Hong Kong research funding shortfall hits HK$12 billion

Hong Kong’s main public funding body for academic research says it needs an extra HK$12 billion (US$1.5 billion) to maintain its current level of support for universities, with its cash surplus set to dry up in two years, writes Peace Chiu for South China Morning Post.

The University Grants Committee called on the government to use part of the HK$18 billion Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po has pledged for the education sector to top up its endowment fund. The government has projected a total budget surplus of HK$110.8 billion will eventually be recorded for the last fiscal year.

Carlson Tong Ka-shing, chairman of the committee, said last week that the annual rate of return from HK$23 billion invested in its Research Endowment Fund had dropped significantly over the last few years from over 6% to just 3.5%. “To maintain our current level of research funding of HK$1 billion a year, we need to top up the fund, or else we have to cut down on the funding,” he said.
Full report on the South China Morning Post site