Student loans and scholarships up 6 pct next academic year

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The government has announced it will increase the amount of loans and scholarships for university students for the academic year 2015/2016, in addition to lifting the cap on incomes of applicants, according to the Official Gazette released yesterday.
The Official Gazette announced that since the academic year 2015/2016, which begins in September, local university students studying in Macau can be granted a loan or scholarship of up to MOP3,500 (US$437.5) per month, a jump of 6 per cent from the previous amount.
Macau students studying in Mainland China and Taiwan can also get as much as MOP2,800 or MOP3,700 per month, respectively, if they are approved for loans or scholarships.
Meanwhile, those studying in Hong Kong or elsewhere can be granted a maximum of MOP5,600 per month.
According to the Official Gazette, housing subsidies for university students will also be increased to up to MOP2,250 per month.
On the other hand, the upper limit of applicants’ income will be raised by some 30 per cent. For example, the average income per head in a three-member family will be increased from the original MOP8,400 to MOP10,900, while the income limit for a four-member family will be lifted from MOP7,500 to MOP9,750 per head.
In addition, the government has announced the adjustment of quotas for its special scholarships and extraordinary scholarships from 220 to 250, and from 30 to 35, respectively.
Such special scholarships of the government are only granted to students who study for professions that are lacking in Macau such as in the creative industry, nursing, social work and rehabilitation care.
Meanwhile, the extraordinary scholarships are to subsidise students who study for degrees taught via the Portuguese language in Portugal.
K.L.