The Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK) is defending a steep hike in tuition fees for its nursing program, saying it is not even enough to cover training costs.
The university came under fire after it announced an 86 percent increase in tuition fees, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday.
The increase takes the annnual tuition fee for a nursing course to HK$111,800 (US$14,425).
Earlier, the government said it will offer financial support in certain self-funded undergraduate programs from the 2015 academic year.
OUHK nursing department head Joseph Lee said training expenses for each student are about HK$200,000 a year. The cost of laboratory equipment, on-field practice and staff is also high.
The higher tuition fee is purely aimed at enhancing the quality of nursing education, Lee was quoted as saying.
For many years, OUHK had kept its annual tuition fees at no more than HK$60,000 and the increase could help ease its long-term losses, the report said, citing university sources.
OUHK students will now pay HK$560,000 for a five-year nursing course compared with HK$210,000 for similar programs at the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
All receive government subventions.
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