By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
Higher education institutes, secondary schools, public entities, social organisations and vocational training entities in Macau can now apply to the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) until July 25 to have their courses or exams paid for by the continuing education development program.
If approved, Macau residents aged 15 or above who attend any of these institutions to undertake continuing education, higher education or certificate/license exams can receive up to MOP 5,000 from the government to subsidise course fees between now and December 31, 2013.
Director of DSEJ Leong Lai said the bureau will create a personal account with a credit of MOP 5,000 for each eligible resident. The course fees will automatically be deducted from the account if the courses or exams are launched by a local institute or organisation.
However, the person will have to pay the discrepancy to the institute if the fee exceeds MOP 5,000.
According to Leong, higher education courses generally refer to bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and PhD degree programs, meaning that local students are able to use the MOP 5,000 subsidy to pay tuition fees.
Continuing education courses organised by secondary schools or other non-tertiary education institutes, social organisations and public entities can cover a wide range of content, she said, as long as they fulfill the program’s objectives to ‘enhance local’ quality and skills, quality of life as well as promote sustainable development in society and create a lifelong learning society”, and most importantly, are approved by the DSEJ.
Yet, she pointed out that for example private tutorial centres and study tours organised by secondary schools during summer vacations or Christmas holidays will not be qualified to join the program.
Driving schools are eligible as the DSEJ chief reaffirmed that driver’s license exams will be covered by government sponsorship.
Meanwhile, residents can also use subsidies to fund courses or exams implemented by a higher education institute or public institute outside of Macau.
However the sponsorship will only be granted when these courses are not provided in Macau.
Residents will be required to pay fees upfront, and then make a claim for reimbursement to the DSEJ.
The bureau will announce which local institutes and courses will be covered by the program on August 12 and residents can also begin their applications on the same day.
The sponsored courses or exams will be listed on the websites of DSEJ or the relative institutes.