Continuing Education Fund (CEF)
In 2002, the HKSAR Government announced the setting up of a HK$ 5 billion Continuing Education Fund (CEF) to provide subsidies to those who aspire to enhance their competitiveness in the knowledge based economy through pursuing continuing education. CEF applicants who successfully complete CEF reimbursable courses and pass the required assessments will be reimbursed 80% of the course fees, capped at HK$10,000. The CEF enhancement measures have been implemented from 1 April 2019. The subsidy ceiling has increased from HK$10,000 to HK$20,000 per applicant. To tie in with the enhancement measures, the School is actively expending the scope of our CEF reimbursable courses to areas of Chinese Medicine, Health Care, Education, Arts, and etc., in response to the learning needs of different learners.
The School has designed a variety of quality programmes and courses in the areas of Business Services, Design, Financial Services, Languages, Logistics, Tourism and Creative Industries that qualify for CEF reimbursement.
The following information is extracted from the website of the Continuing Education Fund at https://www.wfsfaa.gov.hk/cef/en/index.htm, whichever is subject to it.
Enhancement Measures of Continuing Education Fund and Implementation Time
The enhancement measures have been implemented with effect from 1 April 2019, with details as follows –
- increasing the CEF subsidy ceiling from HK$10,000 to HK$20,000 per applicant;
- closed CEF accounts to be re-activated, so that the account holders can make use of the unused balance (if any) under the original subsidy of HK$10,000 as well as the additional subsidy of HK$10,000;
- regarding the co-payment ratios by learners (i.e. the percentage of course fee to be borne by learners), the ratio for the first HK$10,000 subsidy is 20% of the course fee and that for the second HK$10,000 subsidy is 40% of the course fee;
- relaxing the upper age limit for applicants from 65 to 70;
- expanding the scope of CEF courses to all eligible courses registered in Qualifications Register (QR);
- lifting the restrictions on the validity period or the number of claims for CEF accounts, namely, applicants may submit an unlimited number of reimbursement claims for a total subsidy up to HK$20,000 before reaching the upper age limit (i.e. before the date they reach the age of 71);
- an applicant may submit an application to open a CEF account together with an application for the first reimbursement claim after successful completion of the first CEF course, instead of the current requirements of submitting the application to open a CEF account before the commencement of the CEF course. Moreover, applicants are required to submit their reimbursement claims within one year upon the successful completion of a CEF course; and
- enhancing the quality assurance monitoring of CEF courses.
Applicable to CEF reimbursable courses commenced before 1 April 2019
The enhancement measures have no retrospective effect. For CEF reimbursable courses that commenced before 1 April 2019, reimbursement claims will be processed by Office of Continuing Education Fund (OCEF) in accordance with the requirements in force before 1 April 2019 (i.e. subsidy ceiling is HK$10,000, 4 years validity period, maximum number of 4 claims and upper age limit of 66, etc.). For those applicants who have opened a CEF account before 1 April 2019, they could apply for fee reimbursement according to the reimbursement procedures as stated below.
Applicable to CEF reimbursable courses commenced on or after 1 April 2019
Persons who meet the following criteria can apply for CEF:
- Hong Kong residents who have the right of abode or the right to land or to remain in Hong Kong without restriction; or holders of one-way permit from Mainland China;
- Aged between 18 and 70 (i.e. before reaching the age of 71) both at the time when the CEF reimbursable course under application commences and at the time when an application for fee reimbursement is submitted, which should be within one year upon the *successful completion of the CEF reimbursable course. Late applications will not be accepted;
- Have enrolled in and paid the tuition fee for the CEF reimbursable course; and
- Have not obtained any other public funds or assistance under any other publicly-funded financial assistance schemes for the same course, such as grants or loans from the “Financial Assistance Scheme for Post-secondary Students” administered by the Student Finance Office of the Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency (SFO, WFSFAA), etc.
* "Successful completion of the CEF reimbursable course" means the claimant has an attendance rate of not less than 70% (or such higher attendance requirement as prescribed for the course) and has passed the course assessments as required by the School. Applicants studying language proficiency course are required to pass a specified benchmark test / examination (if applicable) at the specified (or higher) level to be eligible for fee reimbursement.
- With effect from 1 April 2019, applicants who apply for CEF for the first time are only required to complete Application Form [SFO 302 (2019)], which is a combined application form for both account opening and fee reimbursement. This combined form is also applicable to applicants who have opened a CEF account before 1 April 2019 to apply for fee reimbursement only.
- The CEF Application Form [SFO 302 (2019)] can be obtained from OCEF/District Offices/the School or downloaded from the website of CEF.
- Before completing the application from, applicants could apply for a Letter of Certification with the School for making a claim for CEF reimbursement.
- The following information should be filled by referring to the Guidance Notes for Application [SFO 301(2019)] and Letter of Certification:
(i) Name of Institution: CUHK-SCS
(ii) CEF Institution Code: 105
(iii) CEF Course Title
(iv) CEF Course Code
(v) Course Commencement Date
(vi) Course Completion Date
(vii) Date of 1st Instalment of Tuition Fees Paid
(viii) Actual Amount of Tuition Fees Paid
- The completed application form with certification by the School together with copies of supporting documents [Hong Kong Smart Identity Card, one-way permit (if applicable), documentary proof of course fee paid, letter of certification, documentary proof of passing the specified benchmark test / examination (if applicable), benchmark test / examination fee receipts (if applicable) and the front page of the applicant’s bank passbook or bank statement showing the name, account number and bank name / bank code] should be submitted to OCEF:
Office of the Continuing Education Fund
Units 07-11, 25/F., CDW Building
388 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan
Or place the applications in the designated drop-in boxes located at Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices.
- Copies of all submitted supporting documents are not returnable. Applicants should retain copies for their own reference.
Notification of Result for Reimbursement Applications
- If applicants do not receive any acknowledgement of receipt by SMS messages or in writing (applicable to applicant who would like to receive an "Acknowledge of Receipt of Application" in writing and has attached a stamped and self-addressed envelope) from OCEF after 10 working days from the date of submission of their applications, please contact OCEF at 3142-2277.
- In general, application results will be issued within six weeks from the date of receipt of the application for existing CEF account holders or eight weeks for the first time applicants subject to the provision of complete and accurate information.
For enquiries, please contact OCEF’s 24-hour hotline at 3142-2277 or the School at 2209-0274/2209-0235.
Please click here for details of the procedures for handling complaints related to CEF courses.