The major source of financial support for the University is the Government of Hong Kong through the University Grants Committee (UGC) and its Research Grants Council (RGC). Student fees, other sources of research support and donations are also significant contributors to the University's budget.


University Grants Committee (UGC)

  • The University Grants Committee (UGC) of Hong Kong is a non-statutory advisory committee responsible for advising the Government of Hong Kong on the development and funding needs of higher education institutions in Hong Kong, including HKUST.
  • The main functions of the UGC are to allocate funding to its funded institutions, and to offer impartial and respected expert advice to the Government on the strategic development and resource requirements of higher education in Hong Kong. The Committee also provides the institutions with developmental and academic advice, having regard to international standards and practice. Besides, the Committee plays a serious role in quality assurance by promoting and supporting institutions in quality assurance and enhancement initiatives and processes, and monitoring academic standards of the institutions. In respect of research, the Committee carries out Research Assessment Exercises primarily to inform the distribution of the research portion of block grants, to discharge public accountability and to induce improvements in research.


Research Grants Council (RGC)

  • The Research Grants Council (RGC) operates under the aegis of the University Grants Committee (UGC) and functions as an advisory body on research matters within the organizational structure of the Committee. It advises the Government of Hong Kong on the needs of Hong Kong's higher education institutions in the field of academic research, including the identification of priority areas, so that there is a research base adequate for the maintenance of academic vigour and pertinent to the needs of Hong Kong may be developed. It also invites and receives, through the higher education institutions, applications for research grants from academic staff and for the award of studentships and post-doctoral fellowships; approves awards and other disbursements from funds made available by the Government of Hong Kong through the UGC for research; monitors the implementation of such grants and reports to the Government through the UGC.


Research Funding

  • HKUST continues to mature as a research-intensive university. It has led other Hong Kong academic institutions in competitive research funding, while HKUST faculty are top-placed internationally in individual productivity, and publish regularly in the most prestigious journals.
  • With the collaborative effort of our excellent faculty and research support staff members, as well as the assistance of our research-support units, the amount of research funding granted and the number of patents as well as partnerships with industry have been on the increase year by year. HKUST excelled in competitive bidding exercise for grants from the Government and industry. In the 2013/14 year, we recorded research funding of HK$485.2 million in total.