’s financial and commercial district. There are also a large number of foreign domestic helpers, mostly from places such as the Philippines and Indonesia, working in Hong Kong homes.
The de facto official language of Hong Kong is Cantonese, a Chinese language originating from the Guangdong Province just north of Hong Kong. English also shares the honor as an official language in the city, and is spoken by nearly 5 percent of the people as a first language and nearly 35 percent of the population as a second language. Hong Kong is not a very religious nation, as studies show that close to 80 percent of the population is agnostic, practicing no religion whatsoever. The remainder adheres primarily to the various Christian religions, Buddhism and Islam.
Education in Hong Kong
The education system in Hong Kong is considered one of the best in the world, ranked second last year globally by the Program for International Student Assessment. Education is overseen by the national government and the system is modeled roughly after that of the British. The system is divided between six levels or stages of education: a three-year non-compulsory kindergarten; a compulsory six-year primary education and three-year junior secondary education; a non-compulsory two years of senior secondary education, leading to the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examinations; a two-year matriculation course, leading to the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examinations; and higher or tertiary education. This structure is fairly new to the Hong Kong system, particularly the senior secondary level, which was recently revamped in September of 2009.
Higher education in Hong Kong is highly valued and heavily supported, as qualified graduates are always in constant demand, especially those with business, accounting and finance degrees—people needed to work in Hong Kong’s expansive financial district. There are both public and private universities in the country, most of which are very prestigious, offering students a number of program options at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels.
Map of Hong Kong